Love Lives Here  

Our Creative Projects Producer, Hattie, shares behind-the-scenes insight of creating the audio trail Love Stories in Scarborough. Love Stories is a digital audio trail that takes listeners on a journey through the recently restored South Cliff Gardens. It features real-life love stories with music created with and performed by the people who experienced them.  

Arriving at The Hive 

Upon arriving on the first day of the creative workshops, a sense of both nervousness and excitement spread through the room at Beeforth Hive Community space. Participants and musicians gathered, elbow to elbow, fostering a quick camaraderie in the slightly-snugger-than-expected setting. Amidst sips of tea and lively conversation, bonds formed, and we delved deeper into the shared motivations that brought us all together. Personal love stories connected to the South Cliff Gardens had been submitted to ARCADE and were the starting point of creating the soundtrack you hear on the audio trail, each story a scene in a script. Our job at this stage was to create the music that would accompany the telling of these stories.

Photo credit: Matthew Cooper

Creative Workshops 

Under the skilled guidance of Jackie Walduck, a feeling of ease enveloped the group from the very start. Jackie led us on a journey exploring rhythms, melodies, and harmonies. With musical support from Dave (Double Bass - Sinfonia Viva), Nii (Percussion – Orchestras Live), and Kathy (Flute – Scarborough Spa Orchestra), we wove together ideas, evolving from simple rhythms inspired by the stories' syllables into intricate four-part harmonies. Just as seeds find fertile ground to flourish, the ideas blossomed within the nurturing environment of the workshops. The courage of individuals sharing vulnerable suggestions injected the energy needed for these ideas to sprout and declare their presence to the world. 

Among many cherished memories, one highlight emerged when we ventured outside to the garden, finding solace in a quaint amphitheatre-style seating area. Gathered together, and vocally led by Rebecca Denniff, our voices merged, harmonizing as one choir while gazing out over the sea. The expanse between the cliff and the sea symbolized personal space, the roars of sea air carrying our voices everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. The garden, public and yet intimately ours, played a pivotal role in both the creative process and the final audio trail experience.

Photo credit: Matthew Cooper

Recording Day 

Recording day arrived at the Scarborough Library Concert Hall, uniting musicians from Sinfonia Viva and Scarborough Spa Orchestra. Rehearsing Jackie Walduck's carefully crafted compositions, inspired by the workshops, showcased the devotion poured into every note, honouring each person's input. The musicians and Jackie exhibited exceptional craftsmanship and finesse, allowing the music to evolve seamlessly even in the recording phase. 

Time constraints necessitated swift decisions during recording. The longing for more time was palpable. The moment arrived to say "it's a wrap," even if perfectionists among the team secretly craved "just one more take." A plethora of variables required management: entirely new music, an unfamiliar venue, a fusion of new talents, and abundant content. Remarkably, we captured all the pieces in one ambitious afternoon, a testament to the collective focus and determination on the day. 

Photo credit: Matthew Cooper


Audio Producer Sonny Johns undertook the subsequent editing and mastering process, refining the music through several iterations. A delicate balance emerged between voices and instruments, each possessing its unique character and role. The sprightly flute in Lel's piece mirrored the squirrels' playful hops, while the steadfast northern brass in Lynne's composition symbolized her father. Sonny artfully highlighted melodies and textures that complemented every twist and turn of the narrative. 

Experiencing Love Stories 

If you find yourself near the South Cliff gardens this summer, take your headphones and have a meander through the gardens, accompanied by the Love Stories audio trail. If you haven’t been before, you might notice the garden feels like a tapestry, as sections overlap and you move from layer to layer down the cliff side. One of our tracks is aptly called Tapestry, where the stories and music interweave to a climatic choral end, echoing the line “love lives here”. 

Truly, love lives in the grounds of the South Cliff Gardens; you can feel it, tenderly haunted by the told and untold stories, on plaques and empty benches, in the laughter filling the play-areas and the intergenerational care of the Italian rose garden.  

Love also lives in this project; in the collaboration, in the emotional support of the group, in our experience of creating something we are all so very proud of. 

Photo credit: Matthew Cooper

More Information

You can read more about Love Stories from our co-producing partners here: 

Produced by ARCADE 

Co-produced with Orchestras Live and Sinfonia Viva (featuring musicians from Scarborough Spa Orchestra)  

Commissioned by North Yorkshire Council.  

Jointly funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund as part of the Parks for People programme.