First of all, thank you. And no, this isn’t a personalised post – it’s a thank you to everyone we met whilst in Torry, and it’s a thank you to Torry itself. As a small place with such rich heritage and history, my mind is still buzzing with your stories. Last week, I imagined Neolithic farmers on your land, and watched 12th Century churches bury so many wonderful people.
I’m looking back through my journal to think of a place to start with this blog. After having spent such an intense time in Torry, I’ve written lots but processed little. But now, heading back to reality and sat in a Starbucks in Dundee because my internet connection is broken at home, I’m trying to catch up on all that a freelancer needs to and also usher my brain into a state of calm after the storm.
We began about 3 weeks ago, with some rather lovely local people dropping us a few sounds over social media. We had so many ideas and just as many questions – What does Torry sound like? What is your favourite memory of Torry? If you could pick one sound to represent that memory, what would it be? How would you describe that sound?
I’m not ashamed to admit that I was a little scared that we wouldn’t find enough information for our two upcoming 24 hour performances. I needn’t have worried. Every sound, place, object and person I encountered, I found my mind asking the same questions: What’s their story? How did they get here? Whose stories have they heard along the way?
Torry is a place that has seen war and struggle. It has witnessed disasters. It has made history, and yet so few people outside of the area seem to know of the incredible tales it has to tell. It is a place that is incredibly interesting to archaeologists and archivists alike.
We began our residency in Torry talking about the past and sketching our surroundings. We indulged in music and met Torry’s passionate visitors.
It’s a place of romance, a place of quiet reflection, strength and perseverance.
In all of this, there was one very significant moment for me. Last Friday night we went to watch Coastline in Torry, as part of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. Coastline are a fiddle group of young people from Canada. They were truly incredible musicians, and when we heard from their parents and their teachers of the lengths they had gone to get to that performance in Torry, we were truly in awe. In this vein, I’d like to finish this blog by sharing with you a little excerpt from my journal:
“Watching those talented young people from Canada play their fiddles for the Torry locals, I realised why I love our Celtic peoples and legends so much…
Because we tell each other stories.”
Much love, and speak soon,