‘Rewilding’ is Stephanie and Sonja’s second collaboration creating a poetry/sound walk. The first in 2018 was about the history of Berlin through its water, Stephanie’s poetry accompanied by site-specific natural water recordings from the river Spree by Sonja listened to by participants within sound umbrellas on a self-directed walk through a park in Kreuzberg. Sonja Heyer has become known for her many sound collaborations in Germany and Taiwan. She has visited Orkney many times and was particularly keen for her and Stephanie’s next collaboration to be on Orkney.
Stephanie has been visiting Orkney for many years including self-imposed writer’s retreats on Papa Westray, Sanday and North Ronaldsay. She attended the St Magnus Writers course, 2013 tutored by Jen Hadfield and Pamela Beasant. As part of this she was paired with Marisa Sharon Hartanto on the Young Composers’ course who composed music for voice and piano for a verse from one of Stephanie’s poems, performed by mezzo soprano Alison Wells in the Peedie Kirk, as part of the St Magnus Festival, 2013. Two of her poems were also published in the celebratory programme of the 40th Anniversary of the festival, 2016.
Stephanie Green (English/Irish) is a poet and writer based in Edinburgh. Her publications include a poetry pamphlet inspired by Shetland ‘Flout’ (Happenstance, 2015), a novel for teenagers ‘The Triple Spiral’ (Walker Books, 1989) and drama-documentaries broadcast on BBC, Radio Schools. She also reviews drama and dance. She is co-curator of PoetryLit, a monthly online poetry event started to counteract lockdown blues which has proved immensely popular and has global audiences.
Sonja Heyer (German/Berlin-based) is a sound artist renowned for her ‘Umbrella’ installations. She has studied Music, Anthropology and Sound Studies. Since 2010 she has had numerous exhibitions of sound installations in Germany (klang orte berlin: berlin sonic places; Weltausstellung der Reformation); Austria (ars electronica), Netherlands and Taiwan, as well as various broadcasts of her radio works, for instance for Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Hessischer Rundfunk and Ö1 (Austria). Her mobile sound installation UMBRELLA works with interviews, prose as well as poetry for immersive sound walks. Sonja Heyer lives as a musician, artist and scientist in Berlin and Mecklenburg/Vorpommern (Germany)
Ingrid Leonard, who provided the Orcadian pronunciation of bird names, is Orkney born and bred and lives in Orkney and Lithuania. She is a poet with two pamphlets published ‘Rammo in Stenness’ and ‘What the waves make’ (both Abersee Press, 2022) and available in the Longship Bookshop, Kirkwall.
Lucy Alsop, Orkney-based, sings with the Mayfield Singers, with whom she performed in the St Magnus Festival in 2013, and the Battle of Jutland commemorations in 2016, televised on the BBC. She has also sung with the St Magnus Festival Choir and in 2018 sang the Esurientes solo in John Rutter’s Magnificat in the Winter Choir concert in St Magnus Cathedral.