Close up of a woman singing outside within a group
Photo: Felicity Crawshaw

Some months have passed since the Into The Mountain performances and with this we have invited the amazing team of women who made it happen to share their reflections, thoughts and feelings after the event. From production to performing, guiding audiences and behind the scenes, all have taken something away from the collective experience of Into The Mountain into their daily lives and practices. Angela Patterson was part of the choir, here is what she wrote:

“When I saw the open call for the forming of a new choir back at the beginning of the year it intrigued me. I was fairly new to singing, having only joined a choir in January and really only attended one or two singing workshops. I had absolutely no confidence and no idea whether I could sing. I had not long turned 50 and thought what the hell, let’s go for it. I am so glad I did.

The taster session was nothing like I expected at all, it touched on yoga postures and breathing and emulating sounds of nature. Everyone involved in the organisation of this project was welcoming and made me feel fairly at ease. I was absolutely hooked and really wanted to be a part of the performance. I absolutely loved the rehearsals, meeting new and interesting people. I felt we were really pushed out of our comfort zones by Lucy and Hanna which is never a bad thing. Lucy had the patience of a saint, she was very reassuring and instilled us with the confidence to be able to do what she was asking. Once we met up as a whole choir at Aviemore I could see where the music was going and we were all beginning to gel. My biggest concern was the actual on-site rehearsals and performances. Having had ill health for 15 years, my stamina was not the best. Walking to the site really worried me but I felt I had gone that far, loved every minute of it and therefore pushed myself to the limit. As it was, it was a struggle for me but everyone was so supportive and encouraging. Walking to and from the site was just amazing, hearing so many stories from other members, some sad, some upsetting and some just amazing. It made me come to realise that we were all there for our own reasons.

The actual performances were amazing. Standing in silence for such a long time while the audience arrived I thought was something that was impossible for me to do but I was so taken up with the moment, the environment and the peace and tranquility of it all that it actually rendered me speechless. Watching the dancers appear whilst we sang was just the icing on the cake. I stood there in the pouring rain, soaked through, bird poo on my shoulder (courtesy of a passing bird) on the first performance and just couldn’t believe I was actually doing this. It was one of those surreal moments when I realised that my life was changing for the better. As to the organisers of Into the Mountain, everyone was so enthusiastic and keen and just threw themselves wholeheartedly in to the project. I couldn’t have been with a nicer bunch of women.

What did I bring away from being a part of this project? A greater appreciation of what is involved in the organisation of something like this. The confidence I have gained is incredible, something I had lost a long time ago. Thinking maybe I can actually sing?! Listening to the sounds of the countryside and then being able to join in. Into the Mountain has left a lasting impact on me, something I will always treasure and never forget. And will be Hoo Da’ing to the grave!”