10th August 2015. Paula Boulton wears a fetching pink hat. Those fortunate enough to work with her before and after this date will also know she has many hats in her creative wardrobe: musician; director; dancer; composer; artist; activist; feminist; pacifist. If Plato had written the Theory of Hats instead of the Theory of Forms we might understand each hat to represent a basic form of ‘hatness’, each having a particular hat like property but none being the perfect Hat that sums up Boulton’s entire creative oeuvre.
Boulton herself describes her practice as “collecting stories from the community in which she lives”, “rooted in the documentary tradition”, and presented to a wider audience wearing whichever hat feels most appropriate.
In many ways “The Sounds of Home” music project stretches far outside the boundaries of traditional English music one might expect to find in Northamptonshire. It imbricates a host of such diverse themes, ideas, traditions and sounds that it is almost impossible in this short review to fully reflect the scope, the success and some of the lacunae that appeared (or not!) in the process of the realisation of this project.
The project’s objective allows for the exploration and development of new horizons whilst challenging the very parameters of a composer’s work.
I write neither as a music professional, (though I do have strong views on music matters) nor do I write as a community activist (as I am not that either). I write purely as an interested and engaged spectator and will generally take my cue from the music, rather than the year long process of research that Boulton embarked upon. It is also difficult to write about a piece which is clearly still in the throes of gestation and therefore my comments need to be seen as provisory responses both to the music and to the engaging, explanatory and enlightening lecture that Paula Boulton gave in conjunction with this piece.
Paula is a Composer and Musician, born and bred in Corby who studied music at the College of Ripon and York St John, Royal College of Music in London and Het Conservatorium in Rotterdam.