Modern Witches: Trails & Tribulations

room 10 ECHOES

Welcome to my soundwalk and Well Met. Now that you’ve come this far, here’s what to do!

  1. Download the Echoes App on your phone for Android or Apple https://explore.echoes.xyz/
  2. Download the walk “Modern Witches: Trails & Tribulations” (you can stream it but downloading is more stable).
  3. Download the map & directions here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1t1g7ZYxNYFnv2s3x_Thzk2xZcbo7CTGQ/view?usp=sharing
  4. If you have, or can access, over-ear/closed-back headphones I recommend it for the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the soundworld but of course, use whatever you have.

And then you’re ready to go! The walk should carry you along for around 30 minutes. If for any reason your sound stops, just close and re-open the app; it should find your location and start playing from the echo you’re in. Find a relaxed and steady pace, breathe, and let yourself be present in the spaces and among the voices and ‘echoes’ as you walk.

Visobel

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[English]

"Modern Witches: Trails and Tribulations" is an electroacoustic soundwalk composed by Visobel Black referencing the women who were burned under the alleged crime of witchcraft in Bergen during the 16th and 17th centuries. Combining natural and processed sounds from voice and violin, site-specific field recordings and composed text referencing history, folklore and current traumas, the work aims to speak to and for persecuted and silenced women’s voices by telling stories of parallel histories.

By moving in real-time through spaces where traumatic events took place, Visobel hopes to forge a connection between past and present with the voices in the walls you pass; this is complimented by use of the Echoes App which triggers sound fragments as you walk through them. We remember, care for and connect to spaces when there is a story attached and this is the power of music, myth and folklore as a means for change as our experiences become memory.

As you walk towards the water from the Heksestein, the mountain you see is one of the seven mountains that surrounds Bergen. Its name is Lyderhorn, and was known in Norwegian folklore as the Witches' Mountain where they supposedly met for sabbath and held rituals. If any part of this were true, could we perhaps see it as women (mostly) who were so ostracized by society that this was in fact a place of freedom where they could scream and dance freely, expelling their frustrations at being silenced and persecuted in their daily lives, instead of assuming the established trope of being possessed by 'the devil'. The walk also takes you past Gallows Hill, a site of further executions in Bergen’s history with Lyderhorn whispering to you through the gaps as you walk away from her.

I hope you enjoy the moments of uncertainty between what sounds are in your head and what is external… and perhaps there’s a moment of reflection within those spaces for the lost voices that live on.

Supported by Creo Vederlagsfond; Electronic mix & master by Martyna Kosecka, prepared at Notam, Oslo Made for the Here & Now Festival in Bergen, Norway Sept 15-18 2022, by Her og Der and TrAP (Transcultural Arts Production) with support from Kulturrådet, Bergen Kommune and Vestland Fylke.


[Norsk]

"Modern Witches: Trails and Tribulations" er en elektroakustisk lydvandring komponert av Visobel Black som viser til kvinnene som ble brent under den påståtte trolldomsforbrytelsen i Bergen på 1500- og 1600-tallet. Ved å kombinere naturlige og bearbeidede lyder av vokal og fiolin, stedsspesifikke feltopptak og komponert tekst som refererer til historie, folklore og aktuelle traumer, har verket som mål å snakke til og for forfulgte og fortiede kvinnestemmene ved å fortelle parallelle historier. Ved å vandre i sanntid gjennom rom der traumatiske hendelser fant sted, ønsker Visobel å knytte en forbindelse mellom fortid og nåtid med stemmene i veggene du går forbi. Dette er forbedret ved bruk av Echoes-appen som utløser andre lydlager når du går gjennom visse områder. Vi husker, bryr oss om og kobler oss til rom når det er knyttet en historie, og dette er kraften til musikk, myter og folklore som et middel for endring ettersom opplevelsene våre blir til minner.

Når du går mot vannet fra Heksesteinen, det du ser er et av de syv fjellene som omgir Bergen. Den heter Lyderhorn, og var i norsk folklore kjent som ‘The Witches’ Mountain’ hvor de visstnok møttes til sabbat og holdt ritualer. Hvis noen del av dette var sant, kunne vi kanskje se det som kvinner (for det meste) som var så utstøtt av samfunnet at dette faktisk var et sted for frihet hvor de kunne skrike og danse fritt, og utviste frustrasjonene deres over å bli stilnet og forfulgt i deres daglige liv, i stedet for å anta den etablerte tropen av å være besatt av 'djevelen'. Turen tar deg også forbi Galgebakken, et sted for ytterligere henrettelser i Bergens historie med Lyderhorn som hvisker til deg gjennom hullene mens du går bort.

Jeg håper du nyter øyeblikkene av usikkerhet mellom hvilke lyder er i hodet ditt og det som er eksternt... og kanskje er det et øyeblikk av refleksjon innenfor disse rommene for de tapte stemmene som lever videre.


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The Echoes


Holding Space

This is the drone that will carry you and the echoes throughout the walk

Echo 1

Echo 2

Lyderhorn Fjell - The Witches' Mountain

Echo 3

Fredriksberg Fort

Echo 4

Galgebakken - Gallow's Hill

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