broadcasting to both valleys at once
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7th July 2014
Heads Together Productions was awarded one of the Community Media Association commissions under the Modulate 2014 programme to create collaborative sound art linking three young writers with three sound artists/designers. Heads Together runs two internet-based community radio stations—East Leeds FM and Two Valleys Radio. As Le Tour is leaving from Leeds on Saturday 5th July and heads down one of the Two Valleys (the Holme Valley) on Sunday 6th—it seemed an obvious theme.!
Three pairs of cycling shorts!
The writers/artists decided to work in pairs with three different takes on Yorkshire and the tour. The three short pieces are available to listen to in full here.
(7 mins 14 secs) Ruby Lawrence and Ed Heaton
Inspired by the landscape of the Peak District, this short soundscape by writer Ruby Lawrence and sound artist Ed Heaton immerses the listener in stories, snapshots and memories. ‘Six For Gold’ takes an observant, personal look at the countryside that will soon be teeming with Tour de France activity. An intriguing narrator pulls out tiny tales from in-between rocks to create an experience of Yorkshire that is beautiful, strange…and sometimes disturbing.
Ruby Lawrence mainly writes prose, journalism and, as of recently, her first play, which won the Durham Drama Festival Best Play Award. You can find her blog which contains a collection of her work at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ed Heaton has been working as a freelance Sound Designer and Music Producer for over 12 years. He combines work with young musicians as ELFM Music Director with his own studio work and running a record label.
(10 mins 45 secs)
Charley Miles and Karen Lauke
“I can see the line in front of me and, suddenly, that familiar sensation is reinstated in my heart. I want to win. I have to win.”
Behind the cyclist that holds the trophy are other cyclists – other professionals – other men who also began as boys with dreams of glory. But at some point in their professional career, they made choices – of necessity or by chance – which meant that they would never be winners. They are the domestiques – the men who ride in the wind for their winner, saving him up to 40% of his energy across a race like the Tour de France.
Take the Wind positions the listener in the hearts and minds of these men in the last few kilometres of a stage of the Tour. The composition
features recordings made all around Yorkshire, alongside a palette of abstract sounds produced by recording, striking and bowing parts of a bicycle. Moving and speaking in strategic manoeuvres, and flying by the Yorkshire scenery, the domestiques find the space to tell their stories in the heat of the race: buzzing thoughts beside aching muscles, with barely half a pedal revolution in between.
Charley Miles graduated from Warwick University in 2012 and has returned to her native York, where she is working as a freelance
writer, director and script reader for various theatre companies. Most recently, she’s been assisting on a joyous promenade production of Midsummer Nights Dream at Ripley Castle.
Karen Lauke is a composer, sound artist and designer based in Manchester who seeks to explore the multi-disciplinary relationship between composition, text, space and the visual image, w!orking across theatre, installation and live performance.
(4 mins 00 secs)
Jasmine Simms and Greta Eacott
The people of Wakefield have responded to one question: do you have a bike? Their responses were genuine, intimate, warm, human.
What’s most striking is the areas of intersection between the individual stories; how they expose a collective unconscious around the subject of bikes.
As a community, we remember our Dads, the sensation of falling, being injured, the importance of place and the feeling of freedom.
Using interview recordings as material for the piece, these narratives become one narrative, centred around the story of a man (photographed) for whom ‘bike’ represents the importance of childhood and family: “we got the money first…then we got a bike”
These stories all touch on the theme of endurance, and our extraordinary capacity to “just do whatever we can really”. The structure of the piece draws inspiration from the natural formations of leading cyclist and peloton found in Tour De France cycling; with gentle shifting between the mass of voices (peloton), and the narrative of our main subject (leader) whose story emerges from out of the crowd.
This short piece uses found sound to explore what it means to have a bike – to be going somewhere – and, perhaps just as important at this time of excitement about cycling and human achievement, what it can mean to be without a bike.
Jasmine Simms lives in West Yorkshire, on the route of this year’s Tour de France. She has previously been the winner of the Ted Hughes Young Poet Award, the Cuckoo Young Writers Award, and was commended in the FOYLE Young Poets of the Year Awards (2012). As a writer, Jasmine is particularly interested in education and/or community projects.
Greta Eacott is a composer, marimba player and percussionist, working mainly with live experimental acoustic music.
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