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Walking with Ghosts

Multiple locations
24 minutes
Sound walk

‘Walking with Ghosts’ is a sound reverie inspired by a ‘landscape text’ exploring relationships between walking, memory and landscape. It owes its existence and its form to Carl Lavery’s landscape text ‘Mourning Walk’. It can be listened to in a quiet environment as an audio work in its own right – as a piece of music or sound art – allowing the listener to be taken on a journey of the imagination.

Another option is that it can form the structure and backdrop to a walk of about 25 minutes along a route chosen by the listener, where the sound (on in-ear headphones) mingles and interacts with the ambient sound around the walker. It is a meditative piece but not miserable. The ghosts are not troublesome!

One suggested ‘use’ is this. If you have a ghost with whom you would like to spend some time, with a fixed ending point, design a walk of about 25 minutes that ends by a river or stream, or in a wood, or on top of a hill. Choose or make a small biodegradeable item that relates to your ghost – a scrap of paper with words, a paper boat, a feather or a leaf or a pebble maybe. Pop in your earbuds and walk with ‘Walking with Ghosts’, holding your item in your hand (hand in pocket if that feels better). At the end of your walk, release your item into the environment – onto the water, into the air, into the woodland leafmould, onto a rock. Bid your ghost ‘bon voyage’ or ‘sleep well’ or ‘goodbye for now’. Walk home by a different route.

APA style reference

Whistlecroft, L. (2008). Walking with Ghosts. walk · listen · create.

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The Scottish and English word plodging has been wading through the lexical muck and mire since the late 1700s, and it refers to icky, slow, molasses-type walking. Plodge is probably a variation of plod. This word isn’t totally out of use, as a 1995 use from British magazine The Countryman illustrates: “Northbound Pennine Wayfarers, plodging through the interminable peat-bogs of the North Pennines.” Even if you have a spring in your step, it’s tough to skip merrily through the peat-bogs. Credits to Mark Peters.

Added by Geert Vermeire

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