The process of 'collection' felt authentic as I recorded every person that offered their memories. When there were a few people talking the memories would have become layered over those of others. The order and timing of our collecting were dictated by the community as they interacted with B3TTY and us the artists throughout the day.
When it came to our 'curating', i.e. when we listened (Ash and myself) to the memories, initially we selected phrases, voices and the order to create themes. We were clear that we were not setting out to create a documentary but had not agreed any process of 'curation' other than to listen and make judgements together.
'Hello, this is yours is it?' 'I felt like Quasimodo when I got out' and 'It's older than my Dad' were put together by trying to link some themes. In doing this we changed the 'order' of the memories to some degree. We also tried to capture voices from both genders and a range of ages to reflect the diversity of the contributions. By making such judgements how much were we diminishing the community contributions? I'm not sure at this stage but I am questioning our process. We were pleased to that we captured sounds from the environment which added a strong sense of place and time, thus strengthening the sense of honesty of our collection process.
With 'The stinky car' we started to have some fun by creating a piece with 'double entendres'. This we enjoyed at the time...but on reflection I now feel that we lost the'integrity' of our recordings and I wonder how those who contributed to the piece will feel? I was one who did contribute some dialogue and acknowledge how misunderstood I feel by the choice of my phrases and their juxtaposition. Does this matter? Not sure....but memories are personal and valuable treasures that perhaps should be better respected.
So for the following piece, 'Norfolk or was it Suffolk 123' resulted by editing three sections of recording into clips but keeping the order that they were recorded. We were now setting some rules before we listened to the memories. This felt like we were relinquishing some control and thus increasing some degree of authenticity, and perhaps respect, to the process.
Because of this thought I suggested that the next, 'That could be the title couldn't it?' should be completely 'unaltered'. By chance this was a short recording of us, the two artists, completely unaware that we might use it. Today I am wondering if it adds anything, but it certainly is authentic! But in this situation I feel that I do want to edit it to create more interest. To control or not to control...that is the question!
My other thoughts are around were we a collaboration of two? To what degree were we actively part of the 'little museum of Ludlow'? If I am honest the first weekend we were so tied up in our own 'performance' that our work was attached by virtue of developing out of the same conceptual ideas but in reality was performed quite separately. This was probably due to me not truly understanding the nature of the collaboration; I think I was more concerned about 'bringing something to the table' rather than performing within the ground rules.