Working with St Nicholas Primary school in the Vale of Glamorgan has been a revelatory experience this week! Dr Ffion Reynolds and myself have embarked on what I feel is the start of an extremely exciting journey. Thanks to Ffion’s insight, foresight and CADW’s support we were able to recreate a Neolithic style ceremony at the 6000 year old site. I have been lucky enough to take other school groups for musical performances at Tinkinswood, but nothing on the scale of what was achieved last Thursday (the day after the Spring equinox).
One of the big differences was the number of drums used (it seems I need to purchase even more!). This coupled with the positioning of the performance in the forecourt meant that we experienced new acoustical sensations outside the ancient burial ground. Vibrations were reverberating off the walls and the outside of the chamber. In the words of one of the children, the physical sensations of the drumming “felt like you were moving even when you were still”.
Next week we hope to explore the acoustical possibilities even further including using the inside of the chamber for part of the musical performance.
The reactions of the children mirrored our own excitement and it was wonderful witnessing the transformative power of sound!