Simon Reeve’s documentary about Pilgrimage was informative and has cemented the idea that the purpose of our audio walk definitely needs to be with a focus on a ‘journey’. Pilgrimages are plagued with symbolism – which we didn’t even know about. A scallop is a symbol of a pilgrimage allover the world. As part of an initiation process for our walk we wanted people to take something as an acceptance into our journey, the scallop is a good idea both practically and symbolically as certain people will recognise the symbolism and others will learn this at the end of their ‘pilgrimage’. The sense of a journey will hopefully be felt by subtle changes along our tour – such as the shift in age of the voices in the audio and a knowledge about certain spots in the cathedral that they didn’t have before. Through reading an extract from Theatre/Archaeology there is a statement that says “Do not begin with the question ‘what is it?’ instead ask ‘what does it do?'” (Pearson and Shanks 2001, 53). This is the mentality we hope to instil in our Pilgrims throughout their journey. For example when looking at the scallop – what does it do? It is a recognised symbol of pilgrimage and it represents the sacrifice undertaken to travel to a site of religious importance. This is a far better outlook than simply stating what the scallop is.
I also decided to re-listen to some of the Guardian podcasts we listened to earlier in the semester. This has been useful as they have been created for a specific place just like our walk has. This has been useful as it has helped me think critically about background noises in the audio. Some of the background noises can be quite distracting for example the sipping in Adrian Howells and the ‘drip’ and ‘patter’ in Lemn Sissay’s. This has made me think we should have realistic sounds appropriate to the Cathedral grounds.
Pearson, M. and Shanks, M. (2001) Theatre/Archaeology. London: Routledge.
Recently we have been having a bit of trouble developing our idea further, however, yesterday we had a bit of an idea. Since gaining access to Westgate school was becoming less likely, we decided all the viewpoints may not be from children, this then actually inspired us to pursue our idea further and incorporate view points from people of all ages. We could then perhaps subtly incorporate this into our walk in the form of a pilgrimage, viewpoints starting off as more imaginative in the start while becoming more realistic as the journey/pilgrimage goes on. Two years ago I went on a Pilgrimage in Rome and safe to say I felt very differently about the place when I left than when I arrived, although our walk wont be as long as my pilgrimage I want to incorporate this sense of a journey and change into our walk.
Unknowingly to us we had s similar vision to Southbank centre a ‘world famous arts centre’ in London. They have the vision of “Part walking tour, part site-specific performance, this urban pilgrimage combines poetry, soundscapes and storytelling to scrape away at the surface of the city, revealing the hidden histories and geological realities beneath our feet.” (Chivers, 2013) And quite frankly I can’t believe the similarity in our idea to this statement considering we have only just seen this. This inspires me to pursue our idea as we created it organically from walking around Lincoln Cathedral, just as a world famous arts centre have had the same idea from a whole different stimulus.
Tom Chivers (2013) Southbank Centre. [Online] Available from http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/tom-chivers-73727 [Accessed on 17th March 2015]
Throughout research for our piece we have come across poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Not only are these appropriate because the statue around the cathedral is one of our stop off points on the map, but the poem we have found also corresponds with our theme of looking at the world through the perspective of a child. Tennyson has written a poem called ‘Cradle Song’:
What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till thy little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.
What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till thy little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.
(Tennyson, 1933, 5)
This has led us to discuss the oppression we are sometimes felt as children. Childhood is supposed to be a time of freedom but often and especially in modern times children don’t have the childhood freedom they perhaps should. The poem talks of a ‘birdie’ who wants to fly away but his mother insists he stays until he is stronger, this has led us to propose a new stance on our walk: we want to instil the freedom on our audience that a child should have, we want them to leave their bags (coats if they wish) and give them ultimate freedom to be alone with their thoughts and explore the grounds like they never have before. The idea that they download the track onto their phone is so maybe in the future they may stumble across it and it should take them back to that freedom felt by them as they participate in our tour.
Watson Bain, A. (1933) A poetry book for boys and girls. Cambridge: University Press.
After reading Urban adventure in Rotterdam I was fascinated by the idea of doing a performance with a focus on the ordinary things in life.This idea goes alongside with our plan to do an audio walk with the voices of children as they too recognise the excitement in things we may see as ordinary.So far our plan is to incorporate an audio walk with a map (drawn by a child) with numbered stops along the way for audience members to play a part of the podcast in which the child will talk about what they see (which we will have recorded from earlier). One of the stops around the cathedral is the statue of Alfred Lord Tennyson which has inspired us to incorporate poems into our walk as read out by a child, this we hope will inspire the participants to see different ways things can be interpreted; not just words but physical things such as status or engravings in the cathedral. One particular part of our walk where this will have emphasis is at the front of the cathedral an engraving that could be seen as quite sinister to an adult but we are hoping to a child it will be received very differently.
Urban Adventure in Rotterdam. (2013) [blog entry] 29 June. Available from http://uair01.blogspot.nl/2013/06/yet-another-countertourism-tactic-2.html [Accessed 2nd March 2015].
Originally we thought doing site specific in the rain was a miserable affair. However, the weather forces people to do things differently and we found inspiration from today that we probably would not have found had we been outside. We decided to go into the cathedral to see what we could hear from people and their take on the cathedral. There was a family including two small children that we encountered more than once in our trip and we noticed something very interesting. Children’s perspectives on things are not only very different to an adults but their insight seems to provide much more excitement to a place. When we were in the Chapter House one of the children came running in loudly to the space unaware of the noise he was making and it opened our eyes to the world from a child’s perspective. This we thought could be a good idea for our performance; looking at a place from a child’s perspective. In order to gather information we aim to ask Children or young adults to tell us a story about the Cathedral, based on anything and we aim to take inspiration from this. We would like to do this as we believe the world can be seen as a playground through the eyes of a child and we would like people to consider this when visiting a new place, but also revisiting an old place with child-like eyes. The benefit of this would be that by viewing a site as a playground, people can step away from conventions such as walking on pavements where they could be missing small areas and sights that would be seen, say if they walked on the grass. Our aim is to encourage people to look past the norm the way that children do so naturally.