Hannah Sullivan                                 writer and artist



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SING FOR YOUR SUPPER (2015 - 2019)


SING FOR YOUR SUPPER is a participatory dinner that sees each guest sing a song in exchange for a hot meal.

This event aims to give new value to singing, to give participants a safe social space to enjoy sharing songs and to ignite a contemporary folk singing culture. Songs will be welcomed in the spirit of uniqueness that each individual voice brings to the table. There is room for nerves, for talking, for starting again and joining in.

Sing For Your Supper is inspired by the definition of Folk songs as performed by non-professionals in informal, non-commercial settings, it is not the song that makes it folk, but the way it is learnt and performed.



Opening story (extract):

They asked him where he was from, ‘County Monaghan’ he replied, and the room erupted with laughter. The question had come from the curious politeness of a local welcoming a foreigner, not expecting a fella from the neighbouring county. But to be fair, there were us foreigners in the room, me, for example, a Brit holding fast to her Irish routes, trying to hide in them actually. ‘Sing us song before you leave’ they asked the Monaghan man. He agreed and was offered the singers seat, on the bench with the microphone. ‘Oh no’ he said ‘you’re alright, I’ll sing from where I’m sitting’ and stayed perched on a high stool by the bar. So Inside this small pub, no bigger than some pantries, the thick glass windows blackened by the March night, 12 of us sat and waited for the song...



PARTICIPANT RESPONSES:

‘We didn't know what to expect, just prepared a song and practised...what a wonderful, friendly, warm evening, we enjoyed all of the songs, so unusual and a great initiative.’
- Sing for your supper guest, Dieter.

‘I feel lucky to have been part of it. It is hard to imagine that there was a time where everyone sang. Where songs were a commonplace way of telling stories & passing time, rather than something that the song-singing elite do in glitzy recording studios. I grew up in a house where records were played, but we didn't sing. And now I'm looking back, I truly can't understand why we never sang. It was madness.
- Sing for your supper guest, Rosy.

‘When I heard about the evening I thought, yes of course, but as the time got closer I became more and more nervous and tried to remember why I thought it was a good idea...but it was! I am full of song and admiration and pleasure, because nothing bad can come of singing.’
- Sing for your supper guest, Lou.

I had no hesitation in booking a spot for Sing for your supper. The concept, the risk and vulnerability are all something I relished. Do it, I dare you.’
- Sing for your supper guest, Frenchy.





Previous locations for Sing For Your Supper:
- A house in Salford as part of Tenancy by Quarantine, 2018
- Pentre Ifan in Pembrokeshire/Wales, 2017
- A Farm house in Boscastle/Cornwall, 2016
- Next Door Cafe (Easton/Bristol), 2016
- The Milk Bar (Bristol, as part of the Bristol Biennial), 2016
- Footscray Community Arts Centre/Melbourne Australia, 2015
- Mary's House/Mary's Boat (Bristol), 2015
- Hannah's Home (twice), 2015


Image 1: After Sing for your Supper at Next Door Cafe, Easton, Bristol, 2016.
Image 2: Before Sing for your Supper at Footscray Arts Centre, Melbourne, 2015.