Amika sing a wide ranges of songs from around the world.
Listen to the traditional Nigerian-Yoruba song Ise oluwa (The work of God will not be spoilt) which we sang at the Community Choirs Festival, at the Warwick Arts Centre in April 2009. This is a beautiful song and Una May's voice in the verses makes the hairs stand up at the back of your neck.
'We are' is from "Lessons by Y M Barnwell" (c1993). Una May's arrangement for the choir is both haunting and rhythmic.
We also love to sing Spirituals and I know I bin change is a fine example.
Some of our songs are very gentle an example is this Croatian love song Plovi Barko
The sound of the choir is great for Tamla Motown hits like The Tracks of my tears from Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.
..and to round off gospel in Down in the River to Pray.
(The word ‘gospel’ means good news and in the beginning was closely connected with the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It can be traced to the 18th century when the enslaved Africans in the New World were obliged to attend church with their masters, where they would have learnt various hymns. So gospel music has evolved out of an amalgamation of these hymns, negro spirituals and work songs. The repetitive nature of the songs meant that those who couldn’t read could learn them easily. As well as conveying a Christian message, the songs also expressed the misery & struggles of the slaves along with their hopes for a better life in Heaven.
Gospel music has been enjoyed for decades & continues to develop in variety & sound. In the tradition of the gospel churches, the call and response nature of the songs and the speaking reinforce beliefs. Nowadays, gospel songs are familiar to many & people across the world participate in listening as well as singing these songs. Frances Ryan)