|2008||English Helen Jane, Margery's Times: Margery Through the Looking Glass, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK (2008) [F1]|
Margerys Times presents an alternative mode of historical representation through sound, which, as John Shepherd states:brings the world to the listener, unlike vision, which stresses separation. This project combines sound art with an historical subject to represent a temporality (time and place) and poses the question: can a medium of sonic creativity mediate across time to create meaning and a sense of temporality through evoking memories and imaginings in the listener?
The subject of this work is the English mystic Margery Kempe (1373-c.1438). The musical soundscape draws on readings of texts in Middle and Modern English, recorded music and created sounds. Multi-tracking allows the composer to position these components to create meaning and then use recording software to manipulate the sounds within the sound mix. The time-based aspect of the soundscape engenders a sense of journey and narrative. Glimpses of events are created through overlay and spacing to construct the non-linear, dream-like experience of memory recall. This creates an experience of history that draws on original, authentic material, but utilises 21st technology to realise an output, thus embodying our times.
As a composition, it presents to historians an obscure subject in a new engaging way. Its alternative modality gives the listener a unique, embodied experience of a distant temporality and its nexus with our times. The work was commissioned by the ARC Network of Early European Research and presented at the symposium: Time and Temporalities in 2007, Hobart and then at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, UK in 2008.