Sound & Story Master Class


Criw Celf Primary

David Chambers begins by doing a short presentation, and goes on to explain the various projects of Abberant Architecture- including the local Civic Stage. This was designed as a space for the community, and to be versatile depending on the preferred use. One partcipant mentioned the Civic Stage could be used as a catwalk- David agreed and confirmed it could be used as all kinds of social spaces. He then showed previous Portfolio student’s work where they designed other possibilities such as a bandstand and outdoor theatre. All children listen well, and respond when David asks questions. When asked if anyone knows what local currency is, one participant tells an example of when her teacher told them about using objects for trade- which was a really practical example for something that could potentially of been quite complicated.

The participants then embark on a visit to the Civic Stage, and see an example of local currency embedded into the structure- David explains that local people designed coins designed which encompassed things important to the area. The students then explored physically what the stage could be used for. Sian uses the stage as a platform for her welsh folk tale, all students listen to the story and are asked whether they know any folk tales – one participant talks to the group about the ones she’s been told. David then puts to them, whether they feel anything was missing from the performance- telling them that they will be making sound effects to accompany a retelling of the story at the end of the day.

Once back in the gallery the students break into groups of 3 and 2, and are asked to consider the different scenes in Sian’s story. They then begin to draw their favourites, working together to combine the different elements. Whilst doing this, David also asks them to think about the different sounds involved, and to write those down.  Gwen who was very shy began this task quite tentatively, and was unsure of where to begin, but after some prompting became fully involved in her group’s drawing. As the drawings developed some of the scenes included: a wedding, celebration and even the King of the Fairies creating a storm. One participant became very creative with his drawing and worked well with the two young girls in his team. They picked quite a difficult scene, which included the King of the Fairies blowing wind to create the storm, allowing the Princess to survive. They divided up the various elements to create one dramatic picture.

The participants were then introduced to the table of materials, where they were asked to explore and discover what works for their sound effects. When it came to the making side of this workshop, some of the participants flagged whereas others thrived. For example the participant who led his team in the drawing task, struggles with the openness of the making, and was unsure what to make next. Within that the young girls in his group really helped him, and decided to all create a wind instrument. All teams were really considering the task, and came up with elaborate constructions. One young girl was enthusiastic throughout and came up with a chain mail sound effect- which consisted of metal chains being wrapped around a stick, this was then able to rattle for the desired sound. Another young girl in turn came up with a large box contraption, this was innovatively used to create the sound of swords “swooshing”. As two others explore the possibilities, they initially seem lost but soon get into the swing of creating various options. One participant who was very shy, came up with one of the most outlandish creations- this consisted of slices of fake grass being used as soles of made sandals. In the final performance she then wore these to recreate the sound of walking on grass.