Dan Scott and Tom Adams at The Naseby Battlefield Project

Categories


Project Info


Artists

  • Dan Scott
  • Tom Adams

Partners

  • The Naseby Battlefield Project
  • Arts&Heritage
  • Arts Council England

In 2021, artists Dan Scott and Tom Adams were commissioned by Naseby Battlefield Project to produce an artwork in response to their site as part of the Meeting Point programme. Their new performance work, Panegyric explored the sounds, music and atmosphere of the English Civil War at All Saint’s Church in Naseby.

The artists worked with civil war re-enactors, musicians and local school children to create a dreamlike audio-visual performance, featuring songs and animation, with many of the sounds recorded on the site where the fighting took place.

Artist Dan Scott explained:

“It wouldn’t have been possible to make this work without the input of all the people we met along the way. Everyone, including the school children, was very aware of Naseby’s importance in the civil war and it was amazing to be able to film this and capture sounds on the very ground that the civil war soldiers would have walked on.”

The piece, which includes visuals created by animator and film maker Paul Barritt, takes the audience on a journey beginning at sunrise and finishing at the end of a day in battle. The piece also explore the relevance and resonance of the battle to contemporary life in the United Kingdom.

Sounds that can be heard in the piece include soldiers and horses charging and muskets firing – which was all recreated by members of the Sealed Knot, the UK’s oldest re-enactment society. The voices of children from Naseby Church of England Primary School and Farndon Fields Primary School in Market Harborough can be heard, along with drum rhythms and music that the pupils worked with the artists to create.

Words from the 17th century poem A dialogue between old England and new England by Anne Bradstreet can also be made out, along with music played on snare drums, pipes and a lezard – an ancient woodwind instrument, as well as more contemporary sounds played on analogue synthesisers and electric bass guitars.

The work is named after panegyrics – speeches or verse in praise of something, like the ones often written at the time of the civil war, in praise of either Charles I or Oliver Cromwell.

“As well as capturing the dirt, heat and chaos of battle, and its moments of quiet, we wanted to think about the reasons why people go to war and the fact that sometimes, what you love can lead to conflict – something which is of course very relevant to us all today.” – Tom Adams

Panegyric was performed on Saturday 11 June 2022 at All Saints Church, Church St, Naseby, Northampton.

A&H commissioned a ‘making of film’ for Panegyric, capturing the artists’ process.

The vision of the Naseby 1645 Trustees is to enhance visitor facilities with a Visitor Centre that will be an information resource about the Battle itself, the Civil War, the political and social history of the era, the rural environment in the 1600s and what life was like at that time, placing the English Civil War in its proper context in the evolution of modern parliamentary democracy.

The Artist

Dan Scott is a Margate based artist working with sound, performance and listening. His works incorporates film, sound art, music and pedagogical practice. He recently completed a PhD at the University of the Arts in London on listening as an artistic practice. His work often explores collaborative, socially engaged and dialogical modes of making.

Tom Adams is a Margate based composer and theatre maker who is an associate artist of Harrogate Theatre, Omnibus Theatre and Attenborough Arts Centre.

Tom Adams and Dan Scott have collaborated on a number of projects with the most recent being Boat-House-Theatre, a year long project commissioned by ARC Theatre and Tees Rediscovered exploring a long since vanished houseboat community that once existed on the River Tees estuary between Hartlepool and Stockton-On- Tees. Tom and Dan worked with apprentices from Groundworks North East to build a timber structure around a Yorkshire coble fishing boat that they then placed on Stockton-On-Tees High Street for a series of events, including reading by the Tees Women Poets, and a gig-theatre show Tom and Dan wrote about the community and their journey through the project.