Hanna Tuulikki: Seals'kin
Acoustic Commons Residency
Call out for participants
Sunday 17 July
Free - Booking required - click here to book
Seals'kin: calling for the turning of the tide*
Come together to sing an improvised lamentation based on fragments of Scottish seal-calling songs.
For as long as humans have inhabited the earth, we have shared the seas, coasts and islands with seals – web-footed mammals adapted to life in the water. In Scottish folklore, mythical seal people known as selkies were said to shed their skins and step from water as humans until mysteriously disappearing back to sea. Embedded within the folklore are a number of musical traditions that appear to blur the line between human and grey seal, including melodies which imitate their plaintive sounds and haunting seal-calling songs sung to attract seals to the shore.
South Walney Island Nature Reserve in Cumbria is home to a significant colony of grey seals. In June 2022, join artist Hanna Tuulikki on the island, alongside fellow performers Nic Green and Jude Williams, for a day of vocal improvisation and performance, exploring seal calling songs as practices of making kin.
The session will begin with an introductory workshop, rooted in Tuulikki's exploratory vocal practice. The group will be introduced to the folkloric material and guided in a gentle vocal improvisation based on traditional seal calling songs. All participants are then invited to walk down to the shore to perform an improvised lament to the water at high tide, calling the seals, inviting them to surface.
All are welcome. No singing experience needed.
* This workshop and performance is part of a larger body of work by Hanna Tuulikki called Seals'kin, exploring myths of human-seal hybridity and folkloric musical practices to offer alternative forms of identification with more-than-human kin.
Seals'kin by Hanna Tuulikki has been developed as part of an Acoustic Commons residency with Full of Noises. Acoustic Commons is an emerging network of live environmental streams drawing attention to the unique sounds of particular places across Europe and beyond. Read more here.
The Acoustic Commons is a Small Cooperation Project supported in part by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Image: Seals'kin, film still, Hanna Tuulikki, 2022