Tessa Marchington


The gaps between notes in music create the suspense. There are gaps in families, in education, in workplaces, in concert halls. She was in the Wigmore Hall with her husband. In the row in front of them was a young father and his two daughters, dressed for the occasion. Half way through, one daughter whispered a question in her dad’s ear. An older concert-goer in front turn round and sushed her with such force, it made the gap between them clear to Tessa.

On the surface choirs and office structures have a lot in common. They’re both groups of people working towards a common goal. But unlike corporate organisations  choirs have a changeable hierarchical system – it’s a natural part of the music. An office choir can have all levels of people in the company standing alongside each other. it creates a common language and activity, which brings more resonance between them.

At two weeks old she had heart surgery. Her left side of her body – and brain – were underdeveloped. She’s had speech therapy to help deal with it. At the same age as she started speech therapy, she started piano lessons with her mother. Her passion for music arose from this, as it gave her the ability to communicate when language was a struggle. Many adults come to her to learn so they can share an experience with their children.

If you recognise where gaps are, accept them, and then build new dialogues between people, the gap is dissolved…

James Davey

in 1871, a fire that lasted three days destroyed 100,000 homes in Chicago. A reporter discovered that an Irish lady may have started the fire – this was a time when Irish immigrants were not welcomed jn the city. But over time, it emerged that it was her cow knocking over her oil lantern that started it. This turned into a song – and the TEDxBrighton audience are going to sing it.

He turned us into a choir, an experience that can only be captured in video: