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Double Down Disco for Rosefield Mills!

Dumfries DJ duo, Double Down Disco, have recently been selected to create a soundwork for Rosefield Mills as part of this year’s Nithraid River Festival in Dumfries. Nithraid is an artist-led public event produced by the Stove Network that is now in its sixth year. The festival is sited around the Mill Green area and for 2018 the event is expanding to include other nearby sites on the river. Double Down Disco will be using Rosefield Mills to stage a temporary public soundwork on 11th August.

Double Down Disco is the musical partnership between two Dumfries natives and DJs, Les Ross and Lewis Boddy. Best known locally as a Disco DJ duo playing B2B at parties and festivals, the pair are looking forward to a brand-new challenge; creating an immersive sonic adventure for the Rosefield Mills soundwork at this year’s Nithraid.

Les and Lewis are both excited to be producing an original piece for such an iconic building in their home town, and feel this is a great opportunity for them to be able to showcase their abilities and ambitions.

This year, we are using Nithraid as a creative platform to support community efforts. Rosefield Mills, a former Victorian textile mill, is an iconic Dumfries landmark. Over this past year Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust have raised the money to purchase the building (by public donation and a grant from the local council). They are now working on ambitious plans to bring it back into use for the town.

Nithraid takes place between 12noon and 6pm on Saturday 11th August, and the soundwork will begin at 4pm. As the immediate area around the Mill is not suitable for public accessibility, the audience is invited to listen from the other side of the river at the Dock Park.

Double Down Disco will also be hosting workshops in the lead up to Nithraid. Their ‘Double Down Drop-In’ will be at the Stove as part of Dumfries Music Conference’s event ‘DMC Social’ on Thursday 19th August at 7pm, where participants have the opportunity to play with samples and sounds on a Midi Controller and Midi Keyboard, helping to contribute to the overall sound piece at Nithraid.

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News

D-Lux Festival Lights Up Dumfries

Last month, the first D-Lux Festival of Light came to Dumfries as part of the Big Burns Supper, bringing warmth, light and curiosity into the town centre at the darkest time of the year. A collection of artists were commissioned to explore new ways to illuminate the darkness, showing that light festivals play an important part in regenerating town centres, and making people think differently about the place in which they live.

D-Lux Festival of Light - Big Burns Supper

D-Lux is a unique partnership with Jardines Funeral Directors. D-Lux have matched their investment with an award from Arts and Business Scotland; an independent Scottish charity who help to nurture the creative, social and commercial relationships that will enrich creativity and cultural engagement across Scotland.

As well as focusing on re-lighting the town centre, D-Lux Festival commissioned a number of artists to bring light installations to Dumfries throughout the week, delighting audiences with performances and engaging participations, and focusing efforts in the heart of the town in front of the Midsteeple.

Artists Kate Drummond and Hannah Fox, also known as Ida Glimmer and Ava Shimmer, were thrilled to be bring ‘Delight’, their ‘constellation cart’ to Dumfries last month. This double act, with their beautiful illuminated ice cream van, portrayed magical shadow puppet stories that brought a little light and a warm glow to the streets.

Dead Famous Carnival

Throughout the week, the Bakers Oven hosted Concursum; an association of three alternative photography practitioners and artists, Laura Rhiannon Peters, Andrew Billington and Patrick Ballanger. They mainly specialise in a demanding and often temperamental 19th century process called Wet Plate Collodion which requires the pictures to be developed there and then. The process was used to make unique image objects called tintypes, and the pictures they took also appeared in the windows of the town centre over the course of the week.

D-Lux Festival of Light - Big Burns Supper

D-Lux celebrated the lives of artists lost in the last year with their event, ‘Dead Set’. Taking place at The Stove, in association with Blueprint100, the evening featured performances from local musicians as well as a discussion from Dr Sandy Whitelaw from the world leading ‘End of Life Studies’ department of Glasgow University based in Dumfries.

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A commission from the Stove Network will saw the second artwork in a series entitled ‘Midnight Streetlight Smalltown Rain’. This interactive installation combined poetry, projection and film, from artists Colin Tennant and Martin Joseph O’Neill.

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Artist, Jo Hodges, brought her commission ‘Angels’, to Dumfries town centre as part of the festival of light, where members of the public spotted Angels appearing in unlikely places throughout the town towards the end of the week.

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News Project Updates

PRESENCE an Art-in-Between Commission update

By Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman

We are coming to the end of working on the Art_Inbetween commission and it’s been a fascinating process.  The outcome is a work called PRESENCE which is a set of cards to be used as ‘A divining tool for journeys through the restless territories and blurred boundaries of art in the social or public realm’ the cards are a creative tool to explore and reveal aspects of a project or practice and to provoke discussion and exploration.

Background

PRESENCE is a research led response to some of the questions that arose during the Art_Inbetween Summit held at The Stove Network earlier in 2016. The summit attempted to describe the distinctiveness of an evolving ‘rural’ contemporary arts practice with an emphasis on social/participatory/public art across the UK and our starting point was to try and understand this distinctiveness. What are the differences between rural arts practice and projects in urban settings with similar intentions or processes?

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During the research phase, we worked with a number of artists, curators and producers using a word card process to explore core features of practice and context. These conversations were interesting and delved into territories that were slippery and shifting, we felt this area had more to offer to a wider audience. We began to work with the idea that practice was perhaps more important and distinctive than location and so the work began on developing PRESENCE; a method to explore and open up projects and practice that could become a companion on creative journeys, a navigational aid that could help understand and articulate the aims, methods and values of a project or practice. There are 16 CARDS, each exploring a core element of practice. Each card has a number of questions on the reverse. We suggest picking one or more card at regular intervals through a live project (or project development) and letting the questions lead into conversation and discussion.

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The Cards

We see the cards as a ‘divining tool’ in the process of making creative work. They cannot be used to navigate the straightest, fastest route through a project or process but provide different positions to view the route from. They are not instructions or a model to build a project around and have no opinions about the best way to conduct a project – each project (and artist) is unique. Their role is to prompt, disrupt habits, to revisit assumptions and reassess progress and to re-excite artists and collaborators about their work and provide a tool for exploring projects and practice.

 We have tried to create a process that will result in a series of overlapping views from different positions (The points of interest in situated or social practice are not stationary and two dimensional, but three dimensional and moving, sometimes through time as well as space) This compound eye allows us to examine the same issues from different positions and so learn different things from each viewpoint.

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Open Source Future

PRESENCE is an open source project: all questions, concepts and card designs can be challenged, refuted or replaced. Our version is a starting point from which new sets can be constructed specifically tailored to a project or practice. A website is in the process of being set up that will include all design tools and templates to allow people to easily make new sets and upload their designs for others to use.

Huge thanks to everybody who contributed to the summit and to those who have helped with the development of PRESENCE.

If you are interested in getting a set of the PRESENCE cards – please contact johodges100@gmail.com

More info about the project can be downloaded here

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News Project Updates

Parking Space: Level Up

From Callum Davidson

“Back in October I got the chance to take part in Parking Space set up by the Stove and Sleeping Giants. Such a great weekend meeting all the people there, having a great time skating and filming and just soaking up the good times. The whole idea that every level you went down was a new event to watch and take part in really made it for me. Here’s some stills from a video in the works from the event I filmed with Mutual Motion.”

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Watch Callum’s short film created as part of Parking Space here:

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Keep up with Callum and his film and photography work online:

Twitter: @MutualMotion

Facebook here

Tumblr: http://mutualmotion.tumblr.com/

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Musings News Project Updates

Trading Journeys: Part Two

If boats aren’t your thing, and you like a more measured pace, keep your eyes open for Alice Francis is travelling with her horse who are making a three day trip to Wigtown from Auchencairn.

As they travel Alice will be creating a standard that will form the head of the Wigtown Trading Journey’s procession that will take place on Saturday afternoon. She will also be recounting the story of Billy Marshall, who supposedly had lived 120 years in southern Scotland and always claimed to be the “King of the Gypsies”. He was ,also, referred to as the “Caird of Barullion”. Caird (a skilled gypsy) referring to ceardon (a skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft). Barullion is the name of a range of hills in the county of Wigtonshire in the council area of Dummfries-Galloway, in southern Scotland. Another so-called title of his was “King of the Randies”. The word Randies in this context may be referring to a type of macho, virile, man that despised all rule and authority.

Billy Marshall is buried in Kirkcudbright, and his grave features the curious crossed spoons on the reverse.

The crossed spoons possibly may represent a wish for his people that they may never go hungry, for the coins at his grave site may have been left there with a goodluck wish, but originally they were left there for a poor travelling gypsy to be able to buy another meal. The spoons probably represent horn spoons, which have been popular in Europe and Scandinavia as far back as medieval times, being, also popular with the Vikings. Horn spoon making has been a tradition among gypsies since the 1600’s, and possibly had been a labor of love for Billy Marshall.

If you find that you have a hidden talent for spoon playing, bring that new talent along to Wigtown on Saturday, it’s bound to come in useful!

For more details on the stove network’s Trading Journeys, head across to our project page here

Trading Journeys has been created as part of the Wigtown Book Festival

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Musings News Project Updates

News from the Band

From Ruth Morris

By far the most difficult part of the whole thing has been finding enough young musicians to take part. We had the idea of a Balkan style street carnival band. To sound like that, one needs a few brass/ woodwind instruments, which turn out to be like hen’s teeth in Dumfries and Galloway! However we have a few now, including a euphonium, a trombone, some clarinets and some saxophones. We also have fiddles, accordions, flute and percussion. So it should be very lively!

To hear it at it’s best, join the parade through Dumfries from 1.30pm this Saturday, or see the band perform the full piece on our stage on the Whitesands later in the afternoon.

Writing music for transposing instruments, eg clarinets, saxophones, euphoniums is full of interesting challenges. For example, if I want everyone in the room to play the note ‘C’, I have to tell fiddles, flutes, accordions etc to play ‘C’. But I have to tell clarinets and euphoniums to play ‘D’, and I have to tell alto saxophones to play an ‘A’. This can lead to confusion, as I’m sure you can imagine.

But once everyone has worked out what the notes are, it’s a truly wonderful sound, loud and powerful. For most of the people involved, this is a very different kind of music to what they normally play, so it’s a great opportunity for everyone to try something a bit different.

Writing it was a lot of fun. We usually start with an idea for a melody line, then once that has become fixed, find some nice chords that work with it. We often then record that, which gives something to try different harmony parts against. We adapt the parts to suit the players that are involved. We’re very pleased with how the Nithraid music has come out, it will work well for a parade.

Ruth Morris and Gavin Marwick are part of the Stove’s Nithraid team, working to develop and grow the procession that will see the salty coo carried through the streets of Dumfries and down to the riverside where it will take pride of place over the River Nith to welcome in the arriving boats. This year’s Nithraid takes place on Saturday, 13th of September. A dangerous dinghy race from Carsethorn upriver, the boats will arrive in the centre of Dumfries with the high tide at approximately 3.45pm. There is a lot going down on the Whitesands all afternoon, full details on our Nithraid page here.