The untrained but tuneful voice without a body, magnified by the acoustic qualities of the bridges with their arches, not to mention the sound of water and the sight of its passage, was well aligned with the site, insofar as the bridges reflect aspects of Glasgow’s history over the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a history prone to the forgetfulness of cultural memory. For audiences, the work likely evoked personal memories as well, of lost or past loves, perhaps also serving as a reminder of the transience and unpredictability of experience and of life itself.
As far as placemaking projects are concerned, Lowlands is a work that demonstrates aesthetic sensitivity to the sites, to their sometimes-tragic histories as well as to their contemporary circumstances as a kind of seedy underbelly of everyday life. It is commendable for its skillful use of the medium of the voice in the public sphere, and for bringing together the Scottish past and present through the resurrection of a sixteenth century song. Stimulating quiet reflection and contemplation, it forged connections between the personal memories, imaginations and emotions of audiences and three historical sites. These connections are important in any placemaking endeavor, since they are the foundation upon which individuals and communities can invest themselves more in a space and commit themselves more to its future.
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