Lionra (2017)
(sound walk, perfromance, installations)
(in collaboration with Dave Donnelly and Eleanor Thomson)

Site-specific work commissioned by Sanctuary for their 2017 event combining storytelling, sound walks, installation and performance

Líonra will develop, and be actively developed by, the one true network on site – the visitors and artists – to develop a sense of community through storytelling and folklore.

The piece will begin with a guided walk through the whole site, led by the artists, where an imagined history of the site will begin to form like a tapestry. As the walk is carried out, small transmitters placed in key story areas will broadcast a whispered, at times contrary account, adding more texture to the telling. These Chinese whispers, overheard by the participants, may have as much credibility – or more – than the first-hand oral telling. Each talk will be recorded.

As participants finish their walk, they will be encouraged to attend later walks, either as freshly-minted narrators or as passive listeners to a gradually modified tale.

As those further walks occur throughout the day and night, the progressive mutation of tellers and tales will escalate. Moreover, the artists will layer the previously captured audio into the whispers being broadcast on the site. In this way the stories will grow, be continually re-layered, become more indistinct and yet somehow more authoritative in the telling.

A multifaceted oral telling of the imagined history of the site will develop, linking together all the participants on site and of course, the wider network – people brought together through passing on tales, creating folklore, imaging worlds together.

Ruaridh Law is an established recording artist, and has written music for feature film, a Sony Award winning podcast and television work. His previous sound art work includes pieces for Sanctuary in 2015, for William Burroughs’ centenary in 2015, and for the Incubate festival in 2016. He runs the Broken20 multidisciplinary arts collective – based in and around Glasgow and best known as a label releasing DVDs, new music, print pieces and vinyl.

David Donnelly has been Ruaridh’s partner in the label since its outset and is himself a musician and label artist. He collaborated with Ruaridh on work for Sanctuary and a number of live performances. His most recent commission is for NVA’s Hidden Gardens space in Glasgow.

Eleanor Thomson is a graduate in Celtic Studies and specialises in folklore and storytelling. She completed her first work for the Broken20 label, a text/audio piece “Jack On Piano” in collaboration with Law, in 2016.”