Beating the Bounds was a processional walk around the route created for the Harvest event in 2019 with stories, sounds, singing and chanting along the way featuring Dr Gillian Whiteley, Dr Geoff Bright [the gathering…the chewing] Nathan Bettany and poet Paul Conneally. Drawing from the idea of marking and affirming boundaries in English custom, people were given hazel sticks harvested on campus, to walk with or make percussive sounds after a period of quiet listening along the route using street furniture and trees – in response to the spirit of place. At various points along the route and in procession the musicians played the Beating the Bounds harvest tune and called out and chanted the names of the hedgerow trees planted.
Gillian and Geoff ran an Improvisation Workshop Friday 18th October 2019 at School of the Arts prior to the event for students and the public.
I just loved seeing all the kids jiving along and bashing their sticks to our music…oh, and the babies being trundled along in their push chairs by loving parents and grandparents. The whole vibe was one of happy togetherness with a touch of that ever so slightly tipsy exuberance of harvest that is such a natural response from we children of our mother earth to the beauties of her bounty.
Absolutely loved every minute of it and hope we get invited back next year. A sweet, sweet day…and not just because of the fabulous apple pies! Bravo for everyone who organised, contributed and took part…and to the university, too, for being generous and brave in daring to do something a bit different.