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Talk #129

The Long Dead Stars

Tuesday 7 November 2023, 5.30pm

Salutation Pub (upstairs)
Higher Chatham Street
M15 6ED

Please register on Eventbrite if you wish to attend.

A video recording of this talk will be available from 7 December.

Writing and Composing EDP inspired by Mudstone, peak steel, and the dogger formations of the North Yorkshire coastline

Writer and Performer Claire Hind and composer Robert Wilsmore, collectively The Long Dead Stars, collaborate on performance projects on the geology of Ravenscar, up through to Sandsend on the North Yorkshire coastline. Claire’s practice of walking to embody geological rock by moulding and shaping her body with rock, inspires the Long Dead Stars sound-based practice, thinking specifically about a connection to deep time. As Richard Irvine highlighted “there is nothing static about the terrain upon which we live on and on which we depend” (Irvine, 2020).

Claire and Robert are bringing together creative descriptions of how rocks move and become, through words and through the corporeal experience of Electronic Dance Poetry (EDP). They lend their voices, their words, their music to the chorus of those concerned with the future in an Anthropocene epoch. They align with the flattened ontology of Bruno Latour, Graham Harman, Jane Bennet and others, that level the rock-human world through the ‘force of things’ (Bennett, 2004) and where ‘art is ecology’ (Morton, 2021).

The Long Dead Stars is the collective name of the artists for this project, Claire Hind and Robert Wilsmore:

Claire Hind is Professor of Contemporary Theatre in the School of the Arts at York St John University where she runs the MA in Theatre and Performance. She practises performing, walking and scoring and researches visual and sentient experiences of embodying geological rock. She collaborates with Dr Robert Wilsmore as The Long Dead Stars, Alex Crowton as Holiday Camp, and with Clare Qualmann on the Ways to Wander books (Triarchy Press). Claire is the co-author with Gary Winters on Embodying the Dead, Writing, Playing, Performing (Bloomsbury).

Dr Robert Wilsmore is an independent scholar, composer, producer and musicologist. Former Head of School of the Arts at York St John University and Assistant Head of Music at Leeds College of Music (Leeds Conservatoire).

Image credit: Claire Hind with Rhomb-porphyry, image taken by Amalie Iona (detail)