Sounds of the Derwent Valley

What a difference a few hours makes! I’m sitting here in the cafe at Cromford Mill – the sun is shining and the sky is blue. The leaves are turning brown and everywhere autumn is transforming the landscape.

Whilst I was here ensuring all is okay with my installation, I thought I would take the opportunity to have a look at some of the other events going on during the Festival.  A trip to Belper found me in the Strutts North Mill in the Basement (am I forever destined to spend my life in cold, damp spaces?). There, playing, was ‘The Derwent’, a soundscape, written and created by George Gunby. This is a ‘sound collage, featuring words, music and effects, depicting the river from it’s origins in the Peak District, through Matlock, Belper and Derby, until it is finally consumed by the River Trent’. Sitting with my eyes closed, this piece really made me focus on the sounds that, in our busy lives, we sometimes overlook.  Rising and falling, much as the river does on it’s journey from beginning to end, the soundscape had quiet moments of contemplation as well as crescendos of planes and motorbikes, reminding us of the Dambusters practising with the bouncing bombs over the reservoir and the popularity of this area with motorcyclists. Again, much as the sound piece in Sheffield, this work made me remind myself to just take a moment to listen…as well as look.

Cromford CanalHopefully the sun will bring lots of visitors to the Mill and to my installation…

Someone had commented that they thought the installation was very cool – and it gave his Grandma an idea as to what to do with all her bobbins…glad to be of service!!!


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