I've had a cracking time this past month writing a new commission for Lancaster Arts City. Lune Rising is a self-guided audio tour around Lancaster Castle, set after a freak tidal surge that has wiped out most of the buildings in Lancaster...
Set in the future, it pulls details from Lancaster's past. With the rising water, boundaries have blurred: now there is no time except tidal time. The last boat to be built at Glasson Dock, The Rylands, is still out there, somewhere, a possible landfall impending. Old recipes for curlew stew float against practical uses for polycarbonate.
Underlying these details are the notions of remembering and forgetting: what would we remember in such a situation? What would you want to forget? How much would we really accept what had happened? There is a suggestion that everything is an echo of its former self, a self imposed creation for a sense of security.
Throughout the writing I kept thinking of Bangladesh, of Sri Lanka, of Nepal... places that have undergone catastrophic natural disasters for real. I didn't want to belittle what they have experienced, are still experiencing. I didn't want it to become a kind of voyeuristic imaginary tourism... from which the listener could just walk away after 20 minutes of titillation and get on with their relatively luxurious life... Obviously I have little control over that, but the intention is to create a slow layering of real and imagined experience that encourages a different way of seeing a familiar landscape and to perhaps hold that for a while, to see it again when next there...
We recorded it last night under the most tempestous skies June has seen for forty years, apparently - gusts of 43mph and buckets and buckets of rain. Which all felt rather appropriate and unsettling
If you take the tour I'd love to know what you thought of it. Send me a message in a bottle through a comment here or tweet #Lune Rising @sarahhymas
You can listen to it all, or download it, here