900 Singaporeans, 26 Countries, 1 Home
STORY: Sim Ding En
15 April 2020
We live in a paradox.
Because of COVID-19, we show our loved ones we care for them by staying apart, we protect the community by isolating ourselves - which goes against everything John Donne wrote about how "no man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main".
Yes, we may have written about why WFH is an introvert's dream, but being part of a community certainly has its merits.
And that's where this SIngapore Virtual Choir - a project initiated by Voices of Singapore, an organisation founded by its artistic director, Darius Lim, a composer and conductor - comes in.
It makes the best of our paradoxical predicament, bridging the gap between socially distanced strangers while conveying the message to "stay home, for our home".
The video, supported by Singapore Tourism Board, incorporates videos of over 900 Singaporeans who recorded themselves singing "Home" by Dick Lee. (Best to watch it on a desktop and blast loud-loud.)
According to Darius, the project saw "20 people working on this for 5 days with little sleep!"
He wrote on Facebook: "The past week has been an experience unlike any other. We heard (and watched) more than 900 voices who sang their hearts out for Singapore. This experience has reinforced and reassured us now more than ever - that singing has the power to unite, strengthen, inspire, and heal."
He added: "The Singapore Virtual Choir initiative has demonstrated the resilience of Singapore as a country. It has been absolutely incredible and heartening to see Singaporeans from across the world coming together to support each other during this time - regardless of race, language or religion. It is also a timely reminder of the importance of strength in unity - of family, friendship and love."
We spotted overseas Singaporeans (in countries like the United States, Netherlands and China):
Tireless healthcare workers in their uniforms (they're the ones in the bigger squares):
And local celeb musicians like Nathan Hartono:
Charlie Lim, Jasmine Sokko, and Yung Raja:
All conducted virtually by Darius Lim (in the big brown square below). The song was also song-signed by deaf advocate and founder of ExtraOrdinary Horizons, Lily Goh (against the green background):
These lyrics have never run truer:
When there are troubles to go through
We'll find a way to start anew
There is comfort in the knowledge
That home's about its people too
Stay safe, and take care!