A Song for a Circus

A Somewhere project by Nina Pope and Tim Olden

Over several months our Boundary Estate band met every Monday night and attempting to create a song (or as it turned out songs) that said something about Arnold Circus and the Boundary Estate where everyone in the band lives or works. This interesting area was the first context for the whole Agrifashionista project, originally scheduled to be realised at Rochelle School, which is part of the Boundary Estate, located next to the sadly neglected bandstand that inspired this project.

Each week those of us at the rehearsal tried out different experiments with the instruments and voices to hand, and Tim (the project composer) recorded off anything we want to save. During the following week he worked up the various samples and the next week we'd try to layer new material over his framework.

We used all sorts of source material from lists and novels to free association about the Estate. In one of the pieces on our MySpace page you can hear us all reading from an interesting list of jobs that record the occupations of the inhabitants of the Jago (the slum that the Boundary Estate replaced)  before all their houses were knocked down and pushed into the mound now under the bandstand.

It was a fascinating process to hear how lots of different people feel about the area and discover its hidden secrets - from the lost animal markets of Club Row to 'A Child of the Jago'. Trying to make a song bought people together but also highlighted great differences in feelings about the Estate.

Our last rehearsal and recording session took place on Saturday the 15th of March 2008 in the Arnold Circus bandstand. Sadly with the cancellation of the Agrifashionista live event, the band never made a final live performance and the song itself now sits as the only record of our Monday night meetings.

This project was realised with help from The Friends of Arnold Circus and No:id gallery.


Read more about the history of the Boundary Estate: http://friendsofarnoldcircus.wordpress.com/history/

Visit our MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/songforacircus

See the band on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/nina_pope/sets/72157603222408630/

See the list of Jago jobs: http://www.agrifashionista.tv/blog/81

Information on 'A Child of the Jago': http://www.ferdinando.org.uk/achildof.htm

Agrifashionista Works