Presented by Deep Listening Institute
Arrivals is a listening walk beside the Rondout Creek in Kingston, NY. It is accompanied by an iPhone app, which uses the device’s GPS to activate different soundworks as the listener wanders along the waterfront. The app contains 10 tracks, each tied to a location. These contain stories gathered by interviewing local residents about their experiences of arriving in Kingston, interwoven with sung vocalizations.
The best thing is- you don't even have to be Kingston. You can do the walk wherever you are and the GPS will activate the soundworks right there!
"Corringham's eerie, echoing mezzo-soprano takes on the force of an inner voice, infusing the spoken words with pungent emotion. The fragments of personal recollections and observations about Kingston become an otherworldly incantation evoking the mysterious power of memory, suggesting the collective traces left by those who've walked the waterfront before us."
LYNN WOODS, Ulster Publishing's Almanac, 2012
The Story Behind Arrivals
As someone who has moved from one country to another, I’ve often asked myself- where is home? I’ve wondered how people find their own place in the world and so I decided to go and ask other newcomers. I went to Kingston, New York, for two months, hosted by the Deep Listening Institute, and spoke to a wide range of people- adults and children- all of whom had arrived there from elsewhere.
I began by asking where they came from and what they remembered. They told me tales of crossing the Atlantic by ship aged 13, of a vivid garden full of bees in South Africa, of pretending to be Cinderella in a distant uncle’s house, of becoming a young artistic prodigy because of shyness and a stutter, and of hiding under snow to escape the Nazis.
When I asked how life had been for them as new arrivals, I heard about difficulties with language, accent and assimilation. I wondered why they had stayed. Their answers included the area’s natural beauty, proximity to New York, and ghosts of the historic past that they can still sense. One said: “ I did not come on purpose to paradise. I came here to work. But I don’t want to leave.”
I asked where they felt was home and they answered: “What is home in the modern world?” “I feel comfortable here,” “Home is connection,” “People know my name so this is home.”
For the sound work Arrivals, I created song fragments based on words from these conversations. These were intertwined with the narrations to create 10 short pieces.
Most of my work explores people’s “sense of place”, especially very familiar places. Arrivals touches on the human desire to move or to disappear. Its elements are space and place, memory and presence.
My thanks go to all the interviewees who generously shared their time and their stories with me: Karen Berelowitz, Rev. G. Modele Clark, John Dwyer Senior, Andrew Lyght, Breda McMahon, Dermot Mahoney, Geoff Miller, James Porter, Tibor Spitz, Jose Villa, Lynn Woods and participants from Pam Ruzzo’s class, George Washington School, Kingston.
And to the Deep Listening Institute for making this work possible.
Copyright Viv Corringham