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Blog

Your Hall Your Story - a celebration in sound

simon james

In March I was commissioned by Lesley Anne Rose at Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) to create a sound piece celebrating Aberdeen Music Hall. The Category A Listed building which has stood on Union Street for nearly 200 years was due to close temporarily at the end of the March for a major refurbishment, and APA had a weekend of celebratory events planned to mark the closure. My piece was to be part of an event entitled Your Hall Your Story, an evening of stories and memories shared by the people that have visited, performed and worked at the Music Hall. 

Listen to an extract below. 

The brief was simple: capture the sounds, voices and stories of The Music Hall.  I was keen to spend as much time at the Hall itself, recording in every nook and cranny, and I was most excited about the Organ built by Henry Willis which I was glad to discover still worked. Over 5 days in Aberdeen I recorded sound from the building (inside the organ, creaking floorboards, final security walks) and people that work there and lots of stories from young and old about their experiences as audience members. 

Far from a complete history, the final 17 minute piece serves as more of a snapshot of some of the interesting, unique, unusual things that have happened in the Music Hall, a building that one observer commented "is the history of popular culture".

I'm going to write a longer post about my experiences working on Your Hall Your Story and will also share some sounds that didn't make it in due to time constraints. 

Dramatic reconstructions performed by Tom Bevan. Organ played (tamed) by Ben Torrie. Poem written and performed by members of Aberdeen Youth Theatre Group.