RECAA Choir: A programme

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Line Grenier, Université de Montréal



RECAA Choir: A programme is a community archiving program aiming to keep traces of the experiences gathered through the ensemble’s musicking through rehearsals, public presentations, individual and group interviews, and collected media document. Over the last year, the RECAA choir explored through musicking following questions: when are data, what are they useful for, for whom, in which context.  We are now aiming to render public some preliminary answers to these questions. 

In so doing, we hope to highlight how choral musicking can generate meaningful data about embodied experiences of ageing within marginalized communities of older adults, as well as co-producing and showcasing data attuned to values of respect and social justice. We also hope to explore different modalities of archiving to reach different publics. 

Through a collaborative methodology focused on participatory research-(co)creation, RECAA Choir: A programme will feature transmedia storytelling through two stand-alone yet connected “data objects”: a printed booklet and a series of non-linear digital stories. These data objects will be produced in English and French, but will likely include passages (via song excerpts, anecdotes, testimonies, etc.) in the other languages spoken by members of the choir (for example, Spanish, Urdu and Japanese). 

The objectives of the publication will be pursued through collaborative work with the choir and its director, Dina Cindrić. These will include brainstorming discussions, creation workshops, recording sessions of video testimonial, group conversations to collectively question the overall orientations of the archiving process, and improvisation games (led by Dina) to encourage exchanges of ideas about community musicking and archiving as we age in the RECAA choir.  These and other activities will enable to not only document the present-pasts of the choir and its members, but also to archive what future(s) (legacies, transformations, recruitment, etc.) they anticipate, as well as plot out the not-yet existing data that might become relevant for the new generation of RECAA members.