To Travel and To Matter

Strijbos & van Rijswijk with poet Jacob Polley (centre) at Grasmere
Strijbos & van Rijswijk with poet Jacob Polley (centre) at Grasmere

A man and a woman move through a landscape of green and brown, stone and water, light and shadow, searching for each other, for things lost and for their own futures. They walk. They listen. They murmur, whisper and argue in their own heads. And we overhear the black noise of their untold stories.

Deep in the Lake District, where the landscape is suffused with literary and walking history, composers Strijbos and Van Rijswijk and poet Jacob Polley have created To Travel and To Matter – a contemporary site-specific installation in the shape of a walk.

Powerfully fusing music, sound and voices, and inspired by the history and topography of the location, To Travel and To Matter uses the digital app Walk With Me to move the listener at their own pace through a glorious landscape and to create a unique and dramatic experience on the route.

To Travel and To Matter is an international collaboration between Dutch composers Strijbos and von Rijswijk and T.S. Eliot Prize-winning Cumbrian poet Jacob Polley. The piece was created as they walked the fells, designing the walk, recording sounds and atmospheres, and finding by chance objects en route.

Strijbos & van Rijswijk’s Walk With Me walkscapes are found across the globe, including Paris, Istanbul, New York and Glasgow. Using GPS technology to superimpose site-specific compositions, natural sounds and narrative onto the surroundings, they invite audiences to choose their own path and tempo to create their own soundtrack.

“As sound artists we propose an approach that corresponds to the way in which people usually experience their environment, in spatial sound and imagery. We look beyond simply and only composing music. We devise the context and the environment in which we have the music occur.

We challenge people to approach it with an open mind. They can walk around it, through it, seat themselves inside it. The sound may come from different directions. It can engulf them.

The To Travel and To Matter information desk will be situated at Abbot Hall, Kendal during the Lakes Alive festival from 8 to 10 September 2017.