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Stories, Songs, Science
& the Sea...

...is an ongoing project led by Peter Stevenson, involving myself and Lynne Denman. It stems from my research into the geomythological deep mapping of Cardigan Bay. We take people on a seaside walk, stopping periodically for a natural stage on which Peter tells a woven tale of shore stories, Lynne sings of the sea and I recite The King of the Sea Trees from Layers in the Landscape.

A Crankie is an Appalachain animation, a reel of paper on which images are drawn/painted/

projected to tell a story, then cranked in a rolling action within a wooden frame.  The result can be presented live or/and recorded onto film. 

In rehearsal

In the evening, as I wrote an epilogue Peter rolled up the reel of frames and placed it in the Crankie. Then he, Lynne and I performed the whole story walk again, only this time it was illustrated by the audience.

The route along Aberystwyth promenade

Myself, Lynne & Peter at 'kick the rail'. Photo by R.M.Parry

Our first foray out with this idea was funded by Cymerau

to be part of a series of water themed performances for their Spring (no pun intended) event. Not only did we take a large group of people out on a walk along Borth beach with stories, songs and science; but afterwards Peter taught everyone how to make a Crankie reel. 

Comfortably ensconsed in the Borth Youth Hostel people took our script and chose themselves a frame to illustrate. Together they discussed the geology, archaeology, history, folklore and art of the beach, drawing a tapestry of participatory culture together to illustrate the walk's narrative. 

Stories, Songs, Science and the Sea has many more venues along the Cardiganshire coastline yet to visit. Each performance is slightly different from the last; for like every bay, each has it's own unique tale to tell.

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