Unherd! Digging Words

The Digging Words event was led by Joseph Schneider with Kate, Jean, Sue, Andrew and Jill.

We walked from the Mothershippon Studio to the nearby village of Welshampton. At different stages of the walk, we were invited to pause and respond to a range of provocations and instructions from Joseph.

We played with words used commonly to describe the experience of the rural. These improvised texts, both writings and readings, sonic and visual accumulated to form the basis for a final collective performance.

Here is an edited soundscape of our day’s activities:

Digging Words Mix

Starting in the Mothershippon studio, we let our words flow in chalk across the concrete surfaces.

We then set out on our walk finding ways to interact with acorns, the earth and a zinc water trough.


We had not walked far into the nearby grazing land and cornfield before the rain started, and this grew heavier until we reached Welshampton. Between hedgerows we made an “exquisite corpse” story:

Exquisite Crow

Deciding that the weather was a fundamental feature of the day’s walking experience, we resisted the temptations of the adjacent pub, we ate our lunch and performed further sound pieces under the bus shelter.(Or was it just that we needed to get back home on time?)

Bus Shelter

On the way back, we created an improvised verbal jumble. In the dry of the Mothershippon studio, we exchanged lines of text which we performed:

Shippon Words

Kate skilfully selected and played with the words and facilitated a group composition titled “Rainfools” which in no time at all we were able to sing:

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