Music and Emotion

I came across a great quote in relation to the theoretical underpinning for the project and thought I would make a note of it for future reference:

Music can also be considered as therapeutic, as Music Therapist Clements- Cortes (2004) suggests,

… a remembered melody may evoke the place, time, and especially the emotional state of the situation where the tune was originally heard. Music memories are some of our most deep- rooted memories. Music has accompanied us throughout our lives both consciously and unconsciously, and therefore music is a mirror of our worlds, and it is a reflection of our period of time. (Clements- Cortes, 2004: 225)

This statement underpins the theme of what I want to create with this project. ‘Somewhere in Time’ will reflect the emotions and the memories of the time spent by my Gran, Great Aunt and Great Uncle during the evacuations of World War Two.

Reference:

Clements- Cortes, A. (2004). The use of music in facilitating emotional expression in the terminally ill. American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. 21, 225. (online). Available at: http://www.brown.uk.com/palliative/clements.pdf Accessed 24 January 2017.

 

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Key Words from my Grans Story

I have taken some key words and phrases from my grans story. This is an integral part of the story board process as these are a few of the key elements which are required in order to portray the story:

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Story Of The Three Evacuees

The following story was written by my Gran about her time as an Evacuee along with her brother and sister:

The Three Evacuees by Kathleen Lochhead (now Dunsmore)

William (9), myself Kathleen (7) and Janet (6). 1941 – 1943.

We all thought it was great fun. Gas masks, siren suits and air raid shelters. Air raids were announced by loud wailing sirens where we were then rushed into the shelter. At night, when the warning sounded, we were hurried out of bed into the back garden where we were fortunate enough to have an Anderson shelter made of corrugated iron sheeting reinforced with sandbags, dug a few feet underground. It was surprisingly comfortable. My mum made flasks of tea and sandwiches since we would never know how long we’d be there.

Soon we would hear bangs and big thuds as bombs exploded, thankfully at a little distance. My dad used to entertain us with his banjo. He was also an air raid warden. When the all clear siren sounded, we crawled out of the shelter to see how much damage was done. First we inspected our house, often there were no windows left despite the brown sticky strips of tape which were designed to protect the glass. Then what became known as the Clydebank Blitz happened over a few nights. It was horrendous. It looked like the whole skyline was on fire.

It was shortly after that that the decision was taken all children must be evacuated from the area to locations in the country where there was no strategic targets and bombing was unlikely. It was too dangerous to remain where we were.

My brother, sister and I had to report to school with our suitcases, gas masks and our name tags. When we arrived there were lots of other children with their name labels attached to their belongings. Some were very upset, including me, because being so young we didn’t understand what was happening to us. When everything was organised, we were put on buses and taken to the railway station. As the train pulled away I saw my mum standing on the platform with tears streaming down her face. My brother William shouted through the window, “don’t worry mum if we don’t like it we’ll come back!”. My sister Janet and I started to wail.

The train took us to Palnackie, a small village in Dumfries and Galloway, and then by bus to Palnackie school. Lots of local villagers were there to pick up the children to go and live with them during the war years. Initially my brother, sister and I were going to be separated, but we clung together crying, so it was finally agreed we could stay together. We were taken in a little black box car to a large house and estate, owned by Lord and Lady Maxwell, called Kirkennan House. It had a great crunchy driveway and I loved the daffodils under the trees. Of course, we weren’t accommodated in the main house, we were installed downstairs in the servants’ basement with stone cold floors and dark rooms. But we were together and comfortable enough, looked after by an Indian nanny called Mita.

We soon settled into a routine. Walking two miles to Palnackie school in our wooden clog shoes, no matter the weather, carrying our packed lunches of lemon curd sandwiches – which we had to eat quickly because the bees loved the smell of lemon. The school was tiny and had only one classroom and one teacher, with about 45 children ranging in age from five to fifteen. We didn’t receive much individual tuition but it didn’t concern us at the time. There were no work books or jotters, we were given chalk and a slate to write on.

The main house was very grand. We were never allowed upstairs except at Christmas or if you fell ill, like the time Janet caught Scarlet fever. She was allowed to sleep in a nice fluffy bed! The only time I wasn’t happy was when I had to visit the dentist to get a tooth removed. I could hear the crunch as the dentist pulled it out – there was no pain relief in those days.

We stayed at Kilkennan House for a further two years or so, I only remember my mum being able to visit on two occasions as she was working all hours in a munitions factory in Bishopton near Glasgow. When we eventually returned home to Glasgow our bungalow seemed so small, but we were so happy to be back with mum and dad in our own house.

Planning the Video

On Saturday the 7th January I met up with Photographer Martin Bone to discuss the possibility of working on the video together.

Martin is a very talented photographer and has created some professional and innovative videos for various artists and bands, particularly around Ayrshire. https://martinbonephotography.co.uk/

Martin also took some photos of me at various events. He are some good ones taken a number of years ago:

I am very excited to have Martin on board with my project, he has some really great ideas and really gets the vision which I have imagined for this video. Martin will be giving me the opportunity to direct the video and will also get me involved in the editing process.

The next step will be to find the suitable locations for the video. The aim is to film the video towards the end of March and finish the editing process by the end of April.

 

Photos and Memories

“How do you like the kids? does it remind you?”

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This is a card sent to my Gran from her sister Janette from Cape Town, years on from the evacuation in their youth. You would think that someone had made a sketch of her, Janette and William. They regularly sent letters back and forth to each another. There weren’t a lot of photos taken around the time of their youth, camera’s weren’t exactly as accessible as they are now.

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My Gran Kathleen and Great Aunt Janette as Infants

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The most recent photo of My Gran Kathleen and Great Aunt Janette

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Great Grandfather John, Great Uncle William, Gran Kathleen and Great Aunt Janette
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Gran Kathleen
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Gran Kathleen School Photo

Lots of Memories to share and looking forward to hearing more from my Gran as my project continues to the next stage…

 

 

Experimenting with Video Programmes

While my Gran is off looking out all her photographs from her childhood I thought I would start experimenting with some video apps on my iPhone. I plan on contacting a photographer to help film a Music Video with me which will great in terms of making the video look professional.

But at this stage in my development I wanted to explore my other options. There is so much technology now available for amateur filmmakers that incredible videos can be made just using an iPhone.

Example of a Music Video filmed by actress Olivia Wilde using just the iPhone 6s Plus:

I came across an app called 8mm Vintage Camera. The app allows the user to easily film video and add on live effects. It captures the beauty of and magic of old school vintage movies. Dust and scratches, retro colours, flickering light leaks, even frame shakes all can be instantly added. So I began messing around filming things around the house to get a feel for how it works:

I thought this could really work well for the beginning of the video if I was to add in an intro to the song which features the popping and scratching of a vinyl on a record player before it bursts into the clarity of a modern recording. It could work really well to switch between this old school- looking video footage while looking back on the story and then flicking back to normal modern clips of me singing the song.

Test shot of Vinyl Recorder using the Vintage App:

This gives me something to work on and develop throughout this process. The next step once I’ve gathered all the information will be to create a storyboard for the video.
I came across a website which I found really interesting which provides great advice in relation to creating a Storyboard for a music video:

Building the Story

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I spoke with my Gran today and began to scratch the surface of an incredible War Time Story. My Gran is currently searching through old photos and although we will go into a lot more detail about their story over the next few weeks we have gathered some information to use as a starting foundation for my videos underlying concept.

William, Kathleen & Janette Lochhead lived with their parents John & Annie Lochhead in Old Drumchapel, Glasgow when World War II began in 1939:

  • My gran remembers at 6 years old hearing the announcement from the Prime Minster that “Britain is at War with Germany”
  • They lived just 2 miles from Clydebank
  • They attended Cloberhill School (From research I have gathered I believe it is now called St Ninian’s Primary School)

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  • My Gran vividly remember the events which took place during the Clydebank Blitz on the 13th & 14th March 1941- She remember 2 bombs being dropped across the road from their house on Great Western Road. The glass from the windows shattered and all they could see was flames. Their father ran with them to take cover in the Anderson Shelter. After they returned home after the evacuation they used the shelter as a Den before it was knocked down along with the majority of the Anderson Bomb Shelters

http://primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/war/shelters.htm

  • They had to wear Gas Masks everywhere they went.
  • William, Kathleen and Janette were Evacuated from 1941- 1943. They were going to be split apart which really upset them as they wanted to stay together.
  • They were going to be sent to Philadelphia in America but youngest sister Janette was too young. The ship that set sail before the one which they would have boarded was torpedoed & children were tragically drowned.
  • Thankfully it was arranged that they would stay together at Kirkennan House (-owned by Major Maxwell?), Kirkkudbright and attend Palnackie School (William broke his leg during their time at the school)
  • The stayed in the downstairs basement. The family who owned the house employed people to look after the children.
  • They spent the first while crying and missing their parent and their home, but soon had to settle in
  • They were lucky compared to a lot of children. There were horse stables and plenty of land to roam although they did have the problem of condensation which ran down the walls of the bedroom that they stayed in.
  • My gran has a memory of wearing clogs with buckles, in the winter snow would gather on the shoes like horse hoofs.
  • During this time their father John worked for a newspaper and their mother Annie worked at a munitions factory where she cycled to work everyday. At this time women took over the jobs of men.

 

I plan to head down to the Mitchells library to do further research as they hold the archives from the Glasgow Evacuations during WWII- http://www.glasgowfamilyhistory.org.uk/ExploreRecords/Pages/Evacuees.aspx

 

Evacuating Wartime Children In Glasgow

I decided to do some background research into the evacuation which occurred in Glasgow during World War II, before gathering information from my Gran about her experience. In our History class at school we often went into a lot of detail about World War I but rarely were we given any insight in to World War II. So my knowledge is limited.

On the 3rd September 1939 at 11.15am, Prime Minister  Neville Chamberlain announces on UK Radio that “This country is at war with Germany”:

In particular, I researched The Clydebank Blitz:

  • On the nights of 13th and 14th March 1941, German Bombers attacked the munitions factories and shipyards of the Clydeside.
  • There were 260 bombers on the first night- waves of high explosive bombs, incendiary bombs and land-mines were dropped over a nine-hour period. Streets were devastated, fires rages, and people were trapped in collapsed buildings.
  • On 14th March, with rescue work continuing, 200 bombers returned. Their bombing raid lasted over seven and a half hours.
  • Over the two days 528 civilians were killed, over 617 seriously injured and several housing schemes were completely wiped out
  • 48,000 civilians lost their homes, many of them shipyard workers and their families.

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Evacuation of children during World War II:

  • The first evacuation of children took place in the first few weeks of World War II in 1939 because of the fears of immediate Luftwaffe air raids. 120, 000 were taken out of Glasgow and placed with families and pensioners with spare rooms in Perthshire, Kintyre and Rothesay. When the air raids didn’t materialise , most of them returned home
  • The second evacuation took place weeks after the Clydebank Blitz in April 1941, when tragically a number of children who had returned home from the first evacuation were killed.

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Glasgow Children Evacuation: Photo taken from the Herald Scotland Picture Archives (April 1941)

References

Smith, K. (2016). (Online). Herald Picture Archive: Leaving home to escape the bombers. The Herald Scotland. Available at: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14760001.display/