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Remembering Together Moray launches book by author Chris Lee which reflects on Covid pandemic

By Chris Saunderson

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INSPIRED by lived experiences of the Covid pandemic, the second phase of Remembering Together Moray concludes with the launch of a specially commissioned screenplay book, ‘Breathing. Being’ by Chris Lee.

Breathing. Being by Chris Lee. Picture: Graeme Roger
Breathing. Being by Chris Lee. Picture: Graeme Roger

The Covid-19 pandemic changed the lives of everyone in Scotland, but the ways by which it affected each community were unique. Remembering Together is a national project which seeks to give each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities their own way to remember and mark their experiences of the pandemic.

Artists and creative organisations have been commissioned in each of Scotland’s local authority areas and the memorials created in each area will be locally co-designed and unique to each area.

In Moray, local Lead Artists/ Producers, Graeme Roger (Wildbird) and Caroline Inckle (Studio Constella) have worked with local people, communities, and artists since May 2022 to co-create a constellation of sound, words, and images.

Remembering Together Moray will conclude with the publication of a new commission by writer Chris Lee, ‘Breathing. Being.’ The original screenplay draws upon the lived experiences of people in Moray taken from newspaper and social media archives, alongside contributions from individuals and community groups, which have been woven into a fictional narrative.

Copies of ‘Breathing. Being’ will be available to the public through all Moray public and school libraries. An audiobook and online version of the book will be available through the Remembering Together website in April.

Providing an opportunity for individual and collective reflection, during the August and September 2023 Remembering Together Moray delivered a series of immersive community sound walks. Created by composer and sound artist Lucie Treacher in collaboration with community groups and other musicians, the sound walks took place at 11 locations across Moray, and engaged with around 500 participants.

The book will be in the Moray heritage section of local libraries. Picture: Graeme Roger
The book will be in the Moray heritage section of local libraries. Picture: Graeme Roger

In September 2023, a new traditional tune for Moray, ‘The Beauty of Moray’, composed by renowned Scottish musicians Duncan Chisholm and Hamish Napier, premiered at a community concert in Fochabers. In the lead up to the premiere copies of the sheet music were distributed through music teachers for students and future generations of musicians in Moray to learn.

Reflecting upon their experience, Lead artists/ Artist producers, Graeme Roger and Caroline Inckle said: “Working as artist producers on the Remembering Together Moray project has been a huge privilege. We have been incredibly lucky to work alongside some very talented and experienced artists, musicians and writers who have developed the memorial work with input from a broad range of community groups and individuals from across Moray. We hope that the experiences generated from participating in the project have contributed to a process of collective healing and reflection from the impacts of the Covid Pandemic.”

The Book Launch will take place in Elgin Library on Saturday, March 30 from 1-2pm and will be presented by the writer Chris Lee and feature a reading by Lewie Watson. The event is free to attend with no booking required.

Remembering Together Moray was in partnership with Moray Council, tsiMoray, UHI Moray, Findhorn Bay Arts, M:ADE (Moray Arts Development Engagement) and Moray Lieutenancy.

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