I exhibited three quilt square made from my late father's handkerchiefs. Each of these quilt squares delves deeper into some of the themes of loss and sorrow introduced in the main artwork. It is my intention to continue adding this piece, called Triggers, with more quilt squares to eventually made a blanket.
Closeups of the images, above:
|I Can Take It|
I wish I had remembered to take a group photo of my partners. A huge thank you to University of Northampton lecturers and Wendy Turner, Dr Sonya Andemahr, Hayley Singlehurst-Mooney and art therapist Helen O'loughlin.
A video of Larissa's talk, Visual Artists and Pubic Memorial, here - TALK
Background to Routes of Sorrow music by OXUS
Our relationship with Pam Foley began a few years ago with Heather Birt, (viola player in OXUS) teaching the violin to Pam’s daughter at school. Subsequently, Pam came to hear OXUS perform Steve Reich’s Different Trains in concert. This piece uses a backing track with pre-recorded voices, to which the string quartet responds, echoing and imitating the speech patterns. When Pam was considering appropriate music to complement her Routes of Sorrow exhibition, she approached OXUS about composing and recording music using techniques similar to Different Trains.
We also wanted to use music that featured strongly in Pam’s memory of her childhood, and of her father in particular. Two songs had such significance: Winchester Cathedral by Geoff Stephens and King of the Road by Roger Miller. We Pam’s artpiece in St Barnabas’ Church in Oxford, and felt that her use of rose petals and handkerchiefs could be another source of musical inspiration. We also decided that the speech we would use in the recording would be that of Pam’s daughter.
Initially, we spent some time improvising around the two songs from Pam, and our own ‘rose’ melody, Roses from the South by Strauss, and a Hungarian folk tune, The Four Corners of my Handkerchief. Heather then recorded an interview with Pam’s daughter. We selected small snippets of speech from this recording, which we felt were evocative, yet could be incorporated into a rhythmic work. We isolated these, and spent some time with our sound engineer pitching the voice, so that the viola could imitate her as accurately as possible in our improvisation. We also re-ordered them to try to convey a transition from grief to hope. Her voice has not been altered in any way, yet it sounds very songlike in this setting.
Over a number of weeks, we used a recording of these snippets of speech to improvise around, gradually settling on a chord structure, and various rhythmic features. This would form the central section of the work. The first section is a free improvisation based on the songs rather than the speech. The final section remains influenced by the speech, but returns to the song themes. It is played on a loop, so the different sections are joined, yet still distinct.
It has been an unusual project for OXUS, yet very exciting and worthwhile. Because the music you hear is improvised over a backing track, it cannot be recreated in a concert hall. Hopefully it is therefore a fitting work of art in its own right to accompany Pam Foley’s exhibition.
Kate Bailey and Louise Graham (violin) Heather Birt (viola) Spike Wilson (cello)
Oli Whitworth (recording engineer)