Day 2: Packing and unpacking

The morning of the second day was spent sharing the material we had gathered on Monday and some overnight thoughts.

Everyone arrived with their boxes, they seem to have become a key element of the whole process and people seem to have developed some kind of attachment and relationship to them. The “made” memories they contain are becoming more real and deepening as the workshops go on and it’s lovely, quite simply.

Everyone played an extract of the song that they’d chosen and read the lyrics. Everyone’s choices were very different, and the music was ranging from traditional Irish folk tunes to Wannabe by the Spice girls. I might attempt to knock together a YouTube playlist of all the songs later on in the week. It would certainly be an interesting mix tape!

Following this fun musical start to the day, we all shared the recipes we had had to write on one of our postcards. This highlighted the fact that most people in the room had been thinking about houses from the childhood, and quite a few people had been devising their material based on memories of their grandparents.

 Here’s a list of the recipes people talked about;

– Chickpea dahl

– Bulgarian pepper and cheese delight

– Cupboard cake (a Norwegian recipe, also known as English tea bread apparently)

– Mushroom stroganoff

– Gooseberry crumble

– Stuffed vine leaves

– Corned beef mash

– Vegetable soup

– Confit de canard

– Marmite Toast

– Black sea pastry  (a Turkish dish, similar to lasagna)

– A cup of tea

– Sherry triffle

– Strawberries and beer

– Rice pudding

– Yogurt cake

This (somehow) led us to talk about the different visual ways to signify this; are our memories in colour? Are they still images? Are they super 8 films?

Following our coffee break, we went into the theatre, where we discovered the set we were about to start working with for the first time.

It’s a 3D space representing the corner of a house, it’s a blank space made by Simon, Live At LICA’s very own master carpenter (I think that’s what his full title is supposed to be…)

The space will be used as a screen, where thanks to a fascinating piece of software called Isadora, visual elements will be layered to create a digital environment to work within.

We had a discussion about the other elements that we could map onto the space, which are sound and text; which like the visual aspect of the piece could be live or mediated.

James said we could also explore the possibility of making the sound elements we will use in the show travel in a 3D space too, I’m not entirely sure about the technicalities of this, but if you’re interested, leave your questions in the comment box and I will pass them on to the music team!

 Before breaking for lunch, we all presented the photos that we had found the previous day during our journey to Lancaster, some of them might be used in the performance.

 Once fed, Simon gave a brief Isadora tutorial, highlighting the creativity and endless possibilities offered by this programming environment.

Put simply, Isadora is a big box of Lego bricks that can control video, sound and lighting in performance. Check out the software’s website for more information.

For the rest of the day, the artists split in three groups. One of the groups (which I joined) was to explore the performative aspects of the piece, working with text and bodies in the space, the second worked with James on creating a sound scape for the work and the third joined Simon in collating visual material and manipulating to create the filmscape for our show.

 In the evening, we shared a meal at Andrew and Alice’s lovely house and spent some time reflecting on the past couple of days and socialising, hence the lack of post yesterday, I was having too good a time to come home early and write the blog!Sorry!

Stay tuned for my notes from day 3, coming up very soon! In the meantime, here are some photos from day 2

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