Catrin Menai

Heuldro (Bryn Celli Du, Ynys Mon)

Residency at Bryn Celli Ddu, Anglesey

June 2022

Heuldro was a collaborative event created by Cadw, Tin Shed Theatre and Tactile Bosch at the Neolithic site of Bryn Celli Ddu, that sought to interrogate landscape, ritual, and the celebration of archaeology through creative interpretation. Four artists-in-residence (Manon Awst, Tess Wood, Teddy Hunter, and myself)  were commissioned to respond to the site in different ways including performance, sculpture, sound and poetry. 


Having heard that human ear bones were discovered (amongst other things) at Bryn Celli Du during excavations in 1928, I began thinking about the site as an echo chamber, a sort-of circular horizon where narratives meet. The duration of a voice and its lifetime is a mysterious thing (all stories connect in some shape or form). Who speaks to you? Who speaks for -or with- you?  Who obliges you to listen?  And  how can we 
hear beyond what is immediately perceived? 

Considering the borders of ourselves along the contours of tradition, I began recording conversations with friends and encounters, and playing them out into the burial chamber. Stories of oral navigation, songlines, iridescent fish and  the tails of  telescopes were joined together  with the implicit, the indirect and the delayed. 

This was an opportunity to reflect upon ideas of excavation, belonging, and deep listening. That is, listening deeply to our environments and to each other as a means of relating, caring and
belonging to our world. 

A film documenting the event made by Ffilm Bach & Mawr

“Deep Listening involves going below the surface of what is heard, expanding to the whole field of sound while fInding focus. This is the way to connect with the acoustic environment, all that inhabits it, and all that there is.”

Pauline Olivieros 

Using Format