"A WEIRDLY THRILLING PROJECT FOR SURE."(WIRE Magazine)
Archives and collections as material for creative interpretation.
An evening at the Laurel And Hardy Museum, Ulverston showcasing some of the work from the project. Here are some excerpts from
John 's programme notes..
The ideas behind the “Foregrounding” work with Roose, Newton and Barrow Island schools were shaped and enhanced by Kate Davis. Kate is a great writer and her work with children is exemplary. She can make her own processes and enthusiasms tangible, and presents her work as a vital and energising part of her everyday life. Children see this, and want it for themselves.
I think that’s evident in what they’ve written and are reading here.
“For The Record” came from a chance encounter between a hangover and a box of old records in Leeds. “ Old Ribston In The Spa”/”The Ribston Revels” was pressed in 1960 by the same London independent label that made LP’S of CSE Exam questions, Folk Music Eps, and the first Lovers Rock Dubplates of Dennis Bovell. The record is credited to Iris Dyer. There are two noted Iris Dyers from Ribston, and both are piano players. The one I spoke to told me of the one I wanted to hear about. From there I found a number of ladies who were at Ribston when the record was made, and with the help of the Former Pupils Association I was able to put together a version of the story behind the record.
Jennie Dennett told me that Radio Cumbria had a vinyl library in Carlisle. On Richard Nankivale’s ok I searched it, catalogued chunks of it, and was on my knees in the middle of it when DJ Gordon Swindlehurst came to see what was doing. From there grew a number of spots on Gordon’s show, talking about this project and playing whatever I turned up. This included the burps and farts from Ron Geesin’s Music From The Body LP, some insects, Petula Clarke, Bill Oddie and the Sound Effects records that make up me and Ste Tyson’s DJ set tonight.
Last year on this project we put together a set made of Charity Shop record finds, and performed it as an accompaniment to “Sweet Charity” a set of trading cards I made telling the story of each record. We’re doing it again at the Other Worlds festival in Blackpool in April. Other Worlds is a cousin to FON, Barrow’s biennial New Music and Sound festival from The Octopus Collective.
The video pieces were conceived separately drawing on donated footage.
“Four Short Guitar Tunes Six Iron Gates” is a collection of my library / test card music , framed by pieces of field recording and suitable for Foley or incidental music . It would be nice if one day a copy turned up in that second hand record box in Leeds. The cardboard boxes that they arrived in have been recycled as badge-packets.
My thanks to: Kate Davis ; to the children and staff of Roose, Newton and Barrow Island schools; to Barrow Local Studies Library; to Emma Pullen at the National Trust and to the Friends Of Dalton Castle; to Caroline Gilfillan, Ceri Hutton, Fran Riley and Zosia Wand; ; to the staff and former pupils of Ribston Girls School; to Nicola Worthington at the Ulverston Parish Church Centre; to Ste Tyson; to Damo Rose; to Mark and the Laurel And Hardy Museum; to Mike Willoughby; to Jennie Dennett, Richard Nankivale, Gordon Swindlehurst, and Graham Moss at BBC Radio Cumbria ; to David Else; to Andy Adams at Tupton Hall School; to the Hope Anchor, Ulverston and to my friends and colleagues Glenn and Andrew at the Octopus Collective.
Pictures by Damo Rose, Andrew Deakin, Jennie Dennett, and
Mark at the Laurel And Hardy Museum.
THE LAUREL AND HARDY MUSEUM WEBSITE