It’s been a year since I wrote my last blog about my Creative Wales Award.

Work and time and life got in the way.


So I guess this is a serious bit of reflection on some of the work I have carried out over the past months.

My week working with Mark Smith (above) and Donna Williams was exquisite. Mark and Donna are both deaf artists. Mark an award winning choreographer and Donna a sector leading BSL poet who’s performance poetry is spellbinding to watch. They both came to stay in the wonderful Rhondda Valley for a week, with our investigations happening at the heart of the community in a local comprehensive school.

This was a week of play and discovery for all involved. My main objective was to sincerely and authentically try and tune into the deaf culture and look at how we all access communication in different ways.

Discoveries we made:

-Movement is equivalent to sound

-We experience sound. We don’t just hear it

-BSL is a chord

-How do I create a visual representation of music?

-We can develop a face Opera. Wonderful!

-How do we get rid of SSE (sign supported English) to ensure we are being authentic to the BSL itself?

-There is, or could be, a fabulous marriage between BSL and Actioning.

-We had huge discussions about how to make BSL  a social currency in order to make that step towards a truly inclusive society and art form.

-I learnt so  much about how, potentially, the placement of a sign could affect the texture of the music.

-Working in total silence is something I would like to explore in my everyday working practice. In what circumstances could I use this directorially?

-We looked at the role of the voice in a deaf Opera if the BSL is now the anchor for communication.

-I now want to work with music therapists in order to look at new methodologies of how we can link music to visuals.

-The direction of the noise and music is a an important element to consider. Keep it simple and focused in one direction with no sudden changes in rhythm and tempo.

-What does and Aria in a BSL Opera look like? We made some beautiful discoveries and want to reinvent the idea of an Aria.

-Is the performers role simply to interpret the emotion the music is carrying?

-We may need a coding expert to develop a new collaborative approach when constructing the BSL Libretto.

I can go on and on.

What I now have is a clear plan of action with regards to the stages needed and a route to creation so to speak. It now needs to be tried and tested. We will fail. We hope to fail at times, and kick down doors we never knew were there.

Looking forward I now have to re build a team who can help me try out new ideas that were born from this week.




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