Verity Standen




Undersong places you at the meeting point between threads of music. Voices weave amongst you and around the space, from a whispered duet to a screaming mob.

Nine singers build a vibrant language of a cappella music and movement as they bring to life a series of brand new compositions, which move between tender and expansive. 

You will be the very first people to experience Undersong, staged in three strikingly different venues across the festival.  Music is always at the heart of Verity Standen’s work. She creates sound worlds, using intricate vocal techniques and rich harmony. She has established a reputation around the UK and internationally for her innovative approach to music-making, exploring myriad ways audiences can experience the voice. 

This show takes place at three locations across the festival, including Chapter House at Bristol Cathedral (11—12 May), St George's (14—15 May) and Barton Hill Settlement (18—20 May).

There are no formal age restrictions for this performance, but bookers are advised that the music in this piece is at times very loud and has an intensity that might be overwhelming for very young humans. 

“Feels like the most immediate, visceral experience of music as human expression possible... like an antenna to heaven.”

TimeOut (on Verity Standen’s HUG)

“Standen’s surprising, ingenious compositions force us to hear the human voice in ways not previously imagined.”


Image By Jack Offord

Verity is a composer based here in Bristol, where she is Composer-in-Residence at Bristol Old Vic and runs her regular choir Utterance. Her previous works Mmm Hmmm and Symphony have both been seen at Mayfest, and her choral piece HUG is currently touring internationally, building a new choir in each location.