A local ‘bloke’ and Brierfield blogger
...I’ve always lived in Brierfield bar an eighteen month stint in student accommodation over in Halifax... Does Brierfield or ‘the north’ more generally influence who I am? Who knows. Possibly not, possibly more than I’d care to admit. What I can say is that I loved growing up here. No rose tinted-ness, not portraying it as a perfect place but it has been at the centre of everything. My kingdom if you will. Born of cotton. A place without a postcard...
...We are lucky that there now seems to be a real desire to use art as a way of bringing the communities closer together. We may have different beliefs but now maybe there can be commonality through music. The ‘Shapes of Water – Sounds of Hope’ project has been set up as a collaboration between Los Angeles based performance artist Suzanne Lucy, the In-Situ collective who are based at the library and the people of Pendle themselves. The massive derelict Smith & Nephews mill sits on our doorstep. What does it mean to us? A symbol of the past and our heritage? Harsh times; the dawn of industrialisation; nothing? With plans to regenerate maybe it is also a symbol of hope and possible new found prosperity? The idea is simple I guess setting our lives to music in the form of Sufi chant and shape note singing. Capturing who we are; words and phrases.
Our hopes and fears, our opinions. Trying to break down any barriers or prejudices. Anyone who has heard me sing will attest that I can murder Chris De effing Burgh’s ‘The Lady In Red’ in fine style when I’m drunk but that’s my limit.
That doesn’t matter though because it’s just about participating. It’s about enjoying being in each other’s company and sharing stories. By September it is hoped that the mill be reverberate to the sound of a thousand voices perhaps still not completely in tune but with a greater understanding of how cool the future could be if we start pulling in the same direction. Personally, I’ve loved joining in with the Sufi chanting; letting go and being spirited away. An emotional awakening. As someone who stopped going to church many moons ago and has no plans to go back I think it may be the only ‘act of faith’ I experience for some
This is an extract from The Brierfield Bulletin no.19 by Andrew Nicholas
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