Introduction

This is the start of my residency in Sturovo (Parkany) as the 26th Bridge Guard.  I’m Esther Ainsworth from London UK, and I work with Sound, Installation and performance.

My proposed project while here is to collect recordings from the two towns and environments at either side of the bridge in Sturovo (Parkany) and Esztergom.  The towns are located at either side of the Slovakian/Hungarian border on the banks of the danube and are connected by the Maria Valeria Bridge.  The bridge has a tumultuous history and spent a long time in a state of disrepair.

The recordings and work that I create on this residency will be the starting point for a series of works developing into installation and performance work linking the two towns, considering virtual bridges in the within the community as well as the location.  It is intended that this work will strengthen the mental connections between the two locations.

The medium of sound is important to me because it transcends the restraints of language which create division in global communities.  Sound is a universal language which can bring our communities together and as it can be transmitted from one location to another it is also  without geographical restrictions, and moves fluidly through borders and cultures without complications.

The diary I am creating is not a home for the sounds themselves but it is a place to log my methodology, thought processes and experiences and the developement of my work and research.  It is also part of the residency requirements to create a log.

I am currently writing this, sitting in the Bridge Guard residence, in the lounge, listening to the rock pub over the road which is playing classic ballads to form the soundtrack for what I’m about to write.  I always find starting things really difficult and especially following a legacy of such wonderfully talented writers, artists and musicians who have been Bridge Guards before me.  I want to make sure that my contribution is worthwhile.

My story starts with a five day drive from my home in central London to the residency here in Sturovo.  When I was given this appointment, I wanted to create a piece of work about the journey which I was determined to make via car.   I wanted to experience the scale and distance of Europe as well as create a connection between the places I visited.

After suspending my paid employment managing concerts in London, I began my journey.  I recorded everything on my way from the weather, machines, conversations, nature.

The project is sonic diary of a journey across a map. There is something really important about driving to a location, it really gives you a sense of place and an understanding of the scale of the world.  It was a way to understand borders and crossings, the points where languages change, where rules and requirements differ, and how all of this says a little bit more about how we understand our own environment and location.

The culmitative work is a soundtrack which will be delivered as a gift to the Bridge Guard Residency as the first of my projects.   I have documented this drive as a wordpress blog at:

http://estherainsworth.wordpress.com/

and

Thank you for reading.

Advertisements

June 28th

The Bridge Guard House

On the last night of my residency,  a final performance was made and invited were some of the local talented musicians who had made my time in Sturovo so amazing.  

The final performance featured improvisations with Dóra Attila, Trencsík Pál, Szabó Ma’té.  

 image-for-wickED

The Bridge

I invited everyone who participated throughout my stay to create a musical procession crossing the bridge from Sturovo to Esztergom.  We played tin cans and other found objects and responded to the textures and structure of the bridge, recreating it as an instrument and giving it a voice through celebration.

We crossed the bridge twice, acknowledging a perfect ending to the residency, a goodbye to the bridge and some questioning from the local police!

IMG_5181

 

June 23rd

Esztergom
Ascending the basillica, the sound of a family of pigeons moving around echo around us.
 IMG_5076
From the top of the basillica the newly manufacted parked at the Suzuki plant are waiting to be exported.
The vast collection of car roofs in the sun create the illusion of a rippling lake. Shimmering in the distance.
IMG_5108

June 22nd

Budapest Museum Night

At the Museum night in Budapest, the galleries and museums are open all night.

I have been asked to perform at MVK alongside the talented Dóra Attila – reeds, Szurcsik József – bass, and Gábor Csongor Szigeti – visuals.

The event titled ‘Water&Mark’ is a nod to the bridge, the river and the journey downstream to perform in Budapest.  Both József and Attila are incredible musicians and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to improvise with them.

The performance goes well and we party till breakfast the next day.

IMG_5062 IMG_5071

June 20th

The Bridge – Sound Bunting Hanging

Today is the hanging of the sound bunting and the culmination of everyones work over the last three months.  The drawings don’t make it over the length of the whole bridge, but we do cross the border.  Suddenly the bridge becomes like a public art gallery, capturing the attention of intrigued passers by, to whom we gladly spread information about the project.

IMG_4967 IMG_4987 IMG_5031 IMG_5035 IMG_5041 IMG_5043