Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Warp and weft

During the past five centuries life in Dundee was geared by the weaving industry. The life stories of men and women formed the weft in the warp of time. In some respects, this fabric of life in Dundee has been different from that in other towns and cities. With the introduction of machine weaving during the Industrial Revolution, the lower wages for women meant that mill girls replaced men in the jute mills, their husbands now staying at home to look after the children. Being breadwinners gave women a voice. In the community music project Warp and Weft, I will work together with Dundee Heritage Trust to compose a piece of music for voice that relates the story of Dundee women, and that will be rehearsed and performed at a public event at Verdant Works on Saturday 27 October. This project, commissioned by Dundee Heritage Trust with money from Dundee’ Weaver Craft, will start with a memory sharing weekend to inform the story on which the composition will be based.

Dundee Heritage TrustThis memory sharing weekend will take place on 25 and 26 August at Verdant Works. Dundee women are encouraged to bring their daughters, granddaughters, mothers and grandmothers along to share their stories about the way the jute industry shaped their lives in the mills and at home. There will be a special exhibition to celebrate 500th anniversary of Dundee’ Weaver Craft and workshops that will explore the characteristic sounds of the jute mills, invite former mill girls to tell stories inspired by objects related to the mills, and share traditional Dundee weaving songs.

Links to other blogs on the Warp and Weft project:
Sound talk
The story in brief
Alternative voices
Singers and players wanted
Friday night

Still a young girl 
Higher wages
Among them
Earn a wage

Copyright text and image Petra Vergunst

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