A couple of weeks back we headed into the second phase of our pARTicipate project. This was when the school children from Coldingham and Eyemouth primary schools got a chance to have a show an tell session with Howard Moody, our composer for the project, and Kirsten Hunter from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (pictured left).
The children were recounting their visit to St Abb's Head, their experiences observing, listening to and recording the seabirds and the "sonic postcards" that they put together to portray their experiences in sound. Howard then spent some time working with the children on some composition - using sounds from their recordings and words that the children used to describe their thoughts and feelings about the wildlife of St Abbs. A fantastic experience for all involved.
But this was only part of what Howard and Kirsten had come to St Abbs for. They were also wanting to spend time in the area, learning more about the coastal and marine reserves and experiencing what is special about them (picture right, exploring the site of St Aebbe's Monastery). But also exploring the wider locality, learning more about the history of the area and the links between man and the sea and the sea's wildlife. And meeting with people locally to see if they would like to be involved in the project, like the local Fishermen's Choir and the Mission Crew singing group. In total Howard and Kirsten spent three days in the area, and during that time I think they really became inspired by how amazing this small part of the Berwickshire coast really is.
The next phase is for Howard to star work on his composition. He intends to return for a few short visits in the autumn and spring to work with the local community, and by May or June next year the Scottish Chamber Orchestra will be showcasing the new composition on their South of Scotland Tour.