Mapping the West End

Water, Food miles and the Wild spaces of the West End

Posted in: by Pete Moser on 28 March 2016
Tagged with: iMAP

"Twas on a Monday morning the gas man came to call.
The gas tap wouldn't turn - I wasn't getting gas at all.
He tore out all the skirting boards to try and find the main
And I had to call a carpenter to put them back again.
Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do"

The classic Flanders and Swan song kicks of iMAP residencies in 2 local primary schools. I am looking at how we can minimise our affect on climate change by changing our relationship to our physical infrastructure. Water, electricity, gas, data, food, transport - all support our survival. 2 weeks with 9 classes of children aged 6 to 11 making songs and performing.
iMAP is a project funded by Tipping Point, one of series created between artists, engineers and academics across the North looking at climate change and infrastructure. For me it is an opportunity to get into local schools and write songs as I develop more local work in our 'West End focus' over these 3 years.

Sandylands School : 6 classes over 3 days and in order to tie into their curriculum topics I am looking at Water with Year 6, Wild things with Year 3 and Food with Year 1. The school has welcomed me back in (I first worked there in 1995 and visited frequently since then) and I have prepared with songs and poems to perform to help the children think about the concept as well as numerous starting points for new songs. Accordion, guitar and Kalimba in hand I arrive to start work. 2 days later I left with 13 new songs created and recorded in a rough form. See attached PDFs and recordings.
Every song made with ideas developed in a free flowing interchange with classes and their teachers. I love this work and the creative moments of magical invention.

If I didn’t : what would happen if we didn't have water
Bizarre : how water comes into our houses and then leaves again
93% : how we waste water and why (maybe) we shouldn’t
Purify : how to purify dirty grimy water
Wild : what it is like to be wild
Allotment food : a list of vegetables sung to Greensleeves
Going on a journey : modelled on ‘The Bear Hunt’ we head into Death Alley and beyond
Disaster : what the wild things do to help us
People in the Wild : the workers who keep the wild spaces good for the wild things
Round the World : searching for food around the world and realising how far it travels
Looking Local : what can we find round where we live ?
Energy : why we need to eat
Growing : how and what I can grow
A great set of songs with humour, fun and a great deal of thinking.
We will perform them all on the 6th April for the school and parents. And then again at the West End Festival in June.

As an extra visual artist Anna Read came to make this days with Year 6 and Year 3 truly immersive - making maps, pictures and scupltures with straws and clay and paper and straw (see the Gallery)