One space may contain many different memories however who truly knows the depths of these memories and the history behind them .
We think about what we are doing now, and what we may have been doing in that place at a different time, or even somebody we know, what they may have done? Its a capsule of time. Every memory is overlapped by another, so what if you can walk across them all while being introduced to different aspects of each of them.
Audio walks can link many different paths, they may also make you think about the surrounding area in various ways however the crossing of different sounds through centuries, the idea behind having cars crossing yet then hearing a horse and carriage for the different means of travel. The bombs and shouting from battles going on to the messages given from those who used to travel across such an area of land. Each space has a way of remembering these moments through time.
Richard Long (Jackson, S) is a creative artist who looks at a landscape and takes art to a different level, he creates art by walking through landscapes, as well as photographing sculptures which are made along the walks. He then turns walks into text works. Each frame of art is transitioned into something else to create a different form, this style of art is extremely useful in creating a time capsule of events as if means you can create different artistic elements for different time periods on each landscape. Therefore a walk, sculpture and photographs could all lay upon one site yet they my all be showing different memories and time periods, meaning the audience has to think about different times and elements yet still in the same site.
Jackson, S. Richard Long. [online] Available from: http://www.richardlong.org/index.html [Accessed 23 April 2015].
I did have some problems making the salt dough as we were working with to ingredients that are very dry, so someone who has eczema it didn’t take long for my hands to crack and feel sore, so I had to stop and have another job and wrap the salt dough in cling film. The way I will resolve this problem for next time will be wearing gloves.
So for next time we will be buying, probably a little more than we did for the rehearsal so we can have about 400 worth or so. I will be wearing gloves and we will have more a sustain batch of salt dough from the recipe.
Next blog will be talking and evaluating on the rehearsal and what we learnt from the experience…
With the rough audio done we decided to book a meeting with our tutor Rachael and give it a test run with her and get feedback on anything we needed to improve. After she completed our route with the audio she met back with us to give us her opinion on it and tell us any changes we could make to improve it. She loved the end moment which we very pleased with as this was our biggest challenge. Rachael also pointed out to us that even though she like the walk it was too short and she was standing at the Cathedral for too long and to maybe consider add things into our audio that would make people stop to extend the time they spend on the walk to allow them to end up at the cathedral at the right time. Finally she told us to add things such to build up to the final moment and to think about why we started at Newport arch and finished at Exchequer gate and find the significance in that in relation to our audio walk.
Theres been many moments over the last couple of days that have ‘thrown a complete spanner in the works’. I knew that the devising process was always going to be hard, but working with audio make that devising process even more complicated.
Orchestrated serendipity and The Happenings.
As a group we decided that we needed more substance to the performance, not regarding the audio, but external happenings that could influence the audience. We started to research into how to create subtle coincidences around the walk. If an audience member whiteness them it may make them stop and wonder if it was pre planed or just an extreme act of fait. Im personally fascinated by these moments of coincidence that makes you wonder if it was just random, or wether fait has brought you to it for a reason. We wanted to plant these moment within the performance and create moments of ‘orchestrated serendipity’, allowing the spoken meaning within the audio to occasionally reflected the ‘outside world’. Rachel Happe’s definition of the term orchestrated serendipity is clear and helped us considerably to understand what we would do to create such impacting moments. She stated that ‘you or an entire organization can create an environment where serendipity and luck are likely to occur, where you will notice it, and where you can effectively take advantage of it’ (Happe, 2008). This then led us to look into Prototype theatre company’s project Fortnight. They held two week long pervasive media performances in cities such as Nottingham and Lancaster where they would create ‘complex geographies of encounters – some which feel strange, some which feel theatrical, some which feel immensely personal’ (Allison, 2011,18). Allan Kaprow’s Happenings were also something that inlufenced our thought process regarding coincidence. He commented on his work stating that ‘the line between The Happening and daily life should be kept as fluid and perhaps instinct as possible’(Kaprow, 1993, 62). This fluidity is something we want to include as we don’t want the moments to be too obvious so they are still questionable.
Creating the audio.
Over the last week we created a trial run of the audio in order to test it out and find any flaws in the timings etc. We recording Fleur’s voice for each audio track and then I took them home and edited them on Audacity. I added some sound, adjusted the timing of the pauses, edited the background noise and added in the external voice recordings. Below is an example of our first trial run at the audio:
We decided that rather than it being half an hour or more with just a single voice, sound effects and music would enhance the audio. We added the sound effect of children playing, wedding bells, marching, and musical instrumental to accompany the final speech. We looked into new audio recording performances and back over the Everyday Moments podcasts. Josie Long’s everyday moment podcast (Long, 2011)was to be listened to whist shopping in a supermarket. In the background there were sounds of tills beeping, the hustle and bustle of people shopping. This use of sound effects was really effective at portraying where the listener should be, so we tried out our recordings with subtle sound effects that correlated to the specific age we were representing. Michael Pinchbeck’s project Sit With Me For A While And Rememberused slow hypnotic music to enhance the spoken words, and personally it made me engage with the topic of conversation more. I found this really interesting and so inserted a music track under the final speech:
Our intention was to hammer home the idea of inevitability of death (as depressing as that sounds) and we believed the music really enhanced the words of the speech.
Trial run through of performance.
On Tuesday 21st April we invited Rachel to become an audience member and take part in a trial run of our performance. We decided to go an hour prior to Rachel’s visit to trial it out for ourselves. As we arrived the cathedral grounds were packed with priests, solders, and local families for the revealing of the commemorative memorial for the 1945 food drop in Holland. Many of our sites were occupied by the ceremony such as the judgment gates, the pathway to site 2 and to site 3, and the green we start on. This forced us to change the route and meant Rachael couldn’t experience it fully.
However on our trail run we noticed that most of the timings of the pauses were off (especially audio 2), and it made the whole thing quite overwhelmingly confusing. We decided then that we would need to limit the amount of description we give for instructions as we can’t predict where the audience will be when we say ‘to your left and you’ll see a lamppost’. When I followed the instructions, I hadn’t even made it round the corner and the lamppost wasn’t even in sight.
After Rachel complete the trail run, she gave us feedback on how and what to improve. The overall concept seemed to be solid enough, however the way we had phrased the audio and the tone of voice that was used came across patronising, which was far from our intention! Over the next few days we will re-recording the audio as a companion accompanying them on the journey, changing the tone of voice, and suggesting instructions rather than abruptly telling them what to do.
Happe, R. (2009) 5 Ways to Orchestrate Serendipity. [blog entry] 8 December. Available from http://www.thesocialorganization.com/2009/12/5-ways-to-orchestrate-serendipity.html [Accessed 20 April 2015].
Hui, Allison. (2011) Art as an everyday intervention: shifting times, places and mobilities in the pervasive media performance project “Fortnight”. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Baptist University.
Kaprow, A. (1993) Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life. California: University of California Press.
Long, J. (2011) Everyday Moments 8: audio drama for private performance. [podcast] 23 August. Available from http://www.theguardian.com/culture/audio/2011/aug/23/theatre-josie-long [Accessed 20 April 2015].
So Monday’s rehearsal & prodution meeting was based around making our clay from salt dough. It was an experience I must say.
It was a first time experience creating salt dough for me. I didn’t think it was going to take nearly 4 hours to create 190 hand size dough balls. That time doesn’t include the 45 minute trip to morrisons to buy more products, by more products it was Salt (12 bags), plain flour (6 bags) and two bottles of vegatable oils as well as three rolls of cling film. All coming to a grand total of £12.
As agreed from the last production meeting we as a group we’d planned on doing a full day dress run on Tuesday 21st to see what works and what needs improving or editing for the actual performance day.
Things didn’t go excatly to plan, we arrived at the garden just after 9am to start the cycle of exchanging clay with a handshake down at the Pottergate to walk a planned route to the garden.
We did 4 hours straight without proper breaks as we had orignally planned in previous meetings that we would take breaks when we were in the garden. Luckily we were blessed with beautiful sunny weather which we thought was perfect however the sun wasn’t really the best thing as we discovered. One of the members within the group started developing the onset of sun stroke from the heat. So we had to call the dress run short.
I felt we did have a positive response and interest by the general public who were using the garden for tea & cake but when I was sat in the Pottergate people walking past or on public transport were giving strange looks as the salt dough wrapped up in cling film looked similar to wrapped up drugs.
As a group we have discussed that we will do another dress run this week coming, change the colour of the dough so it doesn’t look as strange when its wrapped up. Have a one hour break to split up the day. We have taken on board with Rachel’s comment that the model clay figures need to be bigger than a hand full, but by doing this we need to add lolly sticks to the mixture so the figures can stand up and be slightly stronger.
Till the next blog
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