shetland odyssey

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harp drawing

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Welcome to the Education pages for the Shetland Schools workshops based on the opera Odysseus Unwound .

This site is a chronicle of the education projects delivered by CHROMA as part of its collaboration with Tête à Tête opera company and its latest production - Odysseus Unwound - based on the story of Odysseus. The opera includes singers, instrumentalists from CHROMA, and knitters and spinners from Shetland.

In March and November/December 2006, CHROMA went to Shetland to work with pupils from eight schools on Fair Isle, Yell, Unst, Fetlar and Out Skerries (118 primary pupils and 107 secondary pupils). These pages show some of the music, the words, the artworks and photos of the workshops in progress. Please go to the MEDIA page for a full menu.

Photo gallery from November/December sessions

Stuart King writes a chonicle of the March sessions
Marcus Barcham-Stevens writes a chronicle of the November/December sessions.

Friday 24 - Saturday 25 March
Fair Isle Primary School, Fair Isle

Tuesday 28 March
Burravoe Primary School, Yell
Cullivoe Primary School, Yell
Skerries Primary School, Out Skerries

Wednesday 29 March
Mid Yell Junior High, Yell - primary
Mid Yell Junior High, Yell - juniors

Thursday 30 March
Baltasound Junior High School, Unst
Uyeasound Primary School, Unst
Fetlar Primary School, Fetlar

(From the School Page of the Fair Isle TImes Vol.29. No.26)

Last Friday, Chroma and Bill came to work with the school. Stuart, Marcus and Clare are some of Chroma. Stuart and Marcus are musicians and Clare is their manager. Bill is a director with Tte a Tte. First we took all our instruments through to the hall and started to play them.

Then we did some warm ups. One of the warm up games was called Beans. There were lots of different types of beans we had to act out. Then Stuart took out his clarinet and Marcus took out his fiddle. Then we warmed up our arms and hands by playing Spider. What we had to do was copy what Stuart was doing.

Then we decided who we would be in the play and started to learn our parts. The first scene we did was the giants practicing their marching. The main giant was Alice acting `Surtr' - Queen of Muspelheim. Lowri was `Surfeit' - the Muckle Foot. Fyntan was `Gobble-Dropper' Volcano Breath.
Melissa was `Adivia' - The Water Giant. Henry was `Grabbit' - The Bone Crusher. Raven was `Truncher-Face' - The Puppy and Dog napper. Then Amy learnt her lines as Odysseus and we had lunch. After lunch Erin learnt her part as the Cyclops.

She was called Polyphemus. Then we learnt our words and the song for the rowing scene. After that we did the play all the way through. Then Stewart had an idea that Bill could do Erin's voice for the Cyclops. So that is what he did. Then school was finished so all of us went home.

On Saturday at 3:00 we all met at the hall so that we could practice the play again. We practiced lots of times and added bits in. The play started with Odysseus and his crew rowing around, until they came to an island and started to explore.

They went into a cave and ate cheese and drank milk. When they were asleep the Cyclops returned to his cave and was very angry. He killed three of the crew. The other crew members and Odysseus woke up and Odysseus tricked the Cyclops into drinking wine to make him fall asleep.

When the Cyclops was asleep they took a log, heated it up in the fire and stabbed the Cyclops in his one eye. The Cyclops woke up and was very angry because he was in pain and couldn't see.

Odysseus and the rest of the crew pretended to be sheep to get out of the cave. They ran back to their boat and began to row again. The Cyclops realised he had been tricked and threw rocks at the departing ship. The ship sailed away - and landed on an island called Muspelheim.

They started to explore the new island but then all the crew were eaten by the giants except Odysseus. Then all the giants came in and introduced themselves. Odysseus then went to beg for help from Surtr, the Queen of Muspelheim.

She refused to help because he had blinded her friend the Cyclops. Then all the giants started singing and they surrounded Odysseus. Suddenly church bells started to ring and all the giants ran away (giants are afraid of the noise that church bells make).

Odysseus then escaped from the giants and that was the end. At 7:00pm we went to the hall to perform our play in front of everyone. It went very well. After we had performed, we had juice and cakes. Then we played ball tag and catch. It was a great night.

(From the School Page of the Fair Isle Times Vol.29 No.11)

Fun Weekend with Chroma
"On Friday Chroma came to school and worked with us about Betty Mouat. The people were Evgeny, Marcus, Stuart and Claire. First we did some warm-ups like chewing some pretend gum. We did a concert about Betty Mouat on Saturday. The songs we did were Splice the main brace and Betty's rap. We took the spelling of Fair Isle School and Betty Mouat and composed music to play on the chim-bars. We used things that we found around the school. We used things like wet t-towels, posts, balls and a rain tree as percussion instruments. We also read out poems that we wrote about what it would be like to be on the boat. After the concert we had food and drink. It was great working with Chroma and doing a concert." Amy (10)

A Visit From Chroma

"On Friday a group called Chroma came to work with the school about Betty Mouat. First of all we looked at the instruments they had brought. There was a French horn, a violin and a clarinet. The three musicians who came were called Marcus, Evgeny and Stuart. After that we did some warm-ups. Then we learnt a song called Splice the Main Brace. Then we learnt a rap called Betty Mouat.
On Saturday we practised it all over again and again. That night we did our piece to everybody in the hall. It was fantastic." Erin (10)

"On Friday Chroma came. A French horn player called Evgeny came and a violin player came. His name was Marcus. Stuart a clarinet player came as well. Stuart stayed with us. We did a concert at the hall. I loved it." Lowri (6)