Salons

Virtual ‘Salons’ explore Hastings’ America Ground

Through June and July, MSL invites audiences to participate in a series of eight one-hour weekly Salons via Zoom.

The Salons are part of Dot Dash, a six-month season of new digital arts and heritage programmes running from April to September 2020. Dot Dash focuses on the America Ground in Hastings and features work by professional and non-professional creatives responding to the extraordinary stories we have been uncovering with the help of a range of researchers. Some stories are historical, some contemporary, some are magical realist, some are true, some we wish were true. All are original. 

The Salon topics are wide-ranging. Salon hosts and their guests will open up fascinating details of the history of Hastings’ America Ground, offer tasters of new musical treatments of old stories about it, or explore the predicament of current residents and business owners coping with lockdown. Two Salons are masterclasses in the use of sound or digital imagery to present contemporary accounts of history. Two give previews of our current commissions to Chris Thorpe-Tracey and Rosanna Lowe to create new performance work. 

Audience admission is by ticket with a suggested donation of up to £5 and all income going to the artists taking part. Details of how to take part in each Salon will follow when details are finalised for each one.

The first three Salons are hosted by Rosanna Lowe, writer and story collector, who has been working with MSL Lead Researcher, Julie Gidlow, on a new musical, Rock On, Rock Fair. They will kick-start Rosanna’s writing and song-writing workshops for what is planned as a community performance for the America Ground.

The Salons programme is being produced in partnership with Isolation Station Hastings.

Salon 1 Ordinary/Extraordinary revisited

In September 2019, Rosanna introduced the tales of ordinary but extraordinary residents of Hastings in a series of moving and original personal poems  https://smart-heritage.co.uk/. Rosanna has re-visited them to see how ordinary life has changed for them under the extraordinary lockdown. She asks what things have helped them through – nature, colour, community, connection, being of service, food, music, song, dance? Original interviewees include The Lightning Lady, Batwoman of Hastings and The Hunger Brothers, Pete and James Robinson, who have done amazing food delivery work both before and during Covid-19.

Rosanna’s guests are trans poet Alice Denny and colourful creative Robbie C Stedman. View the video of the Salon here: https://youtu.be/Qb-tpjWqbNM

Salon 1 Ordinary/Extraordinary revisited 31 May for MSL Projects

In September 2019, Rosanna introduced the tales of ordinary but extraordinary residents of Hastings in a series of moving and original personal poems  https://smart-heritage.co.uk/. Rosanna has re-visited them to see how ordinary life has changed for them under the extraordinary lockdown. She asks what things have helped them through – nature, colour, community, connection, being of service, food, music, song, dance? Original interviewees include The Lightning Lady, Batwoman of Hastings and The Hunger Brothers, Pete and James Robinson, who have done amazing food delivery work both before and during Covid-19.

Rosanna’s guests are trans poet Alice Denny and colourful creative Robbie C Stedman. View the video of the Salon here: https://youtu.be/Qb-tpjWqbNM

Salon 2 Rock Fair & the Carnivalesque 7 June 4pm for MSL Projects

Rosanna introduces ideas for her new musical Rock On, Rock Fair, exploring the history, myth and mystery of Hastings’ Fairs and Festivities. Rock Fair ran in Hastings from medieval times until the 1860s, when it was banned for its bawdiness. Rosanna and guests will explore the rich tradition of fairgrounds, folksongs and folk celebration through history to contemporary times. 

Some of the questions Rosanna will be asking: What is the function of the Fair or the Carnivalesque? How do fairs and festivities leap boundaries, break rules and transport us into other worlds? What happens when the world is turned upside down? Where do myth and history meet? How do current festivities like Jack in the Green conjure the same celebratory spirit as Rock Fair? Could Rock Fair ever return? 

Rosanna’s guests are Dr Clair Le Couteur of ‘broken folk’ duo Lunatraktors, Keith Leech and Heather Agar-Leech of Jack in the Green, Chris Hare of the South Downs Society, and Steve Roud, folk culture historian and creator of the Roud Folksong index.

To participate click on this link: https://msldigitalsalon2.eventbrite.co.uk

Salon 2 Rock Fair & the Carnivalesque 7 June 4pm for MSL Projects

Rosanna introduces ideas for her new musical Rock On, Rock Fair, exploring the history, myth and mystery of Hastings’ Fairs and Festivities. Rock Fair ran in Hastings from medieval times until the 1860s, when it was banned for its bawdiness. Rosanna and guests will explore the rich tradition of fairgrounds, folksongs and folk celebration through history to contemporary times. 

Some of the questions Rosanna will be asking: What is the function of the Fair or the Carnivalesque? How do fairs and festivities leap boundaries, break rules and transport us into other worlds? What happens when the world is turned upside down? Where do myth and history meet? How do current festivities like Jack in the Green conjure the same celebratory spirit as Rock Fair? Could Rock Fair ever return? 

Rosanna’s guests are Dr Clair Le Couteur of ‘broken folk’ duo Lunatraktors, Keith Leech and Heather Agar Leech of Jack in the Green, Chris Hare of the South Downs Society, and Steve Roud, folk culture historian and creator of the Roud Folksong index.

To participate click on this link: https://msldigitalsalon2.eventbrite.co.uk

Salon 3 Song & Dance at the Fairs 14 June 4pm for MSL Projects

This is a second Salon opening up themes that Rosanna is exploring for her new work, Rock On, Rock Fair. Fairs have inspired a deliciously diverse tradition of folksongs – from bawdy ballads to the gentle romance of The Hiring Fair, to the mysterious herbal coding of Scarborough Fair. Like travelling fairs and associated gypsy and traveller culture, folksongs often up sticks and shift scenery, lyric, melody and meaning.

Rosanna has been collaborating with ‘broken folk’ duo Lunatraktors and psychedelic folk duo Rokurokubi to explore sounds of the fair and songs inspired by fairgrounds and their attractions. This includes adapting traditional folksong Copshawholme Fair, examining the mysterious meaning of Horn Fair and exploring the rhythms of rattling rides. Historical fairs often culminated with folk dancing through the night and we will discuss the circling rhythms and shapes of various Turning Wheels – both the spin of the fairground rides and the seasons. There will be an optional Fair song-writing exercise which audiences can do at home. 

To participate click on this link: https://msldigitalsalon3.eventbrite.co.uk

Salon 3 Song & Dance at the Fairs 14 June 4pm for MSL Projects

This is a second Salon opening up themes that Rosanna is exploring for her new work, Rock On, Rock Fair. Fairs have inspired a deliciously diverse tradition of folksongs – from bawdy ballads to the gentle romance of The Hiring Fair, to the mysterious herbal coding of Scarborough Fair. Like travelling fairs and associated gypsy and traveller culture, folksongs often up sticks and shift scenery, lyric, melody and meaning.

Rosanna has been collaborating with ‘broken folk’ duo Lunatraktors and psychedelic folk duo Rokurokubi to explore sounds of the fair and songs inspired by fairgrounds and their attractions. This includes adapting traditional folksong Copshawholme Fair, examining the mysterious meaning of Horn Fair and exploring the rhythms of rattling rides. Historical fairs often culminated with folk dancing through the night and we will discuss the circling rhythms and shapes of various Turning Wheels – both the spin of the fairground rides and the seasons. There will be an optional Fair song-writing exercise which audiences can do at home. 

To participate click on this link: https://msldigitalsalon3.eventbrite.co.uk

Salon 4 Imagine this... (re)opening hours 21 June 4pm for MSL Projects

Mary Hooper asks could anyone imagine this?’

Disaster or opportunity, Covid-19 has changed things suddenly and in ways we never expected. What will happen to the businesses in one small area of Hastings which have been integral to making the Trinity Triangle the place it is? Can they re-open as they were, or can they reinvent the status quo offering a different way of doing things, and where does the ‘creative’ fit into the making of the new landscape?

Marys guests are the proprietors of the cafés and shops, the business levy payers and agents of the Trinity Triangle, imagining the future, welcoming new and old clients into what brave new world?

Salon 4 Imagine this... (re)opening hours 21 June 4pm for MSL Projects

Mary Hooper asks could anyone imagine this?’

Disaster or opportunity, Covid-19 has changed things suddenly and in ways we never expected. What will happen to the businesses in one small area of Hastings which have been integral to making the Trinity Triangle the place it is? Can they re-open as they were, or can they reinvent the status quo offering a different way of doing things, and where does the ‘creative’ fit into the making of the new landscape?

Marys guests are the proprietors of the cafés and shops, the business levy payers and agents of the Trinity Triangle, imagining the future, welcoming new and old clients into what brave new world?

Salon 5 Preview: A Derelict Chorale Sunday 28 June for MSL Projects

Chris Thorpe-Tracey, MSL’s artist-in-residence in the America Ground, introduces the suite of songs he has been working on to musicians who will be part of a special performance of all the songs in our season finale. Chris’s guests are the surprising individuals collected from the America Ground years and introduced in song.

Chris will work with singers/musicians to showcase a few of the songs.

Salon 5 Preview: A Derelict Chorale Sunday 28 June for MSL Projects

Chris Thorpe-Tracey, MSL’s artist-in-residence in the America Ground, introduces the suite of songs he has been working on to musicians who will be part of a special performance of all the songs in our season finale. Chris’s guests are the surprising individuals collected from the America Ground years and introduced in song.

Chris will work with singers/musicians to showcase a few of the songs.

Salon 6 Sonic Lockdown Sunday 5 July 4pm for MSL Projects

Call out for sound creators! Live in Hastings? Want to be a co-creator on a new sound piece documenting our lives in lockdown? From hand washing and NHS clapping, to increased birdsong and Zoom glitches, our sound world at home has truly changed. We want to sample these sounds and turn them into a composition that also evolves and changes.

Commit to three 20-minute challenges during the week of 22-26 June and the Salon on the 5 July at 4pm. If you are selected Kevin will email you the three challenges via video, with full instructions. You will hear the composition evolve after each challenge, shared via the Soundtrap platform. There’s no experience necessary but you will need access to a mobile sound recording device – either a sound recorder app on your phone/tablet, or a handheld recorder like a Zoom. You will need access to the internet to be able to send Kevin your sound files. 

To participate, put your details into the Contact button below or on the Home page, or send an email to admin@mslprojects.co.uk with Sonic Lockdown in the subject line. We’ll get back to you with an invitation and a short application form for a quick response. Kevin will select five candidates from applications received by Friday 12 June. Then you will join a live Zoom Salon on Sunday 5 July at 4pm.

Salon 6 Sonic Lockdown Sunday 5 July 4pm for MSL Projects

Call out for sound creators! Live in Hastings? Want to be a co-creator on a new sound piece documenting our lives in lockdown? From hand washing and NHS clapping, to increased birdsong and Zoom glitches, our sound world at home has truly changed. We want to sample these sounds and turn them into a composition that also evolves and changes.

Commit to three 20-minute challenges during the week of 22-26 June and the Salon on the 5 July at 4pm. If you are selected Kevin will email you the three challenges via video, with full instructions. You will hear the composition evolve after each challenge, shared via the Soundtrap platform. There’s no experience necessary but you will need access to a mobile sound recording device – either a sound recorder app on your phone/tablet, or a handheld recorder like a Zoom. You will need access to the internet to be able to send Kevin your sound files. 

To participate, put your details into the Contact button below or on the Home page, or send an email to admin@mslprojects.co.uk with Sonic Lockdown in the subject line. We’ll get back to you with an invitation and a short application form for a quick response. Kevin will select five candidates from applications received by Friday 12 June. Then you will join a live Zoom Salon on Sunday 5 July at 4pm.

Salon 7 Great Storm of 1834 Sunday 12 July 4pm for MSL Projects

Drawing from the work of researcher Julie Gidlow, artist Mary Hooper offers a visual account of the dramatic storms of 1834 drawn from the Brett chronicle. Less known about than the Great Storms of the thirteenth century that overwhelmed the harbour and began the process of making the Trinity Triangle, the storms of 1834 demonstrated the impact of human activity on the landscape. Reinforcement of the sea defences in St Leonards combined with the action of the sea had calamitous consequences for the thin veneer of ground over what is still a tidal estuary – the America Ground / Trinity Triangle. Mary raises questions about whether planners now investigate or seek to mitigate the consequences of development.  

Mary’s guest list will follow soon.

Salon 7 Great Storm of 1834 Sunday 12 July 4pm for MSL Projects

Drawing from the work of researcher Julie Gidlow, artist Mary Hooper offers a visual account of the dramatic storms of 1834 drawn from the Brett chronicle. Less known about than the Great Storms of the thirteenth century that overwhelmed the harbour and began the process of making the Trinity Triangle, the storms of 1834 demonstrated the impact of human activity on the landscape. Reinforcement of the sea defences in St Leonards combined with the action of the sea had calamitous consequences for the thin veneer of ground over what is still a tidal estuary – the America Ground / Trinity Triangle. Mary raises questions about whether planners now investigate or seek to mitigate the consequences of development.  

Mary’s guest list will follow soon.

Salon 8 On AirTime Sunday 19 July 4pm for MSL Projects

Judith Ricketts leads an interactive conversation around AirTime, her own work for MSL’s 2019 This is For Everyone (smart-heritage.co.uk) an augmented reality artefact made in response to the physicality and data of the America ground, Hastings.

Three artists will respond to a series of provocations with perspective views on history, place, technology and placemaking. Central underlying questions arising relate to “who gets to tell stories from history’s centre ground?” and “How does AirTime begin to leverage the idea of a shifting centre ground?”

Judith’s guest list will follow soon.

Salon 8 On AirTime Sunday 19 July 4pm for MSL Projects

Judith Ricketts leads an interactive conversation around AirTime, her own work for MSL’s 2019 This is For Everyone (smart-heritage.co.uk) an augmented reality artefact made in response to the physicality and data of the America ground, Hastings.

Three artists will respond to a series of provocations with perspective views on history, place, technology and placemaking. Central underlying questions arising relate to “who gets to tell stories from history’s centre ground?” and “How does AirTime begin to leverage the idea of a shifting centre ground?”

Judith’s guest list will follow soon.

  Dot Dash is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

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