Poets, singers and musicians prepare for SERENITY open mic night at Bradford Cathedral

Serenity: Poetry, Song and Music is an open mic event and an opportunity for anyone who would like to perform poetry, music, song, movement or anything else in the magnificent space of Bradford Cathedral. We spoke to one of the organisers, Mussarat Rahman, about the Artspace event, how it came about, and how you can both be part of the audience and take part!

How did the idea for Serenity: Poetry, Song and Music come about?
I am quite a spiritual person and people don’t often get to see that side of me. I’m an actual trained healer, trained in various healing modalities.  I use many therapeutic techniques and styles within my community work and most of my projects are deigned to have healing and therapeutic benefits. I’ve been exploring different modalities and religions for a while now; I am very open to the mysticism of spirit. I’ve translated my experiences into Art, Poetry and finding silence within spaces.

 I am from a south Asian background and was brought up a Muslim. I believe in the oneness of spirit.  I feel like there’s one God, a spiritual consciousness, a universal energy that flows through the universe, but we all call it a different name. People will approach the consciousnessfrom various angles, looking for something.

What is the idea behind Serenity?
The idea was born from the concept of bringing diverse communities together to explore religion and faith but in a beautiful space such as the cathedral.

Different communities and different people have different views and some people feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. I thought that by having such an event that we can help dispel these myths. The cathedral is such a great space and is used for so many community events. Serenity is all about reaching out to people who have a strained relationship with spirituality and how they perceive it and feeling comfortable in religious buildings. It’s aimed at anybody, whether they’re religious or non-religious. Some people don’t have a relationship with God or like spiritual buildings or don’t see the use and value of such spaces. The aim is to bring people together, to explore different venues, and show people what different places are like.

And people can take part in the event?
We’ve already got about twenty poets, musicians and artists booked on! We have let people know the content of the event: it’s about faith and spirituality, exploring the cathedral and about spirituality, whether you are or aren’t. People are interested in exploring different communities and religions, so it’s giving them a chance to experience it no matter what your background is.

What would you say to encourage someone to sign up if they’ve never done this sort of open mic event before?
It’s about exploring faith, and coming to enjoy the beautiful space of the cathedral, with like-minded folk. And if you just want to watch, come along to listen to what people have to say, and check out the vibes!

And will you be performing yourself?
I will. Both myself and Sharena will be performing!

Finally, will there be a follow-up to this event?
We’re looking at doing some more collaborations and events, which won’t be just about poetry but combining other things from the creative arts sector. Keep an eye out for those, as they’re coming up!

Serenity: Poetry, Song and Music takes place from 7pm on Wednesday 29th January at Bradford Cathedral. You can book a slot of up to 8-10 minutes by contacting Mussarat Rahman or Sharena Lee Satti. Refreshments will be served during an interval break at 8pm.

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