Giff-Gaff

Rhodri Davies, Bedwyr Williams, Ant Macari, Gummy Stumps, Zahnpasta Brothers, Enigmatic Storytellers of Berwick

25 – 26 September 2015

25 – 26 September 2015

Friday 25th, 7.00-9.30pm / Saturday 26th 9.00-11.00pm

  • The Palace Green Pavilion, Palace Green, Berwick upon Tweed
  • FREE

Please note: Friday’s event will finish in time to catch the last train back to Newcastle, leaving Berwick station at 9.48pm.

For Saturday’s event a bus leaving Newcastle Central Station at 10am and returning from Berwick at 11.30pm is available for Saturday Day Pass holders for Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (£15) – please purchase here 

All Giff-Gaff events are FREE

The Palace Green Pavilion is a community centre, owned by the Scouting Association and is the headquarters of the 5th Berwick (Holy Trinity) Scouts. At The Palace Green, Giff-Gaff will explore local and non-local perceptions of Berwick: a historic, geological and a fortified site.

Mostly known as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, ‘giff-gaff’ is a word from old Brythonic Northumberland-language, meaning “give and take, either in talking or in a helpful way of mutual assistance”. In this events series curated by CIRCA Projects, local and non-local narratives will be dispelled through written and spoken word, and explorations of recorded documents which corroborate or through into question the certainty of Berwick upon Tweed. Through local story-telling; disjointed narratives unravel.

Friday 25th September 2015

7.00pm: Giff-Gaff and other stories

‘WANTED! Enigmatic storytellers, Fact or Fiction. Subject matter: relating to Berwick. Historic, geological, fictional past, present or future. Any aspect of life’. A number of speakers, either responding to a call-out in the Berwick Advertiser or invited as guests, will tell short 5-10minute tales. No distinction will be made between fact and fiction.

8.30pm: A new live work by Rhodri Davies

Davies is interested in the migration of the harp. Through the transformation of its form and music different cultures can be traced; the people that have passed through local places. Northumberland is a crossing point now and historically between different territories. Looking to the era of the Gododdin, who were elegised in the Welsh poem Y Goddodin, Davies will create a soundscape of this time, one when historically Northumberland was autonomous. This score improvised from early notation will be played on a unique, horse-hair strung harp.

Rhodri Davies plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics. He has released four solo albums: Trem, Over Shadows, Wound Response and An Air Swept Clean of All Distance. His regular groups include: a duo with John Butcher, Common Objects, HEN OGLEDD: Dawson – Davies, a trio with David Toop and Lee Patterson, Cranc, The Sealed Knot and a trio with John Tilbury and Michael Duch. In 2008 he collaborated with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on ‘Self-cancellation’, a large-scale audio-visual collaboration in London and Glasgow.

9.00pm: A new live work by Ant Macari

For Berwick, Macari will compose a new live work which enacts ideas illustrated in his map of Berwick upon Tweed which has been commissioned for the festival.

The live performances of Ant Macari create layered soundscapes and play on traditional theatrical devices. In Eustace’s Loop, a commission responding to a carving in the Normal Chapel of Durham Castle, Macari enacted a Medieval liturgical drama based on the life of a saint which mingled truth and legend without distinction. Recently in Macari’s Mystics don’t give lectures, he inhabited the character of a Harlequin to execute a series of drawing actions and layered soundscape.

9.30pm: Close

Saturday 26th September 2015

For Saturday’s Giff-Gaff there is a bus now running from Newcastle Central 10am Saturday, returning to Newcastle at 1am after Giff-Gaff and after party karaoke! £15 Saturday festival pass + return bus. You can book a ticket here.

9.15pm: Performance by Bedwyr Williams

At Giff-Gaff, Bedwyr Williams will perform a reading of his work Spoon 5. The work takes its title from the sole surviving object from a restaurant whose entire contents was turned to gas and powder by an enormous blast which was felt for miles around.

Williams often draws upon the quirky banalities of his own autobiographic existence to develop his sculptures and performances. His work merges art and life with a comedic twist that is instantaneously sympathetic and relational. Bedwyr Williams was born in St Asaph, Wales in 1974 and lives and works in Caemarfon, Wales.

9.30pm: Music by Zahnpasta Brothers

Zahnpasta Brothers are Christo Wallers and Micheal J Patterson, a politically correct duo from Northumberland, mixing males from different social backgrounds in a successful integration project.

10.00pm: Music by Gummy Stumps

3 strung guitar, biscuit tins and a two pronged vocal delivery that can vary from straight narrative spoken-word to more verse/chorus song-orientated lyrics, or using the vocals as an extra instrument. Both sets of lyrics to a piece are usually interpretations of each other, interchangeable, and can come across like two different songs at times… a counterpoint attack that creates new dimensions. Gummy Stumps are Colin Stewart, Rob Alexander, Rob Churm.

11.00: Close

Also throughout the festival: Berwick Film and Media Festival Map

A specially commissioned map will be available in limited numbers throughout Berwick – made for the festival by artist Ant Macari.

Macari’s artworks are marked by an expanded approach to drawing which incorporates performance, installation and AV. Context/ site specific research and response is often essential to the elaboration of his ideas, which engage with their immediate situations and explore/ subvert conventions of reading and display. Religious iconography/ ideology; creation myths and New-Age mysticism have been central to the development of Macari’s recent projects, which have focused on global divisions of faith and the future of art and the spiritual in this ‘The Age of Aquarius’. Ant Macari was born in 1976 in Selkirkshire and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Image Credits:

1- Giff-Gaff Graphic (CIRCA Projects)
2- Advert in Berwick Advertiser for Giff-Gaff
3- Rhodri Davies, GIG, 2014.
4- Ant Macari, Mystics dont give lectures, 2015.

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25 – 26 September 2015

Friday 25th, 7.00-9.30pm / Saturday 26th 9.00-11.00pm

  • The Palace Green Pavilion, Palace Green, Berwick upon Tweed
  • FREE