May 3, 2013 by katie
–Download the Bandstand App onto your phone;
-Visit West Park, Wolverhampton or Lightwoods Park, Bearwood, Sandwell with half an hour or so to spare;
-Stand near the Bandstand and launch the Bandstand App;
-Follow the on-screen instructions and enjoy!
-Let us know what you think afterwards by tweeting or emailing us
April 4, 2013 by katie
We are hoping to have the Bandstand App available on the iPhone and Android stores in early June, but the focus of the launch of the app will be two events in the parks themselves in July 2013.
West Park, Wolverhampton: Wednesday 10th July 2013, 3-7pm
Lightwoods Park, Bearwood: Thursday 11th July 2013, 3-7pm
These events will be free and informal, and will be an opportunity to experience the Bandstand audio pieces in the company of other interested people, and meet the creative team behind them.
March 14, 2013 by katie
We have commissioned a local illustrator Luke Thrush to create the visual look for the smartphone App that will deliver the audio stories.
He’s drawn some beautiful illustrations for us, creating a real story-book feel to the App. We wanted something that would appeal to our audience in terms of the App interface, nothing to high-tech and whizzy. Something with an artistic quality that felt like a treat to use, rather than a series of buttons to get through.
I think he’s done an amazing job. Calvium who are making the App for us have put his drawings into the prototype App and they instantly transform it. We’ve got more work to do still on the App design, and we need Luke to draw us a few extra buttons and icons, but we’re getting there.
The image above is one of his drawings, and is part of the ‘splash screen’ image for the App. I don’t want to give too much away yet, as it would spoil the surprise when the App is published.
January 17, 2013 by katie
Katherine has been busy over the last few months researching for the Lightwoods Park, Sandwell Bandstand piece. This is a completely new story, developed through conversations with several community groups and park users.
One of the main features in the park (apart from the Bandstand obviously) is skate ramp. We were keen to involve this in our story somehow, and feature the people who use it regularly.
This led us to Mr Naylor, a local MC, keen BMXer and skate park regular. We’ve asked him to write some small sections that will be part of the audio experience, and eventually we’ll record him performing them too. This is our first collaboration with an MC, so its all new territory. We like the rough texts he’s sent through so far, so we hope that we can bring it all together in a way that makes sense! His style is very different from Katherine’s (who is writing the rest of it), so it might be a bit of challenge to integrate it all. We do think its worth the trouble though, as it adds a local authentic voice to the piece, and has the potential to open up the finished piece to a different audience.
December 17, 2012 by katie
After a long break from working on the project (due to my maternity leave) Katherine and I were back out in West Park, Wolverhampton testing the newly recorded version of our Bandstand audio theatre piece.
Obviously it ended up being December when we got onto outdoor testing again, and it was a seriously chilly day. But undeterred we each tried out both parts (man & woman) of the two-person experience, paying special attention to the timings – checking that listeners/participants will have enough time to enact their instructed movements (e.g. walking around the bandstand) before receiving their next instruction.
We were pleasantly surprised at how close it already was to being right, but there are still lots and lots of tweeks to timings, instructions, placement of text within the soundscape etc. Katherine and I have sent our notes to Mark Day, who is creating the soundscapes for the pieces, and he is now polishing these up and adding more in the way of music and atmosphere to compliment the storytelling and instructions.
In order to help Mark visualise what the audience will be doing, and as a way to record timings I took a few useful but utterly dull videos of Katherine walking between certain points. They do however give you a few clues about what the audience members will be doing as part of the experience. Here they are for your viewing pleasure .. (it really does look cold doesn’t it?!)
April 13, 2012 by katie
Some photos from our first research trip to Lightwoods Park, Sandwell. We’ll be developing a new work for this bandstand later in the year.
February 14, 2012 by katie
Two great actor/devisers helped Katie and I in the afternoon to begin to play with the instructional side of the piece. Gareth Nicholls and Lucy Ellinson listened, in turn, to both the male and female sides of the story – we also gave them specific, physical instructions to carry out.
Watching from a distance, we were able to see at which points the two participants interacted and where they were disconnected from each other. Afterwards we quizzed Gareth and Lucy on their experiences. They both expressed a greater desire to connect with the other participant. Currently we have not created many opportunities for interaction. The actors felt as though they were very much in their own world however there were a couple of ‘tingly’ moments as Gareth called them. He liked watching Lucy walk away from him at the very end of the male story. How do we make this ‘tingly’ for the female side of the story though? There is lots more to play with here and having physical bodies there really helps us with this.
We spent some time having a go at different actions which the two participants could do around the bandstand. A bit of eye contact and subtle flirting through the railings is a particular favourite. Anytime the two participants come closer together, the energy is raised and the stories really seem to take off. So some real potential to create powerful moments in these interactions.
The trick will be connecting the text with the actions in each story and then connecting the two stories with each other as well as the two different sets of actions. Sorry, did I hear someone say, ‘Well The Other Way Works always does like a challenge? Us? Nah!
February 13, 2012 by katie
A day trip to Wolverhampton had me stopping off at the local Archives in the beautiful Molineux Hotel Building. I spent hours going through past copies of The Express and Star to see if there were any adverts or articles about the bandstand in West Park.
I was trying to work out if concerts were happening there in 1946 or if they had been abandoned due to some kind of post war cut backs. I knew the bandstand had gone into disrepair during the second half of the twentieth century but I wasn’t sure when this began. I had to stay focused – much as I wanted to read about all local gossip of 1940s Wolverhampton and find out who had been scamming who, I was determined to find out something about the bandstand.
Eventually I stumbled on some adverts for concerts that were taking place on the bandstand in July and August. Various, mostly military bands from around the country would play on Sunday afternoons and evenings. You had to pay 3 shillings to get into the enclosure for music and dancing. I was really excited to discover these adverts as so far the stories depend on entertainment having taken place on the bandstands in that year. we would have been pretty stuck if we found out music and dancing was off the menu in 1946.
The Willenhall Siver Prize Band
In the archives I also discovered a short, experimental film made about West Park. There are various voices where people talk about their experiences of the park. It was interesting to hear that even in recent times, some people take refuge in the park because of racism or abuse experienced by going into town. A few older voices talked about dancing around the bandstand on wooden platforms which were built over the fields. A good specific detail which I’ll use in the stories to help embed them in the location.