The Shelter and how it began

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The Shelter is an interdisciplinary collaboration combining live drawing in Japanese ink, a multi-voiced verbatim, music and sound performance.

Originally developed by Visual Artist Kate Steenhauer and Creative Writer Shane Strachan, supported by Aberdeen Performing Arts, and performed at the Lemon Tree in April 2018, The Shelter has been further enhanced with Composer Ross Whyte.

Whyte combines soundscape recordings (activated and digitally processed in real-time) with a live ambient score written and performed in response to the onstage action and live evolving ink drawings projected through a screen. The new performance was shown as part of Just Start Here Festival in March 2019 supported by National Theatre of Scotland.

The Shelter reflects contemporary life around city-centre bus shelters in Aberdeen.

Sound and sight give different perspectives on the city’s bus shelters through an accumulation of Japanese ink brush strokes in the hands of Steenhauer and repeated extracts of (ever-growing) conversations (the Scots language and its plurality of accents) performed by Strachan, underpinned by the music and soundscapes rendered by Whyte.

The Shelter at Creative-me-podcast: So I had a nice little chat with Shane Strachan and Kate Steenhauer about their upcoming multidisciplinary performance called The Shelter. You may have heard or seen posts on social media about this interesting piece that draws on real life conversations from local bus stops. We speak about how the idea for this performance came about, and the process involved that will hopefully have the audience engaged in the day to day lives of Aberdeen’s residents.

The Shelter is a safe space from the world of the streets beyond; it is a communal space where strangers are more likely to speak and interact, and where friends share confessions; it is a soapbox for real-life characters to exchange monologues, diatribes and political rants.

Watch clips and read more of The Shelter here!