walkwalkwalk: The Musical, 24th September 2006
were you there? email your anecdotes, images and thoughts to info@walkwalkwalk.org.uk
It's always a little bit nervewracking the hour or two before a walk, usually everything is ready and it's just a wait to see how many people will come. This one was the same - but different too because so many other people were involved. I guess you can't ever plan for everything, and it was exciting to not know exactly what to expect. Once you get over the fear that no one will come, and then get over the fear that too many people will come, you can start to walk and it all feels like it will work out ok. It was a spectacular sight, a stream of people stretching down Cambridge Heath Road then being ushered into the launderette. Dale Berning waited, getting the audience to squeeze into a strange raised space looking over the washing and drying machines before she began. Her song was mournful, the words indeciferable, sung so quietly that you almost had to hold your breath to try and hear above the churning of the machines in the background. It was a perfect translation of the way that space feels - strangely familiar, but with a sinister edge, public but private at the same time. It set the tone for the whole walk, a series of extraordinary events that drew ideas from these overlooked and everyday places and communicated them anew.

© Clare Qualmann, walkwalkwalk

Rhythm is inherent to walking, it is imbedded in the pendulous motion of the limbs, the tapping of footsteps and the constant shift of weight distribution.  The beat of this rhythm is determined by our mood, its pace and movement reflecting a state of mind.  In the case of walkwalkwalk: the musical the psychological effects of walking were punctuated by the musical encounters en route.  Attaching the experience of live music to the routine of the walk demanded an emotional response. There were moments when the familiarity of the spaces combined with the music moved me to tears.  Tai’s eclectic choice of musicians created an emotional soundscape that, intermingled with the everyday, produced a truly magical experience.

© Serena Korda, walkwalkwalk

We turned round the corner into Glass street we could hear an evangelical sermon booming from the microphone inside ‘Built on the Rock International Ministries’, moments later these sounds flowed into the noise of an overhead train as we approached the railway bridge all the while the gradual crescendo of the rhythmical clatter and stomp of the Mary Epworth Band was luring us into the sheltered space beneath the bridge. The band were lined up against the wall, installed in the space like an animate relief frieze, bound for eternity to sing into the cavernous under-bridge space. We wound ourselves into this secluded den of spine tingling noise, aware we were the lucky few privy to this magical congruence of sounds and sights.

We walked into the sunset along Three Colts Lane, approaching the squat on the corner of Weavers Fields. Tiny lights were visible on the roof-come-balcony, picked out in the corner. As we drew nearer a tinkling delicate strain of music floated down to us. Jesus Licks up on the balcony, with lights on their heads and a space age music-box ballerina dancer, singing about Doctor Who. We gazed upwards, a group of seventy at this point in our journey, causing a traffic jam as we spilled into the road. Passing cars slowed to gaze at the alien visitation on the roof of the squat, and a man pushing a supermarket trolley and wearing a hat covered in badges sat down to watch from the road.

© Gail Burton, walkwalkwalk

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