Monks Roar

 MONKS' ROAR      [ 08-09/05 ]      [ 8 Channel Surround-Sound Installation ]

 The Usher Gallery @ The Collection Lincoln : April 10th - 30th 2006
 Lincoln YMCA : Septermber 20th - 24th 2005

All the sounds and voices used in the design and compilation of Monks’ Roar were collected within Abbey Ward, Lincoln, in August and September, 2005.

downloads : Monks Roar by Amie Slavin

The piece is a largely abstract setting of sounds and voices intended to depict the depth and breadth of life in the area. The overall approach has been to re-create some of the atmospheres and moods of the Monks Road area, encapsulating them in soundscapes and overlaying them with voices of the people who live and work here.

I have been struck by the range of views expressed and the way in which nearly every thought proposed has, at some point, been contradicted by other speakers. This phenomenon reassures us that we have gone some way to capturing the essence of this part of lincoln: 5 Abbey Warders, 25 opinions! I have also been pleasantly surprised to learn how much the people of this area enjoy living and/or working here. It is certainly true that some disappointments in the area have come up repeatedly during our research (namely excessive dangerous traffic and anti-social behaviour) but, for the most part, the people of Abbey Ward have expressed their pleasure and feeling of good fortune to be a part of this widely diverse and changing community.

As always, it has been a real priveledge to work alongside the people of Abbey Ward and I hope, most sincerely, that taking part in the project is a rewarding experience for all those involved.

There is much more to this part of Lincoln than is often recognised by people looking in from the outside and I hope that, in some small way, Monks’ Roar helps to create a fuller picture of life here for those who are not familiar with the area. For those who know the area well, the hope is that you will find some sense of recognition and connection within the piece.

Monks’ Roar has been made possible by the cooperation of the people of Abbey Ward - this work is dependent on their voices and willingness to share their thoughts, and their time, with us.

 Big thanks to :

Daz Disley, Project Engineer
Lincoln YMCA - Simon Harris, Dale Newman
The Collection - Jill Iredale, Jeremy Webster
Cantoris Records - Paul Pinchbeck
the YMCA Media Group - Mel, Rob and Andy for allowing us to interview them
Dan and Sanjay, for talking to us about health, fitness and the gym
Sylvia Turner, for introducing the trees of the Arboretum
Stuart Goodacre for the benefit of his wisdom
Rachel and Tom for allowing us to interrupt their holiday afternoon
Lauren, Callam, Gill, Harriet and Helen, for playing with us in the Arboretum
Nicki, for letting us record in and around the Dog And Bone

Last, but certainly not least, many thanks to Mark and Hazel for tollerating a couple of gatecrashers with microphones at their wedding and Martin, for sharing his skills as a dancer and entertainer, along with guests at the wedding. Finally, the staff and customers at Foster’s Butchers, who were a delight and a revelation!

"... an immersive multi-layered hyper-reality, overlapping voices and textures to create rich impressionistic soundscapes whilst maintaining a sense of genuine reality thanks to frank and open interviews with members of her local community. Hypnotic super-natural ambiences offer points of relaxation, while thundering traffic creates tension and a sense of danger. In an exciting and surprising trip around the Monks Road area Amie discovers the local sonic landscape, and presents juxtapositions that highlight the different and sometimes opposing views found within her community - pairing for example sounds from a gym with the sound of meat being butchered, traffic noise with children playing, urban street ambience with a nature walk - and in so doing, reveals different vistas from which to appreciate the community and context around her."

Sunshine Gray
Audio / Video Artist