What better way to explore the magical county that has inspired many, than with words? An inspiring new Dorset-based project has hopes to do just that, and has been in development throughout the late spring and early summer. Working with creative writing groups, and local schoolchildren, The South Dorset Ridgeway Poetry Parks will form part of the GPS Soundscape App family, through which people can discover, explore and gain new insight into this incredible landscape.
Developed by soundscape specialists SATSYMPH, including partner and acclaimed landscape Poet Ralph Hoyte, workshops were held with adults and children from both Piddle Valley First School, and St Nicholas & St Lawrence Junior School. The project was produced in collaboration for The South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership, to overlay a virtual, digital sound onto these key sites in the South Dorset Ridgeway area. These location-specific, GPS-enabled soundscape apps will be sited at Eggardon Hill and Maiden Castle. The Poetry Parks will then be accessed through the use of smartphones; using GPS in mobile phones to trigger sound elements related to the location of the listener. We believe the Poetry Parks are among the first in the country to use poems created by writers from local communities that surround these ancient sites.
SATSYMPH partner and Poetry Park artistic director, Marc Yeats, thinks there will be terrific interest, “Poetry has had a massive revival in recent years, and whereas perhaps you might not be totally into history, the beauty of a rhyme or prose can really lift the imagination as you walk. It’s a unique project that has been a joy to run, particularly with our school groups. Seeing them really inspired, out of the classroom has been wonderful.”
Dorset County Council archaeologist, Steve Wallace, helped with the adult workshops, and inspirational Bridport-based storyteller, Martin Maudsley worked with local children, to create content that will conjure up voices, stories, rituals and traditions, bringing alive the areas and articulating their layers of history and ecology. Excitingly, poems and content will be hidden across these large sites, encouraging visitors to the Poetry Parks to truly engage with the area, and explore the ramparts and lesser-walked parts to find and discover the work. A challenge will be set for visitors to ‘collect’ all the hidden poems, an activity that may take some time as the content will be well-hidden.
Once published the apps and sound works will be available indefinitely.
For more information visit: http://satsymph.co.uk/projects-and-events/interpretation/south-dorset
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