“Lullabies” celebrates the diversity of cultures that have come to call Bristol home.
Through both my Ignite Artist Residency at Trinity Arts Centre Bristol, and Research and Development funding from Arts Council England, I am at the early stages of collecting and recording lullabies from the diverse communities across Bristol as the starting point for a new cross art, community led piece of work.
The sharing of these lullabies leads also to the sharing of the stories behind the songs and the various stories of heritage and migration to this city. For the research and development stage of this ‘Lullabies’ piece I have a the support and creative input of a great team, Sound Designer Peter Vilk , Visuals Tom Newell Creative Producer Katy Noakes, Designer Ruth Ramsay, Dramaturg, Edson Burton.
Inspiration behind the project
At night, I like to imagine all the songs in different languages being sung by parents in Bristol, to help send their children to sleep.
I have been singing Iranian songs to my boys as lullabies, since they were babies, and it is the one moment of the day when I feel this strong invisible thread connecting me back to my motherland and passing that heritage on to my children. It is also in that magical moment that my kids might ask me about their grandparents, or about the landscapes and culture of a country they have never been able to visit.
After speaking to others who are of mixed heritage, and face a similar challenge of how to keep our mother tongues and cultures alive I realised there was scope to dive deeper into this subject but through music, as music has no borders, can touch us all and unites us rather than divides us.
The project is currently in its research and development stage please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries and questions. Here are some images from the sharing of our Research and development so far, performed at the Trinity Centre Bristol on 2nd April 2019.
Behind the Scenes, the story of the creative process so far…
I have started recording lullabies, songs and interviews from the different communities in Bristol. Here are some audio extracts of the lullabies sung so far and some images from the creative collecting process.
AUDIENCE FEEDBACK FROM THE EARLY STAGES PUBLIC SHARING OF THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE PIECE AT TRINITY CENTRE ON THE 2nd APRIL 2019.
“ Very emotive sharing which spoke to everyone in the room in different ways and evoked memories and understanding, very powerful. Thank you”
“ I loved the way the visuals draw you into the spoken word, I also loved the individual stories and memories. I ‘d love to hear more stories and memories they were beautiful and evocative.”
“ I adored the variety of visuals and their links to the elements. Also loved hearing voices from so many places. If possible seeing the faces of the voices / participants that would be lovely.”
“ Belonging together for a moment through the lullabies of the displaced. Finding belonging, is not belonging.”
“ So much love down the generations. Singing of fears and making them less. Can this project help more people learn these songs?”
“ Melancholic, putting to sleep, story telling by song and singing, great to hear different languages and images”
“ Multi-layered appeal to all ages, brilliant beginning with first lullabies heard in the womb. Nostalgic and evocative, so much potential for expanding in many directions. Loved the inclusion of male voices, not so commonly associated with lullabies. A great experience and great collaboration. Makes me love Bristol even more! “
“ Beautiful concept, stunning production, I want to see it again!”
“Loved the audio triggered visuals ( or edited to seem) - loved the starry bits especially.Loved hearing the stories along with the lullabies. More please!”
“ Beautiful songs, images, words and feelings. Thank you to all who shared. It has inspired me to explore my own heritage through song.”
“ Loved scale of projections, scope for performance in front of the projection, i.e. Running baby! Lullabies - profound, healing, powerful opportunities.”
“would have loved to see words of the songs projected on the screen, less recorded voice and some projected text, audience closer to image. Some lovely images especially space and sea images.
“Loved the concept and authenticity,.”
“Brought up Feelings, memory, loss, happiness, grounding, honesty - universal....
Loved having kids around made it beautifully relaxed, comforting and accessible.
Loved the mixture of recorded and live songs, loved the rickshaw.”
“ I liked the slow reveal of the moon, I liked the childhood, home, memories, belonging themes. I’d like to see more of the people/ characters.”
“Love the way it was put together, Felt connections through the voices. Love the stories people shared. We all connected through music.”
“ The notion of how we connect to home. Time layering of song live and recorded. Darkness. “
“ I loved the tactile sense of the film, it made me feel like I could feel the voices. I loved the variety of voices.”
“ Loved hearing the lullabies, loved hearing the live music at the start and at the finish. Loved the interaction of small audience members! Going forward, more live singing and interaction alongside the film, thinking about who the performance is for, is it suitable for children? Is there a way you could build in people contributing their own lullabies and stories?