Before the magical day starts....
Forty children, two artists and a composer - me, James Mayhew and Rebecca Leek - black paper, scissors, a strong light and shadows made - all mixed up with carols, music and a beautifully poetic story "Mr. Winter Vanishing" by French illustrator and writer Quitterie de Castelbajac. This was a Rhapsode event of making a play in a day to celebrate the winter Solstice. The day was Solstice day 2009.
This experience in part was out of my comfort zone. I am oddly schizophrenic... I love being with people and out in the world - but truthfully I am never happier that when I am completely alone and working in silence so I can hear the rumble of the traffic and the sound of the wind in the trees. I love the solitude. And its very meditative what I do. The cutting can be repetitive and soothing too. I like knowing what I am doing and seeing the cut appear before me.
I haven’t ever really been part of any performances. I did school plays of course... but was always one of the chorus, or hidden away somehere. I was horse mad - so riding was my thing.That too of course is off on your own or with a group, but essentially you are just in your own head.
So Solstice was many things I am not used to, even though a big part of my personality is stepping off the metaphorical cliff. You have to as an artist - people can tell if you are a phoney or if something isnt genuine. I really loved the whole experience. We were all in it together - developing our ideas, seeing what worked and what didnt. And all the individual parts grew to a beautiful whole. There was a great sense of community and togetherness and knowing that the children involved would really remember the day!
I wont ever forget it, and it makes me want to do lots more...