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Soundwalks will pop up for Remembering Together Moray

By Chris Saunderson

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THE loss of life during the Covid-19 pandemic and community spirit which shone through will be remembered in Moray through a series of pop-up soundwalk events.

Caroline Inckle and Graeme Roger launch Remembering Together Moray. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Caroline Inckle and Graeme Roger launch Remembering Together Moray. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

The "immersive soundwalks" will visit a number of local communities – including beaches, parks, lochs, supermarkets and even the 840 metre summit of Ben Rinnes.

Remembering Together Moray has been co-created with local communities to collectively reflect upon the pandemic.

It is part of Scotland’s Covid Community Memorial Programme, delivered by Greenspace scotland with funding from the Scottish Government.

Over the last 12 months, Moray-based lead artists Graeme Roger (Wildbird) and Caroline Inckle (Studio Constella), have worked with community groups, artists and musicians to deliver a constellation of sound, words and images.

The pop-up soundwalks are planned for three consecutive weekends from Thursday, August 17 to Sunday, September 3.

The locations will be at Aberlour, Forres, Tomintoul, Cullen, Hopeman, Keith, Elgin, Millbuies Loch, Cabrach, Ben Rinnes and Spey Bay.

Devised by composer and sound artist Lucie Treacher, the soundwalks have been developed in collaboration with community groups and other local musicians.

At each location a collage of voices, sounds and music lasting approximately 20 minutes will be played through headphones to help create moments of reflection and remembrance for the listener.

All soundwalks are free and open to all members of the public, but tickets will be available for timed slots lasting up to an hour.

All tickets should be booked in advance and are available online via Eventbrite.

All soundwalk events will be ticketed except for the Ben Rinnes and Elgin and Keith Tesco soundwalks.

Remembering Together Moray is part of a national project designed to commemorate those who have lost their lives, and those who have experienced loss and change.

It is also about celebrating the ways in which communities came together during the most difficult times.

Moray Council, tsiMoray, UHI Moray, Findhorn Bay Arts, M:ADE (Moray Arts Development Engagement) and the Moray Lieutenancy are local project partners in Moray.

In addition to the soundwalks, the project locally also comprises:

A written commission by writer Chris Lee which will draw on the lived experiences of people in Moray taken from newspaper and social media archives, woven into a fictional narrative and printed as a book for Moray libraries.

The Northern Scot supported Chris Lee's work in this respect by giving him full access to its digital media archives and all the stories written for online and print during the pandemic.

A new traditional tune for Moray has also been composed by musicians Duncan Chisholm and Hamish Napier.

Graeme Roger and Caroline Inckle, lead artists for Remembering Together Moray, said it had been a "privilege and a great responsibility" to work on the project.

They said: "We are very fortunate to be working with a group of artists who have the talent and experience to respond to this type of sensitive brief. The ethos of collaboration and co-creation, running through the project, has been really special to work with and has felt like an appropriate approach to working with such a unique collective experience.

“Our aim is to create a space of collective reflection encompassing the individual and the shared experience, and this has come out of working with and responding to the lived experiences of people in Moray during a time when we have all been slowly coming to terms with the unfolding impacts of the pandemic.

"The project doesn’t try to reflect everyone's Covid experience, but we hope that the work produced will provide a space of reflection which we can all relate to in some way.”

Lucie Treacher, composer and sound artist, added: “The Covid pandemic is a really interesting theme to explore from a sonic perspective. Covid times for many were actually pretty quiet, but emotionally and internally a lot was going on, and I want to capture the varied experiences local people have had in this sound collage.

"It’s been interesting personally to delve back to a time and headspace that I’ve sort of tried not to think too much about. I’m really enjoying hearing all the really diverse experiences from different local people about their time in lockdown and weaving their voices into the project.”

And Carla Almeida, programme manager co-lead of Remembering Together, said: “It has been wonderful to see how artists and creative producers have worked so sensitively, and with such care and empathy, in every part of Scotland to co-create memorial projects with communities.

"In Moray, the blending of north-east traditions with contemporary soundscapes, images and new writing is exceptionally moving, a fitting response to the lived experience of individuals, families and communities during the Covid pandemic.”

YOU can book a free ticket at www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/remembering-together-moray-68063743263.

Dates and Locations

Aberlour Old Station, Thursday, August 17 (1-7pm).

Wee FIBbees Garden, Grant Park, Forres, Friday, August 18 (1-7pm).

Elgin Biblical Gardens, Saturday, August 19 (10am-4pm).

Tomintoul Town Square, Sunday, August 20 (10am-4pm).

Cullen Beach, Thursday, August 24 (3.30-8.30pm).

Hopeman Beach, Friday, August 25 (3.30-8.30pm).

Ben Rinnes, Saturday, August 26 (10am-3pm).

Keith Tesco, Sunday, August 27 (10am-4pm).

Millbuies Loch, Thursday, August 31 (1-7pm).

Cabrach Trust, Friday, September 1 (2-7pm).

Spey Bay Dolphin Centre, Saturday, September 2 (11am-4pm).

Elgin Tesco, Sunday, September 3 (10am-4pm).

Booking link: www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/remembering-together-moray-68063743263

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