Our Workshop Film

Thanks to all who have been to our workshops. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone. There was lots of excellent conversation and the amount of superb work created –  poems, stories, drawing – was amazing.

Quentin made this short film of Amanda and Louise and the participants at the Willerby Methodist Hall session, so you can see what went on.

We used music, poetry, local film and storytelling to explore the themes of the My Ancestors were French project. It was easygoing, no pressure and we had lots of good discussion over tea and biscuits.

It’s all part of the Heritage Lottery Funded All Our Stories scheme, in support of BBC2’s ‘The Great British Story – A People’s History’

Work produced at the workshops are displayed at the project exhibitions celebrating the stories uncovered and work created for the ‘My Ancestors were French’ project.

Richard took the photos.

A Huguenot, and feedback
A Huguenot, and feedback

Kings and Weavers

A huguenot
A Huguenot by John Everett Millais

Kings and Weavers is the next song in The Auricula Suite. It introduces the history of the flower, the Primula auricula, whose origins are in the Alps. Imagine how it will have been trampled underfoot by the Roman Legions travelling across the continent two thousand years ago. By the 16th century the auricula became a symbol of wealth and was grown in what is now France and Belgium by the first people to be known as ‘florists’ – The Huguenot people. They were also craftsmen and women, weavers and silk workers. In our tale the Huguenot people made auricula growing popular in England when they came here as refugees in the 16th century.

‘Kings and Weavers’ introduces the young couple in our story, Valentina and Raoul. Although Valentina and Raoul are fictional, they represent many people fleeing persecution and making a new life in a new and strange land, even here, today. I imagine Valentina and Raoul are similar to the couple standing in the walled garden in Huguenot Victorian artist, John Everett Millais’ painting, A Huguenot on St Bartholomew’s Day.

Flower of kings and of weavers
Crushed underfoot on the mountainsides of Gaul
Leaves of green for a queen and a thousand different colours
Comfort of the soldier on the wall
I will come for you
I will find you…
Your flower theatre will remind me
Of the gardener and the skillful artisan
Of Reformation time, and the people
On a journey to find a new homeland
I will come for you
I will find you…
The flower of kings will live forever
The flower of weavers will go on
Spell or cure on a starry night
The moon in the middle of the flower shines bright
I can see it too babe
I will come for you
I will find you…
Flower of kings
Flower of weavers
Green leaves for a queen
And colours for all
From high in the mountains
To the Huguenot gardens…
I’m thinking of you…standing by the wall

Valentina and Raoul, in the Huguenot garden,

Valentina and Raoul, by the wall…

© 2012  Lou Duffy-Howard

The Same Sky Overture

We have recorded a set of songs written to complement the project story.  You can hear the first one here. It’s the only instrumental in The Auricula Suite,  featuring guitars, hammer dulcimer and a beautiful lonesome hurdy gurdy solo; The Same Sky Overture.

The Auricula Suite is our set of songs telling folk tales of a journey to a new land; a story of love and loss, persecution and a new beginning – inspired by the small alpine Primula auricula and the folk tale of its 16th century journey to England with the Huguenot refugees.

The Same Sky is Raoul’s lament. His lover, Valentina, has escaped persecution on a ship to England, but Raoul stands by his faith and refuses to go.   It’s a sad song, now that his lover has gone. He looks up at the heavens and feels comfort in knowing that wherever she is, she’ll look up and see the same moon, the same stars……The Same Sky

© 2012 Duffy-Howard

Making a Film

Quentin and Rich are filming with Dilzar today.

They are making a film of the evocative responses they gathered for Richard Lees’ ‘Seeking Asylum in Hull’ poster exhibition at Wilberforce House Museum (during Wilberforce 2007) and The Lamp club in Hull.

The quotes tell what it feels like to be a refugee in a strange land, and how music can bring people of different cultures together, overcoming adversity and creating something good and new.

By the end of the day we should have some pictures of people to add to the website, but in the meantime  here is the book of posters and quotes from  the Wilberforce 2007 project.

 RAR back RAR front