Since leaving Bristol last month we’ve been activating the first beacons that will be broadcasting the love songs we record. We’ve driven over 6000km since the end of April and we’ve recorded a few songs on the way which we’re thrilled about but mostly we’ve been focusing on getting the first beacons active. We’ve placed beacons at Hadrian’s Wall in England, Dingle in Ireland, Cabo Da Roca in Portugal and Punta Tarifa, Sant Rafael Del Rio (San Rafael Del Riu) and Llivia in Spain. Its 2127km as the crow flies from Hadrian’s Wall to Punta De Tarifa in Spain so we’ve had our work cut out in this first month getting far enough in the time we have to put the beacons where we wanted them. We’d planned to place a beacon on the Lunghin pass in the Alps this month too but had to put that plan to bed when we checked the weather forecast, its not accessible at the moment so we’ll have to go there in early September instead. We knew this was an ambitious undertaking but we’ve realised in the first weeks just how much we’ve bitten off. Europe is a big place, and the distances involved are pretty huge. To get to the currently active beacons we’ve already crossed seas and mountain ranges, driven through thunderstorms and snow, and baked in hot sun. Its really exciting though to know that those locations now hold these audio secrets and to imagine intrepid people in the future making their own long journeys over seas and mountain ranges to hear them. All the beacons are already broadcasting voices of people we’ve met singing Algarve mountain songs, Bollywood classics, Tony Christie, Fleetwood Mac, Irish folk, Geordie anthems and lots more and those voices are there even as there’s no-one listening to them. We like to imagine that they’re having a kind of impact on the landscape, the way they connect each location and the way they allow those voices to exist there invisibly but with meaning. When the long drives and disturbed sleeps are taking their toll its a great motivator, to know that we have these songs in our possession. Songs that were gifted to us by courageous people who’ve sung their hearts out in the knowledge that it will find its way to these distant lands and one day someone will tune in and hear it.
We’re currently in the foothills of the Pyrenees, in a simple campsite by a river in France watching the evening sun compete with passing storm clouds on our way to place the next beacon on the confluence of two rivers in Geneva, thinking about the voices we’re yet to hear, the journeys yet to be made and the songs yet to be sung.