Sounds from the Source

As part of a Creative Scotland Artist Bursary project awarded to choreographer Claire Pencak, she went with her collaborators, dancers Merav Israel and Tim Rubidge to find the source of Tweed on June 3rd 2014.

This was a journey towards the beginning of a new piece of choreographic research – Dispatches from the Source. Working with the source of the Tweed as an inspiration, our project is asking questions and exploring ideas thorough improvisation, about source materials in terms of choreography as well as more generally. As one of us remarked, before we see a movement, there are lots of other things that have already happened – so too with rivers.

The first bridge over the Tweed

The first bridge over the Tweed

Here is some source material we gathered – a short field recording. It is the Laverock’s song at the source – in the foreground we hear the Larks and in the background lambs and traffic from the A 701.

Click here to listen

Young Tweed

Young Tweed

Other questions that have emerged so far through improvisation are :

What comes before a river?

How do you find the source and what are we looking for there?

Can we know anything about the source? What do other species know about the source? Could we know that too?

Here is a second field recording – the sound of Tweed emerging – in the foreground the sound of water dripping from peat with lambs and traffic in the background.

Click here to listen

Peat at Tweed's Well

Peat at Tweed’s Well

The source is an emerging place, fed by deeper source material – groundwater – that is not visible to us and shared by other sources.  As the Border rhyme tells us ‘Annan,Tweed and Clyde rise oot the ae hillside‘.

One thought on “Sounds from the Source

  1. The real source of the Tweed (according to SEPA Longest Scottish Rivers) is at the head of the Powskein burn about a 5k walk over rough ground east from Tweeds Well. As expected a trickle can be heard (but no traffic noise) as the first tiny stream emerges from the bog on Lamb Craig.

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