Commissioned by Hospitalfield and Arbroath 2020+1, Over Lunan is an extraordinary sound and visual promenade performance in the dunes of Lunan Bay in Angus, Scotland.
Created by Angus Farquhar of Aproxima Arts with script by Purni Morell, this major live commission blends a monumental sound and light installation with elements of theatre as audience members are immersed in an environmental art piece that draws on the fragility of the natural world and ancient mythologies. This special open-air production running from 9 – 19 September is designed to be enjoyed in a relaxed, socially distant environment. The team is also working on a radio play, produced by award-winning programme maker Steve Urquhart.
Drawing on our connection to the life-giving sea and the mythology that fills its timeless depths, Over Lunan is a monumental sound and visual installation located in Angus on Scotland’s East Coast. The perfect crescent of Lunan Bay becomes the sonic arena for a powerful environmental artwork linking the ‘cradle of civilisation’, Mesopotamia, and Scotland’s Lunan Bay, uncovering ancient stories running deep in the history and mythology of both cultures divided by over 3,000 years and miles.
Our world is formed and connected by the sea. Thousands of years ago, the UK’s coastlines were shaped by cataclysmic events – unimaginably huge underwater landslides, mega-tsunami… In Mesopotamia too, mythical floods gave rise to creation stories of the Apkallū – half-fish, half-human sages who emerged from the sea to bring knowledge to our shared ancestors.
Thousands of years later, those same lands lie decimated by war and the world’s oceans are rising again… what would the Apkallū say if they returned to speak for one last time?
Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of social action and arts organisation Aproxima Arts, has assembled an inspiring team to produce Over Lunan which includes the writer, creative producer and former Artistic Director of Unicorn Theatre, Purni Morell as dramaturg and co-script writer.
The soundscape is a key element of Over Lunan, and the production brings together an inspiring team of musicians. Composer Andrew Knight-Hill has created an immersive sound world inspired by ancient Babylonian mythology – bringing together instruments, recorded sound and electronics – including a choral work sung in Babylonian performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir based at St Andrews University (under the direction of Claire Innes-Hopkins, Director of Chapel Choirs at St Andrews University), New Zealand-born trumpeter and conductor Bede Williams (Musical Director of the New Music Ensemble, St Andrews) with musician and composer Cameron Sinclair contributing live wooden marimba.
The Over Lunan team also includes Angus Farquhar’s long-term collaborator designer James Johnson and filmmaker Michael Hunter.
The concept and script for Over Lunan have been informed by two experts:
Dr Martin Worthington Al Maktoum Associate Professor in Middle Eastern Studies, at Trinity College Dublin and Professor Nathan Wasserman, Flood Mythology Studies at Berlin and Jerusalem Universities.
Over Lunan is a creative response by Aproxima to the ancient topography of the landscape that forms the special character of the region.
Lunan Bay is one of the most resonant coastal landscapes in Britain and the perfect site to explore a mythical story of flood rise and animistic ritual; it will be a joy to be working together in September, to produce Aproxima Arts’ first major production. Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of Aproxima Arts.
Aproxima arts is a Glasgow based arts organisation working across the realms of live performance, music, writing and public art production.