Walking piece details
Freight, 1893. This is a one hour long sound walk with different local voices reading the list of freight carried on the Liverpool to Leeds newly opened canal. A list of Canal Rates, Tolls and Charges.
I recorded volunteers from Leeds, Hull, and Goole, listed below, who beautifully animate what could be a dry historic document, from a time when Leeds was a major industrial hub for manufacturing and distribution of goods. The canals were the main arterial routes for this part of Britain and are an important part of our heritage and sense of place. The classification of goods, the names of raw materials and types of freight carried on the barges open a window onto a different age, the beginning of the industrial revolution in Britain.
Listening to the names of goods classified for freight charges spoken by regional voices has a hypnotic quality and it is intended that this soundscape can accompany you on a canal walk from Leeds to Liverpool or Leeds to Goole, or as an immersive piece of listening.
The underlying soundscape is composed from recordings that I made on a trip from Goole to Leeds and back on a converted industrial barge which myself and Elise Liversedge made as part of our research for “Last Station”; a touring arts project investigating ‘sense of place’ 2013- 2018, funded by the National Lottery Grants for the Arts.
I hope that listeners enjoy the poetic interpretation and that it is an interesting way of preserving and interpreting our collective heritage.
The librarians of the wonderful Leeds Library helped us with our research and through them I discovered this wonderful book published in 19893. They gave me permission to photocopy the book and several of the librarians volunteered to do a reading. I love the diferrent rhythms and pronunciation and this creates a dynamic that is hypnotic.
Elise Liversedge, Mary Hooper, Charlotte Self, Helen Sawyer, Karen Sayer, Lisa Faulks, Lorraine Hunter, Matthew Hoskins, Mike Fuller, Patch