Arbroath 2020+1, that marks 701 years of the Declaration of Arbroath has, with Arbroath arts centre Hospitalfield, commissioned a promenade performance in the dunes of Lunan Bay in Angus entitled Over Lunan.
Over Lunan is part of Arbroath Festival 2020+1, a 3-month long celebration of the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath that was postponed by a year due to the pandemic. The festival champions the creativity in the region, and will see the area buoyant across the summer months with live performances, cultural trails, exhibition and family events – all led by the local community.
The installation has been created by Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of social action, and Glasgow based arts organisation arts organisation Aproxima Arts with dramaturg and former Artistic Director of Unicorn Theatre Purni Morell. This live commission blends an ambisonic sound installation and live music and is presented in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21.
Along with his long-term collaborator designer James Johnson and world-leading Assyriologist Nathan Wasserman, Farquhar has assembled an inspiring team to produce Over Lunan, including composer of electroacoustic music Andrew Knight-Hill, trumpeter and conductor Bede Williams, Director of Chapel Choirs at the University of St Andrews Claire Innes-Hopkins, musician and composer Cameron Sinclair with music recorded by the St Andrews University based St Salvator’s Chapel Choir.
Angus Farquhar said, “As we began to research the name Lunan through the location and the family name, we found some unusual thinking linking to Luna the Roman divine embodiment of the moon, then back further through time to Lu-Nanna, one of the Apkallu – ancient Mesopotamian demi-gods, half-human and half-fish who walked out of the sea to bring knowledge to humanity. Within these first creation myths, pre-biblical stories of a great flood began to appear in epic poetry. In the real world we find the remarkable story of the Storegga Slides which caused a gigantic tsunami that destroyed Scotland’s north east shores 8100 years ago. All this seems pertinent to the world now, with sea levels rising due to climate crisis and thousands dying as they cross the seas, trying to escape wars or in search of a better life.
“Over Lunan is Aproxima Arts first major production and we cannot wait to hear what local audiences – and those able to travel from further afield – think of the stories we’re exploring.”
Accompanying Over Lunan, a radio play produced by Steve Urquhart and written and directed by Purni Morell will premiere on Radio North Angus and Resonance FM this summer. It will explore the story of journalist Charlie Ross who spent a summer in Lunan Bay in 2015, investigating the area’s history and mythology, and the natural forces that have shaped this coast through millennia. He died before his work was complete, but his discoveries, including Lunan’s connection to the ancient cultures of the Middle East, are now brought to life posthumously in this radio play.
The event is supported by the Scottish Government, EventScotland, Creative Scotland, William Grant Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.
Tickets from £8 available to book from 10am on 30th June at the Over Lunan website, with a 33% discount for local audiences available. Those keen on making the event part of a bigger experience exploring the natural beauty of Angus can book a camping spot on Lunan Farm site. The production runs from 9 – 19 September (no performance on 13th) and is designed to be enjoyed in a relaxed, socially distant environment.