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Image of the Week: Songs of Sexology

20 Feb, 2015
credit - Roundhouse Rising, Daily Motion

Manchester group, Level Up. Image courtesy of Roundhouse Rising, Daily Motion

“[It] was the best day of my life… I’d do anything to live that day again!” – A young artist talks about Sounds of Sexology

This picture shows a group of artists performing their music at Sounds of Sexology showcase earlier this week at the Roundhouse. The event was the culmination of months of hard work, talent and passion, as five groups of young performers – from Manchester, Glasgow, Brighton, Havant and London – have worked in partnership with songwriters, sex researchers and incredible youth music organisations on a nationwide Sexology Songwriting project that saw explorations of sex and relationships transformed into touching (and at times provocative) musical works.

Topics like lust, love and consent; the history of sex research; relationships and sexuality inspired an evening of music that touched everyone there (and everyone watching on the live-stream at home). One of the groups looked at young people’s sexual values and experiences, and came up with tracks that championed the right to feel confused and conflicted about relationships. Another focussed on LGBTQ issues and poked fun at the notion that the legalising of homosexual marriage might provoke freak weather incidents…

Event host Greg Foot, one of our Public Engagement Fellows, introduced the aims of the project and welcomed each group in turn, getting them to say a little about the experience of being involved in this project – even the shy ones. As the young artists took to the stage, it became obvious that the songs had personal importance to each and every one of them, and their performances took on extra levels of meaning – there were definitely some leaky eyes in the audience. The evening was neatly rounded off with a special guest performance from Dan Gillespie Sells, songwriter and frontman of UK band The Feeling, who gave an insight into his personal experiences with sexuality as well.

The audience were blown away by the talent of the young artists, who despite having totally different musical styles and experiences – from rap and spoken word poems, to acoustic guitar numbers and indie tracks with multi-part harmonies – threw themselves into their performances and made everyone involved feel truly proud.

All the songs from the project will be made available on the Wellcome Collection website soon, but in the meantime, you can catch a selection of the performances on the Roundhouse website, or visit The Institute of Sexology to hear some of the songs at listening posts in the exhibition that inspired the project.

Image credit: Level Up, the group from Manchester, courtesy of Roundhouse Rising, Daily Motion

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