2021 A Retrospective: Part 2: Collaborations.
"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." – Ryunosuke Satoro
It would be very easy to focus on all the negative effects of the pandemic, but in order to move forward it is worth considering the opportunities and positives that were afforded by it too. Certainly, for me when I reflect on 2021, I know that one of the opportunities that the pause in ‘normal’ proceedings created was the time to collaborate with other artists and companies on new projects.
Perhaps the most significant of these was and continues to be the collaboration with At Swefn’s Edge ( http://www.atswefnsedge.com/).
I have wanted to work with Kate and Michael for a while now and explore sound and story. I felt unsure at first if the story I had brought to explore would be the right piece, especially as it is still in its infancy in terms of shaping and fine tuning. The added fear was laying bare an original story that has, up until now, sat safely in my mind and hasn’t been exposed to that critical listening ear.
I have always had my struggles with ‘imposter syndrome’, but never more so in the development of the projects I’m currently working on. For me, when taking a new folk tale or myth, there is always that moment, when working the story to find your own unique voice, shape and connection, that you doubt if it quite works. Somehow though, by the very nature of the story having had a life before you have found it or it has found you, the step to bring it to an audience doesn’t feel quite so daunting. Indeed, it is a necessary step to help the story grow. However, when the story is influenced by other tales, but is original in form, those little niggling voices that whisper “is this a story worth hearing?”, “Is this the right story to be told?”, “should I be the one to tell it?”, all resonate louder.
Why do I make these observations? Simply, because so much of that worry was taken away through experimentation and play. Of course, you need the right playmates and collaborators and I couldn’t have asked for better in At Swefn’s Edge. It was magical to hear the soundscapes and music that Michael and Kate found to bring my words to life. In just a day of working together, they connected with the narrative and brought a second voice to enrich the story. I know if my words were absent, the listener would still experience the same journey and as the teller, it has enriched the landscape of the story and brought into sharper focus the visual imagery. The story feels freer and is finding its rhythm and colour and an excitement for others to hear it is beginning to replace the fear.
I can’t wait to continue the process over the next few months and finally allow an audience to hear it. Watch this space!