Over the past year Storylines have been working with the Hypatia Trust as part of the Women of Cornish Music- Past and Present project, which is uncovering and celebrating the contributions of women to Cornwall’s musical heritage. As a team of passionate women we were delighted to be involved in a project that will rebalance the awareness of women’s roles in Cornish music-making past and present.
We started off with an oral history training session that took place in Spring 2020 just prior to the first lockdown. Sharing food, stories and gathered in a intimate circle (something we can only dream about for now) the group were introduced to the basics of oral history and guided through a practical session which aimed to equip them all with the confidence and skills to conduct oral histories as part of the ‘Women of Cornish Music’ project. Then lockdown hit, scuppering any chances of face-to-face oral histories for the foreseeable and leaving many of us with little headspace for anything other than getting by.
Despite this we adapted the training sessions, with zoom meetings, tutorial videos and bespoke creative packs, and a small group managing to conduct oral histories and create artworks to accompany these for the project’s book. These stories include one that explores how Covid has impacted the life of a Cornish musician, which feels very fitting for the book that’s been created through this challenging time.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered on this project, it’s been a pleasure and the stories you have created are very touching. We hope you continue using these skills into the future.