OSS NIGHT : SHORT RISING
with Alex Blackmore, Mike Willoughby, The Human Organs
Commisioned from Alex Blackmore as a part of the Artspace SJB3/Manners and Amusements 2018 project, the Oss is at the centre of the Stretton Oss Rising. These notes lead off the radio version of Oss Night: Short Rising, which can be read in full on the project blog, alongside video and more about the project.
December 19 2018. Publicised with surreptitious fliers and a last minute Short Notice, the Short Ritual and its participants muster in a light drizzle under the Christmas lights.
At 6.10 the oss raises its head and launches itself into the available space of the season.
Throughout the year whether suspended from the workshop beams and caught in the sunlight under the low cottage ceilings, the skull has acquired the look of something unearthed, awaiting notice of its purpose.
12 feet plus of occupied hollow, A Tower of muslin, backpack, poles and modelling material, the oss soon attracts a crowd. Others are drawn out from the pubs by outriders.
A harmonica, caught in the same wind that caused the oss to sway, makes the pace and calls the Human Organs Pipe band to order at 6.30 with a tune that has made its own slow progress from Derbyshire, via Staffordshire, the East Coast and the West Riding to Ulverston.
Photos: Lindsay Ward Photography
"What benefit can historians derive from the study of invented tradition? First and foremost, it may be suggested that they are important symptoms and therefore indicators of problems which might not otherwise be recognized, and developments which are otherwise difficult to identify and to date. They are evidence."
Eric Hobsbawm, "The Invention Of Tradition" Ed. Hobsbawm /Ranger
"It appears that the need to define one's community as valid -- by reference to an historic past -- is most acute when that community is only just established or is in decline."
Judy Koren, Amazon review of Hobsbawm/Ranger
Alistair Anderson - attrib on reliable authority- "you've no traditions? Make some up"