Over a two-hour night-time walk through Glen Lyon, Perthshire, audiences encountered a range of artistic responses, from light and sound installations to more complex international performance and music, built around key natural features of the glen. For The Path walking itself became significant. The route followed an old drove road / peat track rising to 1,500 feet past a flowing burn with deep pools, rockfalls, ancient trees and scattered shielings.
This journey into the heart of a powerful natural landscape had the central aim of rediscovering what we might have forgotten, rather than just creating something new. It crossed a place 'alive' with history and atmosphere, carrying traces of our cultural and practical relationship with the land over the last thousand years. Linking with associations of procession and pilgrimage, the event picked up on the spirit of wandering, where the action allowed time for discovery and reflection at the participants chosen pace.
The Path made an elemental comparison with the highland culture of the Himalayas, where Buddhism has sustained a remarkable connection between people and place over the millennia. The walker could encounter great hospitality, exquisite mantras, singing bowls in concert, helping hands through difficult terrain and the ever present sacred cairns (stupas) which mark significant passes and summits in high places the world over.
The Path was co-directed by Andy Farquar and Hilary Westlake. The lighting was by David Bryant and Midnight Design. Musicians, singers and sherpa guides from the East transformed of a section of the landscape from a Nepalese / Tibetan perspective. The main soundtrack, composed by Gus Ferguson, used the natural sound of the environment and through manipulation evoked the resonance of the 'power places'. Other musicians included the 'Bombos de Santo Andre' Drummers from the northern mountains of Portugal.
Participants could choose their own level of involvement, participating in building cairns, carrying mani stones, collecting amulets or just leaving a pebble or something personal at an auspicious point on the journey.
photo © NVA