“Orchestrated Serendipity”

“A place owes its character to the experiences it affords to those who spend time there – to the sights, sounds and indeed smells that constitute its specific ambience” (Ingold, 2000,192)

Our original idea for our audio walk involved a lot of quite forced audience participation, however things have worked out differently as our ideas panned out. Instead, we are trying a ‘gifting’ approach with our audience – we want to look after and ‘nurture’ our audience this is so they can have a fruitful experience – we want them to feel comfortable, not forced to do things or out of their comfort zone but allow them to be alone with their thoughts, something a lot of people don’t get to do very often because of the fast paced lifestyle many people lead.

One of the audio’s we intend to use was recorded by one of our groups family members, this was because we wanted a relaxed recording – not recorded by an actor of any kind – just an ordinary person. This resulted in a couple of (barely noticeable) hiccups which we have decided to keep. This is in order to sustain an informal approach and hopefully relax the audience members so they feel comfortable and therefore open to personal reflection.

Referring to the earlier quote from The Perception of the environment we have decided to regard the locals of Lincoln in our piece. In the beginning we unintentionally avoided anything that could be a distraction to our audience instead of realising we could use this to our advantage. The place we have chosen wouldn’t be as it is today without the people making it so and we have decided to pay homage to that and note them in our walk. We will refer to them as soldiers in the square and ask them to take notice of them. This is because of the nature of our performance – it is about a journey – everyones personal journey. At this point in the walk where we refer to the people of Lincoln it is to encourage our audience to think of others journeys as well as their own and what has caused them along their journey to be there at the exact same point in time. In Mike Pearson’s introduction to Site Specific Performance Sue Palmer states “It is not just about a place, but the people who normally inhabit and use that space. For it wouldn’t exist without them” (Wilkie, 2002, 145) therefore we decided to incorporate ‘orchestrated serendipity’ into our piece, a phrase inspired by Fortnight a project which happens in only a handful of cities and allows the participants (who are locals) to see the place with fresh eyes – which is exactly what we intend to do. How we will do this is use subtle symbols around our tour which relate to the audio. For instance we may decide to ask our audience to think about their day – what has happened this morning? What is in the news? and along the walk could be a person reading a newspaper, something so ordinary it is barely noticeable, but, we intend to do a few of these so hopefully the audience will notice and keep their eyes peeled for every subtle ‘coincidence’.

Ingold, T (2000) The Perception of the Environment: Essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill. London: Routledge.

Pearson, M. (2010) Site Specific Performance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

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