Saturday, 21 May 2011

Sounding things out...

Early May saw the launch of the St Abbs pARTicipate Project; pARTicipate being new initiative from the Trust's Education department, which seeks to explore and engage people with the Trust's conservation work, through the arts. At St Abbs the Trust is working together with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) and Scottish Borders Council’s Arts Development Team towards a new music composition. Composer, Howard Moody is being commissioned to write a piece that celebrates the significance of the coastal and marine nature reserves at St Abbs.

Enagagement of the local community is a fundemantally important part of the project and on 10th May P6 pupils from Coldingham and Eyemouth Primary Schools spent the morning in the classroom with Audio Artist, Pippa Murphy, learning how to make field recordings and then I went in to introduce them to the various seabirds we have at St Abbs. Then in the afternoon we all went up to St Abb's Head (picture top) to explore and capture the sounds of the seabirds and other environment sounds. The pupils will then create their own ‘Sonic Postcards’ of St Abbs and the sounds they have recorded will be encorporated into the new composition by Howard Moody. The composition will be performed as part of the SCO’s South of Scotland Tour in 2012.

The weather for the site visit was challenging as it was pretty windy, but we spent some time up at the Head recording the seabirds as best we could, and then sought the shelter of Starney Bay and recorded some of the sounds of the shore from sea level (picture below...recording the sound of scrunching pebbles). Pippa will be spending two days with the pupils next week working on their raw recordings, and I, for one, am rather excited to hear the end result of all their labours!

Later in the summer, it will be the turn of local visual artist, Sarah Riseborough, to enage the wider local community in the project. But more of that nearer the time...

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