The sun has arrived just in time and I am relieved! Walking Stories has just hit the road for a second season and good weather certainly makes people more enthusiastic about the idea of spending an hour navigating their local park. Last night we were in Brest, Brittany, our French premiere. And now I’m on a train whizzing my way towards Paris and London ahead of our shows as part of Brighton International Festival this coming weekend. As a Brighton based artist, it will be a real pleasure to tread on home turf (although tickets sold out during the members only pre-sales so I actually don’t know ANYONE who managed to get a ticket!) I was interviewed by the festival last weekend about Walking Stories, so if you’re interested, there’s a little podcast from that interview on the festival website: http://brightonfestival.org/extras/podcasts/podcast_walking_stories/
As with most shows, the build up to touring is full of logistics, meetings, ironing out practicalities and administration, making sure there will be enough money, enough people, insurance, plans incase of rain, luring press to come etc etc and so the list goes on. It’s easy to lose sight a little bit of the art itself. But as soon as the first walk starts, the headphones are on and everyone’s mp3 player is working properly, I see myself unfurling and let the piece work it’s magic over me as well as everyone else. An hour later we all return quieter, softer, more in our bodies; pelvis a little closer to the ground, spine a little longer, eyes a bit brighter and I am reminded again and again what Walking Stories seems to offer to its audience. I am always surprised. Old people, young children, teenagers from all walks of life come and somehow it is relevant for them all. An hour outside of the normal busyness, an hour to stop, to listen, to look a little more closely, to wander, to get lost, to share. It is precious time in our fast fast world.
We are excited to be part of Sound and Music’s new incubator programme to support the audience development of Walking Stories this season. We are planning a series of London walks and will be teaming up with Londonist, so watch this space for a few exclusive give away places to bloggers.
You don’t come to watch Walking Stories: you live it, breathe it, build and dismantle it. Supplied with mp3 players and headphones, a walk in the park become an interactive and completely immersive audio experience. Moving between watching, listening and following instructions, Walking Stories takes you on a journey with yourself and your companions. Without you there isn’t a show, so come and find us in a park somewhere.