Grab your headphones and head to the hills with a sensational new sound commission called To Travel and To Matter.
Grasmere is the location for this fell walk of digital sound and vision.
Audiences will don headphones and use their smartphones or Android devices to Travel and To Matter…
Dutch sound artists Jeroen Strijbos & Rob van Rijswijk have worked with Jacob Polley -one of Britain’s most prominent poets - on this unique piece.
To Travel and To Matter is part of the Walk With Me series present across the world from Paris and Istanbul to New York and Glasgow.
Using GPS technology to superimpose site-specific compositions, natural sounds and narrative onto the surroundings, To Travel and To Matter invites audiences to choose their own path to create their own soundtrack.
To Travel and To Matter is a brand new commission and will run throughout the three day festival. It will also be available as an app for the next three years.
We caught up with composers Strijbos & van Rijswijk to find out more.
Where are you from and how can you describe your work?
“We are from Tilburg, southern Netherlands. It’s a city a bit like Glasgow with a strong working ethic and good arts scene. As sound artists we look beyond simply and only composing music.
“We devise the context and the environment in which we have the music occur, we respond in the design of visuals and sound to an existing context or environment.
“The composition and installation are interwoven. Pivotal in our work is the experience of the audience.”
You’ve created soundscapes in busy cities like New York and Istanbul. This is the first one in the Lake District. Has the landscape inspired you?
“The Lake District is very different to New York and gives us much more space. We worked in Los Angeles and you can be restricted by busy streets and buildings. The landscape directs what we are going to do.
“To Travel and To Matter is based in Grasmere and the location has given us so much inspiration. We were instantly excited.
“Every project needs movement variety and contrasts and Grasmere has diversity, emotion, big views, intimate moments, ascents and descents.
“Ultimately, we aim for our Walk With Me commissions to have a transformational effect on the location for the listener.
"The Lake District is a transforming place of poetry and words to create space for everyone on the walk to have their own personal experience and different perspective.
"This location between Grasmere and Elterwater seemed perfect for To Travel and To Matter.”
You have collaborated with some amazing people on this piece - TS Eliot Prize winning poet Jacob Polley, actors Joe Dixon from the Mummy Returns and Wendy Kwen who has appeared in The Bill and Holby City…
“Choosing the right voices was really important. The audience wear headphones and the voices will really get into your head. It will seem that you become the voice itself.
“In To Travel and To Matter there are two characters in a relationship. But the experience of listening will activate memory and emotions for the visitor. We needed ‘film’ voices for the piece for it to work really well.”
What’s it been like working with Jacob?
“It’s been brilliant. His poetry has inspired us. He let us take his words for the composition - and was very open to our ideas.
“You can use writing in other ways, that not just the linear written form. We use Jacob’s poetry as elements of the composition, it's not simply a device for moving a narrative forward.
"His writing is really well suited for Walk With Me. Working with Jacob has been a truly collaborative experience. Like us, he is really interested in experimenting with form.
"In some ways To Travel and To Matter is a very good medium to publish poetry. Poetry doesn't have to be appear just in books…
What do you think the reaction will be from people to this piece?
“Visitors can spend as little or as much time as they want experiencing To Travel and To Matter. They can spend one hour or three hours. It’s entirely up to them.
“We are hoping that this will be a completely new experience for them - and one which they become totally immersed in…”