• research: Chapter Arts Centre Cardiff, Clougha Pike Lancaster
  • performance: Commissioned for the Between Nature: Ecology and Performance conference, Lancaster University August 2000. somasonic#2 taff was presented at the Stiwdio Theatre, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Sept 2000
  • materials: 2 mobile phones, 32 earphones, plants, glass bowls and sample jars, microphones (binaural stereo pair/ underwater microphone), 2 speakers, delay system (computer or tape loop)
  • duration: 1 day (dawn to dusk)

A performance/ installation, sunrise – sunset ( 4.45 am- 9.45 pm). Part inspired by the summer rite of well/ spring dressing in parts of the Pennines and Northern England, an act of remembrance and prayer for continuance of the source.

soma: body as distinct from soul

sonic: relating to, or using sound or sound waves

spirit: animated/ life-giving principle in a person or place

Beginning at sunrise, Whitehead walks the moorland at Clougha Pike above Lancaster locating springs and water sources. At each source he drinks and via mobile phone transmits the sound of water to a large stairwell in Lancaster University. Here, this iconic signal is received and projected into the space through a system of cascading speakers.The space is installed with bottles and jars containing samples of mosses, grasses and reeds gathered from Clougha Pike the day before. The map reference and location of each water transmission is recorded on a map in the stairwell.

The transmissions, together with the ambience of the space, are picked up by 2 microphones at the top of the stairwell and recycled back into the sound system after a delay of 7′ 24″. Resulting in a shifting texture of past and present events, a blend of the sounds of the moor, the acoustics of the stairwell and the presence of the viewer. The viewer moves through the different levels of the room, to contemplate, dream, remember. Many leave their mark in writing and drawing on the walls of the installation.

At intervals dancer Stirling Steward gently intervenes, interacting and becoming witness to anyone times moving through the other events of the festival. The work ends at sunset, during a final transmission. The sonic element fades with the sun. The following day samples of mosses, grasses and reeds are returned to Clougha.