Midamble – midway on our life’s journey

Midamble‘ was the title of a long form poem by Peter Jaeger whom we first encountered at Made of Walking at La Romieu, in south west France in 2017.  Made of Walking was the host to a number of live events that launched Sound Walk Sunday 2017.  So it was a delight that we had a reunion with Peter on Sound Walk Sunday  2019 (1 September) when he joined a mini symposium at LISTEN in Frome, Somerset.

Midamble is where we are with Sound Walk September (now that Sound Walk Sunday has grown up), halfway through the month we’ve already had the delight of more than 40 events taking place with approximately the same number to come, with new events being added as recently as late last week.

We have an active Facebook group to which many of our contributors allow have been sending images from their events and we are encouraging everyone, including you (Dear blog reader) to vote for their favourite walking piece (all those made in 2019 are eligible to win the Sound Walk September Award).

What we set out to do back in January this year, was to reprise Sound Walk Sunday 2017 this year on Sunday 1 September, and yet we were delighted to hear from so many people who answered our Open Call, wanting to put on events across the whole of September. We are already looking at ways in which we can establish Sound Walk September as an annual event and will be interested to hear from anyone who can help make this happen.

We know that funding and sponsorship for global events is hard to come by so we are likely to try to focus our efforts on building up local events, that in turn can then contribute in some way to the global umbrella.

We also want to encourage as much interaction and collaboration between contributors to Sound Walk Sunday/September and to encourage and support the making of new sound walks, taking advantage of new technologies as well as encouraging people to seek creative ways to interpret their environment.

So this is an invitation to you to take action:

The Placecloud app is a platform partner in #SoundWalkSeptember and together we are seeking ways in which people can record stores about significant places – we are calling them #mylandmarks.  Is there a building, green space, cafe, shop, tree, gallery, pub that triggers a resonance for you?  If so you can record a ‘placecast’ and have your audio story published on Placecloud as a #mylandmark – here is all you have to do…

However, if you are too shy to record something, how about writing a flash story of 250 words or under and entering our Flash #mylandmarks competition – winners are published in an anthology chapbook, and have the added bonus of their stories voiced by actors and published on Placecloud.  More details here

For either way of getting involved, just be aware that the closing deadlines are Monday 30th September.

Sound Walk Sunday / September – Who are the producers – Andrew Stuck

Hello my name is Andrew Stuck I am the founder of the Museum of Walking created to bring people together to make and showcase walking pieces and performances. I’m also a podcaster, interviewing creative people who use walking as a catalyst for their practice.  Talking Walking is now in it’s eleventh year with more than 100 episodes.

Back in 2006 I discovered an audio tour called “And while London burns” created by an activist art collective called Platform. It was an operatic audio tour in which you follow a barrel of oil as it is traded on the different exchanges in the City of London. It’s also a love story between two characters both at one time traders, one now having left the City to live an alternative life in a yurt in Cornwall. “And while London burns” wasn’t located media, the writers instead had used the surrounding land marks as guiding points for the listener. I was so excited by my discovery of “And while London burns” and by undertaking the walk, that I wanted to meet the people who made it and learn how to make similar sound walking pieces myself.

And while London burns” was in part, the inspiration for the Museum of Walking and the catalyst for Talking Walking too.

Through Talking Walking I’ve met many creatives who have made sound walks and walking pieces. They work in many media, some are performers, others musicians, choreographers, theatre producers, poets, writers, sound designers, technologists and walking artists. Often their work is no longer available, sometimes made purely for a one-off festival, or technological upgrades have made them in accessible.

Sound Walk Sunday grew out of the desire to make this work accessible again.  Our first step was to define what a Sound Walk could be as we wanted Sound Walk Sunday to be inclusive for all the different creatives we had encountered – the final wording we settled on is:

A sound walk, or walking piece, is any walk that focuses on listening to the environment, with or without use of technology, or adds to the experience through the use of sound or voice. This can include a scripted or choreographed score or work that has additional audio elements.

In 2017 we set up a simple directory and reached out, inviting people to submit work that they had already produced and also invited them to premiere new work on Sound Walk Sunday.

So on the last Sunday of August 2017 we had over 70 contributions from more than 50 artists with live events taking place in south west France, the United States, northern Canada,  Australia and in London. Sound Walk Sunday had captured the imagination and inspired people to make new work.

Sound Walk Sunday 2019 has become more than just Sunday 1st September as it now spreads across the whole of the month . We already have a number of international partners wanting to encourage new work with new audiences in their local areas, as well as to collaborate with creatives in other parts of the world.  We are hoping that many of you who read this blog will be inspired to submit work you may have already made or try your hand at making new work for Sound Walk Sunday 2020. You can submit work here.

All about walking blog posting is unpredictable – if it’s raining biblical downpours then a blog post is more likely to appear, in most other weather conditions we are out walking and not blogging on a keyboard…..