“Ùrlar will be an outward and inward journey, a kaleidoscopic vision of place, a sounding of resonant notes echoing through time,” so says the event’s creative producer Guy Veale of the new experimental theatre production on the banks of Loch Lomond.
Ùrlar will present that ‘kaleidoscopic vision of place’ for one day this September along the Ardess Hidden History Trail, a rich archaeological heritage site on the banks of the Loch.
“People and place have been entangled at Ardess for centuries, and Ùrlar will celebrate the rhythm of that relationship: the ebb and flow of seasons and cultures, the past and future of farming and recreation, and the cycle of habitats and inhabitants – lost and restored.”
Glasgow-based artist and producer Guy, who recently created immersive sound designs for NTS’ House of Dun property near Montrose, Ùrlar will take audiences on a journey through the lower slopes of Ben Lomond, one of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes.
In the Great Highland Bagpipe tradition of piobaireachd (or ‘pibroch’), the ùrlar is the ‘main theme’ or ‘ground’ upon which the tune builds layers of variation.
Attendees can expect to see and hear the landscape in a completely new way, guided by professional storytellers along a specially curated trail, their imaginations fired by a cast of magical characters in strikingly designed costumes, all inspired by the natural and cultural history of this spectacular corner of Scotland.
Key stations along the route will be brought to life in harmony with – and respect for – the natural environment, with subtle additions to nature’s own amazing soundscape and a uniquely recurring “sonic beacon” joined by multiple instruments and voices, carried on the wind to activate the entire site.
New connections between natural and cultural heritage
Samuel Gallacher, NTS operations manager for Ben Lomond said: “With this event, we seek to engage with new audiences, make new connections between natural and cultural heritage, and provide visitors with a novel and thought-provoking experience with which we hope to learn how natural heritage properties such as Ben Lomond may function as live performance venues while adding to the mission of the NTS as Scotland’s national conservation charity.”
Tickets for Ùrlar cost £12, with slots on Sunday, September 26 every 30mins from noon until 5.30pm.
The event involves a gentle 90min guided walk along the Ardess Hidden History Trail
NTS Ben Lomond Rowardennan G63 0AR. There are stepping stones and narrow paths which require care. Waterproof clothing and appropriate footwear are essential.
Booking essential: nts.org.uk
Top image: creative producer Guy Veale with performers Dougie Strang and Darla Eno (group shot) at the Ardess Hidden History Trail. Courtesy of the National Trust for Scotland