Musicking the Cosmos

Musicking the Cosmos, Monday 13 July, 2-3.30, zoom meeting. To receive a zoom invitation register at

Learn about Space for Peace in this HeartEdge workshop with June Boyce-Tillman, Neil Valentine and Vicky Feldwick and then take part in Space for Peace later that same day (see for details). This initiative celebrates one another, connections, music, and singing to promote peace in these difficult times.

The idea for this initiative originated in an event done for over nine years in Winchester Cathedral and Winchester University and other faith venues including a Hindu temple in Southampton and St John’s church in Hackney. It was based on creating a piece for peace by chance/choice methods. Each time had different participants from different faith and spiritual traditions with differing responses and outcomes. It showed the creativity of a diverse group of people given freedom to exercise their own choices - unity without uniformity. Faced with the complex time of COVID awareness, there are many virtual ensembles that are often recorded individually and put together by a single person. The problem with the ZOOM platform is that it is impossible to have a single shared pulse. So June explored with her colleagues Neil Valentine and Vicky Feldwick at Winchester University the possibility of improvisation over a shared chord and a drone and the participants which have been from 4 continents and a variety of faith traditions improvise. It means abandoning a great deal of what they have learned about singing but it brings people together in a very special meditative way – a musical loom on which the world can weave. 

The Rev Professor June Boyce-Tillman MBE is an international performer and lecturer, especially on the work of Hildegard of Bingen. She is a hymn writer whose work is used internationally She lectures internationally and is concerned with radical musical inclusion. She is editing the series on Music and Spirituality for Peter Lang which includes her book, Experiencing Music-Restoring the Spiritual, the edited collection Queering Freedom: Music, Identity and Spirituality: Perspectives from Ten Countries and her autobiography Freedom Song: Faith, Abuse, Music and Spirituality: A Lived Experience of Celebration. She founded MSW – Music, Spirituality and Wellbeing – an international network sharing expertise and experience in this area. She is an Extra-ordinary Professor at North West University, South Africa. Web:

Neil Valentine is the Creative Director of the University of Winchester Music Centre. He is a composer, conductor, viola player, educator, manager and facilitator. He studied at York University and Trinity College of music and was a member of Southbank Sinfonia in 2007. He is also an Associate Musician of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra working across all of the BSO Participate Strands. He has also delivered music projects, workshops and performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, LSO, RPO, London Music Masters, Hatfield Chamber Music Festival, Spitalfields Music, Music for Youth, BBC SO, BBC Proms, Hatch My Ideas!, Voces8, Wigmore Hall and St Paul's Sinfonia. He is the Creative Director at the University of Winchester Music Centre, and is bringing his passion for music and people to this setting. He is passionate about music making in all settings and with all groups of people. He believes everybody is musical and that anyone can make music with anyone else. He is privileged to be able to facilitate this process; it is a source of unending inspiration and enjoyment. In July 2019 he brought his musical vision to REFLECTIONS, an album collaboration with composer Paul Smith and Voces8. Reflections has subsequently been performed across the UK, France, Germany and in the USA.

Dr Vicky Feldwick BA (Hons), MA, PhD: Vicky studied World Musics with Archaeology at King Alfred’s College, Winchester then went on to complete and MA in Community Music at the University of York. This was followed by a PhD at the University of Winchester entitled “Evaluation Processes in Community Music”. Since then she’s undertaken a number of post-doctorial research projects including for Hampshire Music Centre, Canterbury Christchurch University and the University of Winchester. Vicky is now manager of the Music Centre at Winchester, a role which includes event management, choral leadership, volunteer management and composition for a wide variety of different music makers. Her current emphasis is on student and community engagement plus outcomes of formal and informal musicking.