Julie Myers: Trail Song

While I was thinking about augmented reading in preparation for yesterdays PU&P (which was fab – thanks guys!) Giles showed me the Trail Song project by Julie Myers who he commissioned as part of the Transformations series.

The Whyte Museum Archive, Banff, describes a Trail Song in this way:

“A Trail Song uses a well known song or tune but replaces the lyrics with words of its own. These words reference objects, people and places experienced on the journey” (Trail Songs Magazine (1954) – The Whyte Museum Archive, Banff, CAN).

In 2009 Julie created her own Trail Song around a journey from San Francisco, US to Banff, Canada – 1,345 miles by car, coach and ferry. The Trail Song lyrics were captured in an eBook while a set of four StoryCubes show photographs of the people and places she encountered on different stages of the journey. Julie writes:

“In the tradition of the Trail Songs of North America, we invent lyrics as we travel from place to place. Like modern day Songlines these songs tell about the geography and the people of the landscape, each song refers to a direction or path taken and is matched to the video footage we shoot en route. The original tune is something we might overhear on a street corner, in a café or on the car radio.”

I think my favourite part though is the video where you see snippets of her family’s journey as they travel north and hear them singing their Trail Song as they go. Augmented reading indeed!

You can read more about the project and download the eBook and StoryCubes at the diffusion website.