Out in that Crystal Land


Out in that Crystal Land is a multi-media production resulting from the collaboration of a group of Calder Valley-based visual artists, musicians, and physical theatre practitioners. The event will present a sequence of video works created by Anne Fox reflecting the winter moorland landscape around Todmorden, with improvisational performances developed in response to Anne’s work by musical duo Science of Flood Prevention and physical theatre group Wild Goose Theatre Laboratory. The title for the performance comes from a long poem ‘Pale Fire’ in four cantos by Vladimir Nabokov.



Becca’s work for Out in This Crystal Land has been strongly informed by her time at Todmorden Art College when she experimented with sound art and loop pedals, making for her final show a piece of music about night time, dreaming and waking that played through speakers lodged inside a mattress on a bed that visitors were encouraged to lie in. She was also part of the group composition process and several performances of sound tracks to silent movies from the West Yorkshire Film Archive under the auspices of Richard Ormrod and the Dales Jam and funded by the BBC.

Physical Theatre

The movement created is mostly improvised using some simple structures created in response to the images in the video, the music, and the opening stanzas from Nabokov’s Pale Fire. The movement is both exploratory and expressive creating the possibility for the performers to find something new in their responses whilst using the predetermined structures to guide the collective creativity. The performers already share a psychophysical actor training which provides them with a common ground from which to begin their expression. Through this ensemble-based practice, the three women have developed a sensitivity to each other’s expression enabling them to work with freedom, and at times in unison, with ease and precision.


For Ice Theme, I have used the first two verses of ‘Pale Fire’ to make the first video, a piece of travelling or flying through a crystal landscape, made of ice, or crystal or mystery or all of those.  Transition 1 consists of a video formed of a 3D model representing the shape of ice in a frozen tarn.  The virtual camera then flies through the ice exploring the shape of the uneven underside of the formation. Out In That Crystal Land animates a large graphite drawing of Gaddings Dam from a series I have made relating to walks and journeys made up on the Pennine moors.  Sometimes the Dams are black and deep as infinity – sometimes they are shining levels reflecting the sky and the sun.  This drawing shows the empty ghost dam lying beside Gaddings dam and the blackness of icy winter deeps. The second half of this piece is an animation from a painting ‘Winter Snowstorm’ also based on the Pennine winter moors. Transition 2 First snow – A video of snow and wind and water. Aspen Lane; Particicicles A 3D model of a crystal being that I animated against a flowing crystal landscape followed by an animation of my painting Sgurr Mich Choinnic, a Cuillin Ridge painting. Transition 3 the video is called Crystalise ise ise. Science of Flood Prevention I made this video for Angus’ original tune ‘The Science of Flood Prevention’ before the latest flood.  It shows some of the measures that are now being discussed that could be taken up on the land above our towns to help prevent the re-occurrence of flooding. Transition 4 – Melt.  For Aquamarine I made an animation of a watercolour painting showing deep blue pools patterning the land. Finally, Transition 5/Ice Theme Reprise reacts with a video showing the contours of snow drifting over a continent


Science of Flood Prevention is singer and flugelorn player Becca Ryan and guitarist Angus Barclay, plus occasional guests. They have been developing their musical world since meeting two years ago on a trip to St Pol sur Ternoise, France. They normally play a blend of classic songs, jazz standards and their own tunes, but for the `Out In That Crystal Land’ project they will be improvising on original themes.

Angus Barclay lives in the North. He has recorded three solo CDs in the North. He also collaborates with friends in the North, including jazz guitarist Gary Boyle, jazz singer Charlie Carr, folk singer Maggie Boyle, bossa composer/singer Simon Chandler and producer and musician Steve Andrews. All of his boreal recordings, solo and with friends, can be heard on his website www.angusbarclay.co.uk

Becca Ryan is a multi-instrumentalist, music teacher and artist living in Hebden Bridge. She sings and plays trumpet, flugel horn, keyboards, guitar, bass and hand drums in an array of styles and idioms ranging through jazz, Northern Soul, cabaret, folk and popular music via South Africa, Jamaica, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Her skills include arranging for and leading a 17 piece big band.·She has played with jazz luminaries Claude Deppa, Matt Bourne and Gary Boyle and was a long standing member of jazz big bands The Jam Factory and Dales Jam. She put together a street band and music to accompany the show for The Handmade Parade in 2010, performed at the Ascot Races in 2014 with Lancashire’s TheSoulTrain and is currently playing with local diva Terry Logan amongst others. Growing up in a performing family, some of her earliest memories are of seeing her parents onstage and enjoying the backstage camaraderie at the local Amateur Operatic Society shows. She first performed at the age of 3 with the local dance school, starting piano and then trumpet lessons whilst at a school that had a good reputation musically with many different orchestras, choirs and bands. Since then she has played in a wide array of different settings and ensembles running the whole gamut of musical activity.

Wild Goose Theatre Laboratory created by Tray Wilson, is a collaboration of performance practitioners exploring psychophysical actor training techniques and their translation into performance practice.

Tray Wilson is a performer, director and actor trainer based in the UK. Her training is informed by the European Theatre Laboratory tradition and martial arts practices. Tray has trained extensively with theatre practitioners Phillip Zarrilli, Nicolás Núñez, and John Britton. Tray’s martial arts experience covers a range of forms including kung fu, capoeira, kalarippayattu and t’ai chi ch’uan. Tray received her MA in Ensemble Physical Theatre at the University of Huddersfield and she is currently Senior Lecturer in Performance at University Campus Oldham.

Hannah is a performer and facilitator based in the North of England.  She has worked both nationally and internationally over a variety of mediums including physical theatre, improvisation, film, theatre and dance.  Hannah teaches mindfulness and wellbeing through movement, physical actor training and improvisation.  Hannah is a founder member of the emerging company Purple Kettle and an associate artist for DUENDE, an international ensemble.

Sameena is drama practitioner based in West Yorkshire. She is founding member of emerging theatre company Purple Kettle. She works a lot with young people in various settings. She is a physical performer and improviser. She is passionate about finding play in all work and working with people of all ages and experiences.

Anne Fox is a visual artist working across a range of media including video, installation, land art, painting, and drawing. Previous musical collaborations have included projects with the Royal Northern College of Music at the Whitworth Art Gallery and Victoria Baths Manchester, and with Norwegian ice-music pioneer Terje Isungset.

Crystal Land Poster


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