In December I visited Stanton Drew standing stones, just south of Bristol. Here are some photos, and a short (very windy - despite a microphone protector!) sound-sketch from Stanton Drew on a cold winters day.
See the English Heritage website for more info and directions:
The wind is very present in this open space, and this was why when beginning the Site Singing project, I chose sites which offered a variety of enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces – spaces that could hold, reflect or alter vocal sounds, even if just briefly. But I had the opportunity to visit Stanton Drew by car with my sister and partner, so I gladly went along as I had never actually been there, despite how close they are to Bristol.
Approaching this site through a small village and past some farm land, it emerges as others have – real but some how unbelievable. It still seems incredible that in amongst the familiar and the everyday, such a place can be found. Reaching out and touching the stones, I leaned in and sang very close to several, trying to shield my voice from exposure, shared just between the stone and myself. In such a wide-open and impressive space, this vocalising felt warm and intimate, almost child-like. It didn’t feel it needed to be much, I felt comfortable feeling small here.
The recording suffered from the exposure of the site - the wind is very dominant and I did actually get help in modifying it slightly to make it easier on the listener. Despite maybe not being a 'good' recording in some technical ways, the intimacy and quietness of the singing, the proximity of my lips and breath to the stones, is what makes this work a fond memory for me.
Read the full blog entry here:
released February 2, 2017