The Farfield Residency (3:14)

On the third day of my residency at Farfield Mill the sun began to shine! The grey clouds disappeared and the weather at last looks promising and different. The clouds are higher and it is warm and muggy. By 5.0pm Alice and I were ready for a good walk. I reckoned we’d paid our dues to this residency thing and deserved some time on the hills. We walked to the top of Winder – a spur of the moment decision whilst we were shopping for tea (red cabbage, onion, garlic and apple stir fry with fresh greens from a parent’s garden). It was a good 40-minute walk and when we got to the top the view and the weather was glorious. There was just us and the usual sheep – one had a go at my camera.

View from halfway down Winder

View from halfway down Winder

As for weaving – well I’m rather ashamed to say that I haven’t a lot to report. There’s a lot of music to deal with right now. I have solo recital here on Saturday week that I need to devote a few hours to each day, and this composition in progress is at delicate stage (in other words it is worrying me).

I did spend some time considering how I was going to approach the Glimakra loom. At the moment it has got the remains of what I can only think is a warp intended for a carpet. It’s been cut off in front of the reed, so I could tie a new warp on at that point. The threading is a straight draw and the tie-down to the treadles is the common default: 2-4, 2-3, 1-2, 3-4, 1-4, 1-3. I had planned to work on something a little different, so now I’m sitting here wondering just quite what to do: simplicity and speed versus more complex and slower progress. There’s an unspoken expectation that I should probably be weaving by now . . . I’ve prevaricated a little because I had expected the weaving group to be in situ on Wednesday. Nobody showed up. I’d liked to have discussed this problem with members of the group . . . I’ve never tied a warp on to the end of an existing warp – although I know this is a standard practice with some weavers.

The plasma screen and interpretation board

The plasma screen and interpretation board

Now, let me tell you a little about the progress towards setting up for the ‘music interacts with textiles’ event on Saturday. Our first task on Wednesday morning was to take the 42-inch Plasma screen out of its box and put it on a very sturdy stand. This was quite an adventure, but common sense prevailed and it is standing confidently between the ‘textile’ version of the Fifteen Images and an interpretation. From today this screen will show a continuous interpretation feature on Le Jardin Pluviuex bringing together the presentation and all the music you’ll be able to here live on Saturday next. Sadly, when we tried to run this I discovered the computer I’d brought with me was just too slow . . . so I had to arrange for my assistant Phil to jump on a train to Garsale (10 miles up the valley) to bring me the really powerful Mac mini sitting on my desk in my office in Wakefield. Even sadder still Phil managed (along with rather a lot of other passengers) to get on a train bound for Nottingham that had been incorrectly labelled to go to Carlisle. So now we are dealing with carrier hell . . . hopefully it will arrive at lunchtime. 

The Sketchbook display

The Sketchbook display

Early in the morning I also found a table to display some of our sketchbooks. Alice has generously made available her fascinating sketches and design work showing the whole story of work on Le Jardin Pluvieux. There are some copies of the ‘real’ scores of the music we are performing during my residency. I’ve also contributed my college sketchbook detailing the Visual Realisation and Design Development on my last three college projects. There’s also a stand of Alice’s cards (for sale)  of the texile versions of 15 images. We also are making available a set of 15 cards of the wonderful digital (animated) images created by Phil Legard and Alice Fox. These can be ordered from Tonality Systems Press – as can all the scores we are performing during the fortnight.

Finally, during our shopping trip to Sedbergh  I visited Noel Bartrum who  not only runs Sedbergh’s music shop but is also the music advisor for Cumbria. He is responsible for the excellent Cumbria Youth Orchestra that my boys Peter (percussion) and David (viola) play in from time to time. The orchestra’s conductor is my brother–in-law! – the excellent Tim Redmond. Noel is going to help me bring together some of his orchestra to play the wind octet version of 15 Images – my dream is to have it played in Brigflatts garden (when the sun is shinng). It is certainly shining right now . . .  Alice is busy  preparing a set of mono-prints for display . . . and this blog done, I’m off to weave.

Tomorrow, this Farfield Mill residency blog will be written by my residency guest, soprano and textile artist Alice Fox . . .


One Response to “The Farfield Residency (3:14)”

  1. Peg in South Carolina Says:

    You do have a lot going on! The train story is unbelievable. Well, I do believe you. But that such a thing could actually happen—it’s unbelievable!

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