I have a dream, about music and you

I have a dream and a vision and I believe in connection, and that collaboration allows the creation of far more than one mind could see.

I would like to invite you, whoever you are, wherever you are, to participate in a collaboration contributing to a piece for a concert-type event at my university at the end of April.

It is a positive action event to affirm life, music, and each other called ‘Singing for Unity: Hear our Voices’. It coincides with a certain 100 days, when many of us might like a reminder of the positive aspects of education and the arts. This event is not about politics, but about people, music, and life.

All sorts of contributions are invited: spoken word, music, poetry… It is open.

I would like to make two things- firstly a song. (Yes, I know I play the cello) The old Dylan song – The times they are a changing. I love it. Now here’s the invitation. I had in mind something like the giant internet choir project of Eric Whitacre, but then I thought, hey wait, I can think broader….  And I reached out to a friend in Arizona who recorded sent me an audio track of the chords HERE

and I thought wouldn’t it be great if this could become something more? Remixed into something- a bigger work? The song is the basis and I invite people to contribute how they see – with your dream, your vision. The event will have contributions people from across disciplines at my uni, and I thought it would be a great thing to include the wider educational and artistic community as well.

I would love to have images, music, a verse without words and with different instruments. I would love to have everyone send me their voice, or a talking head, or even just some words that I could edit in over an instrumental section where people said something – a sentence.


I believe in connection.  (that might be what I say)


Maybe people’s ‘I believe’ sentences string together to become a poem in themselves. (You can see this idea developing as I type.)

I am good at ideas, but I need you to make them work, so please take up the invitation. Feel free to contribute anonymously or as you, however you feel comfortable, to either (or both) of these two things (to interpret as you wish):

1.     A contribution to ‘The times they are a changing’, which could be sound, music, image. The basic song is based on the Peter, Paul, & Mary version (because I really like that one) and the guitar backing is here:

2.     A sentence, in audio, typing (you could always leave a comment below, and I am happy to string them together), or a video of you saying something positive. I suggest the beginning ‘I believe’ or ‘I will’ or ‘I am committed to’…

Feel free to comment on the post, email me, or you could even post a letter! (that would be exciting!) Hope you join me as a named or anonymous contributor.

(featured image ‘the way the wind blows’ by Thomas Hawk CC-BY-NC)


  1. Maha Bali

    I believe that human relationships have the power to promote empathy, and I believe that empathy with people different from ourselves can make all the difference in a seemingly ugly world

  2. Catherine Cronin

    Hi Laura… I love this idea! I’d really love to be in the room/hall, wherever you and others perform this wonderful work of art. But in lieu of that, I send you my warmest thoughts and good wishes for the event.

    The “I believe” statement that rings strongest with me is this one:

    I believe in the power of love to change the world.

    Last month I was in Cape Town for 2 weeks and had the opportunity, at last, to visit Robben Island. I made the journey with 7 other women. We were from Ireland, the UK, South Africa, Kenya, Canada, Brazil and Venezuela. It was an experience of a lifetime and that one “I believe” statement is what I left with. So I share it with you 🙂

    All the best & I look forward to hearing all about it,
    x Catherine

    1. Post

      Thank you so much Catherine, Geoff, Alan, Fiona, Kevin, and Adam, who added this to me in an email: I believe that without struggle there is no progress; I believe that without dark there is no light; I believe that without failure there is no success; I believe that without perspiration there is no peace.

      I’m still working on compiling… and there’s still time for a few more to add their sentence. Thank you!

  3. Pingback: "All sorts of contributions are invited: spoken word, music, poetry… It is open." via @laura_ritchie https://www.lauraritchie.com/2017/04/11/i-have-a-dream-about-music-and-you/

  4. Geoffrey Gevalt


    This came out. Not sure whether it has any relevance whatsoever to what you are doing. Use some or all or none as you see fit.

    I had a neighbor once,
    a blind man who said
    he hadn’t eaten trout since the war,
    since he lost his sight.
    So early one morning
    I caught a bunch
    and went to his house
    and fried them up in bacon grease
    just like he liked them.
    And we ate for a couple of hours or so
    in the silence
    of our connection
    in the dark of his kitchen
    on a cool summer day.

  5. Fiona Harvey

    Oh wow, Laura. I hope you pull this off. I’ll join in, but believe me, me singing anything would it be a performance that you could use . I’ll have a think and will probably just send a sentence for you to use. Good luck

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