Into The Mountain was a project created by artist and choreographer Simone Kenyon. Informed by the ecologies and environments of the Cairngorms, and the lyrical and embodied prose of Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain, the project explored and celebrated women's relationships with Scotland's Mountains.
The project culminated in May 2019 with guided walks and a performance deep within Glen Feshie. The work was performed over four days by the Into The Mountain dancers, with vocal scores by artist Hanna Tuulikki sung by a new choir of local women and led by vocalist Lucy Duncombe.
The performances took instruction from the site and were used as an invitation towards the possibilities for transformation and the more-than-human connections to be made within the mountains.
Nan will be making her first appearance on the Edinburgh Fringe this August. The one-man-plus-several-others show 'NanShepherd: From Flaneur to Fiver' will be staged for three nights at the Scottish Poetry Library - August 20, 21, and 22; 7.30 £6 (£4).
Personal appearances are promised by Fats Waller, General Erich Ludendorff, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Gerda Stevenson's beautiful reading of Nan's 'In The Cairngorms' poetry collection can now be downloaded here. Publishers Galileo anticipate releasing a 'luxury' CD version over the summer.
And stand by for some remarkable developments on the 'Living Mountain' front. Canongate have signed up a very prestigious voice for an audio version. Spoiler alert: it is neither Lady Gaga nor Bradley Cooper.
Here is the cover for the new semi-hardback version of The Living Mountain, to be released by Canongate later this year (2019) .
For good measure we can give you a sneak preview of the cover of Taiwanese version of The Living Mountain. This rather fine Scottish stag will be a relief to zoologists, many of whom have pointed out that the breed of deer on the cover of the current Canongate paperback is, in fact, native to the Rocky Mountains.
A site-specific interpretation of The Living Mountain is to be staged in the Cairngorms on four afternoons between May 30 and June 2.
Choreographed by Simone Kenyon, and featuring a team of 'body-weather' dancers and an all-female choir, 'Into The Mountain' promises to "make connections that offer multiple perspectives of this mountainous environment."
More details: www.ssw.org.uk/project/into-the-mountain-2018-19/
And now - and now - I am mazed to find my world
Sore altered in the passing of a night
(And never a dream all night had round me curled).
No sound, no proclamation, no delight
Of haunting prophecy came, no hurricane swirled
But at morn the earth was strange, a blur, white.
Galileo (pioneering publisher, not the pioneering astronomer), who rescued Nan's poetry collection 'In The Cairngorms' from relative obscurity in 2014, is to release an audio version early in 2019.
Brilliantly interpreted by distinguished actress, playwright and poet Gerda Stevenson, the poems reveal a writer as much ensnared by passion as by the mountains.