Weaving Words into Sound at Sutton Hoo
Listen! As we tell of a great exhibition in the halls of Sutton Hoo. ‘Weaving Words’ is our new temporary display for the National Trust, exploring the beauty of Old English poetry and the skills of Anglo Saxon wordsmiths.
Sound can be powerful; language and music can make words come alive. Using sound, the exhibition is designed to conjure up an Anglo-Saxon mead hall, to experience poetry as it might have been performed.
The exhibition plays three different texts, performed in the original Old English: Beowulf, Deor and Caedmon’s Hymn, accompanied by music, crackling fire sounds and by the occasional ‘Anglo-Saxon’ cough! As each poem plays, lights illuminate one of three specially-made facsimiles, displaying images of the poem’s original manuscript next to its translation. The lights change with each sound clip, highlighting the words and translation that are being heard.
This experience is supported visually with an exhibit dressed in wolf skins, a reproduction lyre and drinking horns. Graphic panels provide a contextual backdrop to the displays, exploring what poetry and poetic sources can tell us about Anglo Saxon culture.
The exhibition opened to the public on Saturday 13th February 2016 and will be open for a year.