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Continuing to connect through stories, while distancing

Tue 14th Apr 2020

Adverse Camber, Audience, Engagement, Projects, Storytelling

Anyone who saw the incredible pink supermoon in the skies last week might have found some solace in its beautiful light shining through space at us!  At a time when connections and stability are even more important to all of us, such cosmic happenings are helping inspire ongoing creativity and connections made by children and young people in care and care leavers across Derbyshire through two Moon-related projects. Through their use of ‘space age’ technology, we’re keeping in touch with their latest creative work.

Moon Stories, as you will remember, is collecting and recording Derbyshire memories of the 1969 Moon Landing, as a springboard for young people’s creative stories and artwork, funded by National Lottery’s Heritage fund. Collected memories will all be gathered and ultimately stored for posterity in the Derbyshire Records Office archive.  Music of the Moon launched in February, working with Baby People and funded by Youth Music, and is similarly focused around young people’s creativity, with original music – songs, DJ mixing, and composing – inspired by the collected stories and folklore of the Moon.

Through April and May, we had planned a series of story collecting sessions, teaming up young people with Derbyshire people who remember the Moon Landing broadcasts, as well as creative jam sessions with storytellers and musicians.  Although connecting through video conferencing might seem the obvious solution to social distancing rules of Coronavirus, there are other obstacles to overcome, such as varying levels of access to technology and the internet, and the absence of support provided usually provided through direct contact.

After a few head-scratching sessions of how to persevere despite obstacles, the Moon Story and Music of the Moon teams are continuing to create and make new work, as well as to gather stories. Individual music sessions are happening online, with musicians, young people and mentors all taking part from their separate homes. We hope that in the next few weeks Moon Story collecting will follow suit. Some fantastic results have already started to come through – see the Music of the Moon logo created by a young artist, and you can hear some of the music being made below.

Music of the Moon Logo

Music of the Moon project leader Julian Butt reports: 

“The Moon and stories of the Moon Landings have been a source of inspiration of so much music at such an early stage of the project. Already the variety and mixture of genres has surprised us and I think have also surprised the participants themselves!

We have had ambient soundscapes, great songs and explorations on classical music themes. The memories of the time of the Moon Landings shared by adults have given participants an insight into the historic event, with one young person saying, ‘What, you can actually walk on the Moon?’ 

We are moving into an exploratory phase of the work now due to social distancing constraints, but I am sure that creativity and inspiration will continue. We have the ’space age’ technology to make this happen. One small step…”

Here are just two of the pieces that have come out of this early stage of work, have a listen to Making Friends with an Alien and Moonshine.

Both Moon Stories and Music of the Moon projects are being driven and shaped by a core team of young people. Nurturing individual voices and stimulating engagement, the projects give children and young people in care and care leavers experiences of taking their artistic idea from conception to production, vital confidence-boosting steps for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the arts.

We’ll keep you posted as both projects progress and as we discover new ways of working!  If you’d like to share your own memory, or perhaps want to see examples of moon-related storytelling and creative writing projects you could try at home over this period, do get in touch with us and we can share examples with you.  

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