Magnetic North Blog

This is some blog description about this site

Casting call for development week in March 2020

Casting call for development week in March 2020

We are developing a new performance project based on the book Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland. The book explores the strong connections between folk tales and forests, and investigates our forest-dwelling roots. Our adaptation will use live music (particularly traditional/folk) and storytelling. We are currently looking for three performers for a development week from 23-27 March 2020 in Edinburgh.

The breakdown is as follows:

1 musician/performer – this is primarily a musical role but will also involve some dialogue, so it needs someone who is confident with this as well as being a highly-skilled musician with experience of folk/traditional styles. Experience of working on arrangements, especially with songwriters, would be useful.  

2 actor/musicians – confident theatre performers with experience of storytelling and strong musical skills (instrumental and/or vocal) and an understanding of folk/traditional music.

Experience of both devising and working with a playwright would be invaluable.

Fee of £500, plus travel or relocation (as appropriate) at ITC rates if based more than 25 miles from Edinburgh.

If you have any specific questions, please email director Nicholas Bone This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about Magnetic North and its work, please visit magneticnorth.org.uk

Please apply, outlining appropriate experience and with a CV and any useful supporting material (or links); you can also supply this information in an alternative form (for example with a video or sound recording) if you would prefer. Send applications to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 12.00 midday on Monday 13th January 2020.

Continue reading

Space/Time residency March 2020

Space/Time residency March 2020

Magnetic North is delighted to announce the artists who have been selected to take part in our next Space/Time retreat.  This edition of Space/Time is presented in partnership with Dance North Scotland and will take place at Findhorn, Moray.

Space/Time is a paid creative retreat for experienced artists from different disciplines that asks the question “How does an artist keep developing?”.  It aims to refresh participants through a stimulating examination of creativity. During the residency, we explore how creativity can be nourished and how artists can continue challenging themselves to develop.  The residency combines facilitated dialogue - built around a series of self-generated questions - with time for individual reflection and work as well as time to cook and eat together. It is led by Nicholas Bone and Alice McGrath.

Continue reading

Artist Attachment update

In January 2020 I took part in Magnetic North’s Rough Mix Residency, where I was given the opportunity to collaborate with artists from varying practices on a new work. The other artists were Flavia Hevia, Uther Dean, Gavin Glover, Greg Sinclair, Kol Sigfúsdóttir, Rachel Drazek, Apphia Campbell, Claire Willoughby, Elspeth Turner, Marion Geoffray, Nicholas Alban and Sean Hay.

Leading up to the residency, I was really unsure about what I wanted to explore, with different projects tumbling around in my mind, I felt a real pressure to pick the ‘right’ one, and to come out of the residency with a really solid WIP. I was also a little unsure of how to use the main resource available to us: six performers, especially as I was still unclear about what form I wanted to explore.

Continue reading

She sells seashells by the seashore…

beach

That sequence of words is recognizable to many English-speaking people. Most of us will have had a go at saying the famous tonguetwister out loud; enjoyed the slips and stumbles as we try to say it faster and faster. Some of us might have even questioned its origin – who sells seashells by the seashore? (It’s believed to be about Mary Anning, an early 18th Century scientist who collected fossils).

Tonguetwisters are fun. They’re weird and silly. They’re an odd language quirk that seem to appear in languages across the world. Sometimes they have historical roots (like Mary Anning’s seashells); sometimes they can be deliberately constructed to make the speaker say something rude: I’m not a pheasant plucker, I’m the pheasant plucker’s son. (I sort of love that side of tonguetwisters too. There’s a cheekiness about them.) And sometimes tonguetwisters are just plain bizarre, full of weird imagery: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? (I don’t know, but now I’m picturing a small rodent throwing piles of sticks into the air…)

So, I had this idea to create an arts project based on international tonguetwisters. Seashells will be a video artwork where I perform a series of non-English tonguetwisters wearing costumes inspired by the imagery in the rhymes. As a musician I’m drawn to the rhythms and tempos that occur in tonguetwisters, and I’m hoping to exploit their musicality even more by not knowing the full language behind the selection of words I’m saying.

I’m currently working at North Edinburgh Arts (NEA) with community participants who have English as a second language. They’re teaching me their favourite tonguetwisters and I’m attempting to learn them. I’m also working in collaboration with brilliant costume designer Ali Brown who’ll design and make the costumes for the video. Ali and I have been attending the Knit ‘n’ Natter group at NEA. We’ve been bonding over knitting needles and creating weird bright pink wooly tongues for one of the costumes. And I’ve been working with people learning tonguetwisters in various languages including Kurdish, Bengali, Arabic and French.



Here’s my favourite tonguetwister that I’ve been taught so far:

Kolikatar Kakoli kakaki kohilo, kaka kaak keno kaka kore? (Bengali)
Kakoli from Kolkata asked her uncle, uncle why do crows make the kaka noise?

You can expect to see me struggling to say that in the Seashells video wearing a fully knitted crow costume!

I'm doing another drop-in session to learn more tongue-twisters on Friday 23rd August at North Edinburgh Arts from 1pm-4pm.

Seashells is funded by the City of Edinburgh Council Culture Service Project Fund in partnership with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and supported by Magnetic North.

Continue reading

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

As the Edinburgh Festival Fringe draws ever closer, we thought we'd share our pick of the shows featuring artists who have participated in our development programmes:

Continue reading