“The biggest thing for me about the Music Hall is that it represents a big part of my life.”
Your Hall Your Story participant
Through my role working with Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) as the organisation’s freelance Artistic Producer I’ve recently produced the closing weekend of Aberdeen’s amazing Music Hall – a granite treasure in the middle of the city’s famous Union Street, and one of APA’s three city centre venues. The Music Hall is closing for an exciting transformation and restoration which will reinvent, reimage and refresh the venue and the programme of work APA is able to create through it. Read all about it on APA’s website.
The Your Hall Your Story performance was the main event of the closing weekend and through it we performed the story of the building’s past and hopes for its future through the stories and memories of the Music Hall the people of Aberdeen shared with us. Many of the stories were told by the people themselves on the night, which was hosted by Scottish entertainer Robert Lovie. Some stories were funny, some inspiring, many unbelievable, but all true and all set against the bigger picture of the history of the Music Hall.
The performance was the culmination of a four month long community engagement campaign that involved drop in sessions, interviews in person and on the phone, alongside stories in the press. Through it we created a broad picture of the Music Hall’s past using personal memories to bring to life the facts, figures and dates of the building’s history. Afterwards no one would stop talking and sharing their Music Hall stories which the night has reawakened proving just how special the building is for the people of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and North-east Scotland.
As part of the event we commissioned sound artist Simon James to create a sound scape weaving together sounds of the building with people’s memories and wider stories from the Music Hall’s incredible history. Read Simon’s blog and listen to some of the sounds he captured here.
We also commissioned photographer Jonathan Bean to create a body of work celebrating the building, behind the scenes and all of the story tellers who shared their memories and performed on the night.
The Your Hall Your Story theme will continue throughout the redevelopment of the building while the programme ‘steps out’ into the community. Look out for more events and work created over the coming months and if you have a Music Hall story please share it with us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Words Lesley Anne Rose
Images © Jonathan Bean : Bean Photo