On Common Ground – bone conduction soundwalk for Greenham Common

Written by caroline

Excited to be working with Valentina Ceschi and Kate Lane of Brave New Worlds again in collaboration with Seedbed 101 on a site-specific piece for Greenham Common on 26 July 2019. I will use bone conduction headphones in combination with recorded sound to present a soundwalk to be experienced as part of Brave New Worlds physical theatre performance at the site.

I have been experimenting with bone conduction headphones for some time, since working with poet Murray Lachlan Young on some site-specific pieces in 2017. I was unhappy that conventional headphones cut a listener off from their surroundings and the natural world and to me that seemed anathema to the concept of a soundwalk. Developed for the safety of cyclists and other sportspeople who need to be able to hear their surroundings, the bone conduction headphones deliver sound directly to the bones in front of the ears, bypassing the eardrums completely and leaving the ears free to pick up sound as they usually would. It’s an extraordinary experience being able to hear the surrounding sonic environment as well as the material in the headphones – a sort of layering effect that is really great to play with… this resonates with my work with transducers (which are actually on the cheekbones this time) and my blurring of acoustic boundaries.

I have recorded performance poet, Joelle Taylor’s Ansisters – a poem she wrote while living at Greenham in the 80s – and am collecting oral histories from women who were at Greenham Common in the 1980s. The project is a great opportunity to bring the voices of some of the women who carried out this extraordinary act of resistance back to the site.

There will be two performances, starting at the site of the Control Tower, Greenham Common at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on 26 July 2019.

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