The Solitary Rambler

ANCIENT STONES OF AVEBURY
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Filmed 5th September 2017
Post-production completed 1st December 2017

Running time 20 minutes
Synopsis

During a visit to the North Wessex Downs in Wiltshire I go to the fascinating Avebury with its ancient stone circle . I plan to do a circular walk starting from the village, but the wet weather makes me go against the idea in the end. However, I still enjoy my day in Avebury very much, which includes a visit to the local manor and gardens , and sneaking in a quick half of local ale in the village’s thatched inn .....
Locations

Filmed in Avebury in the North Wessex Downs in the county of Wiltshire . Locations include the stone circle and Avebury Manor and Garden .
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Background and production details

During my two days stay in Wiltshire in September 2017 I wanted to film in Avebury , another place in the North Wessex Downs . I had found a 6 mile walk that I could film which started in in the village, followed a little of the Ridgeway to West Kennett and on to Silbury Hill before finishing back in Avebury. Unfortunately it turned out to be another wet day, so my plans changed.

Leaving the Travelodge in Devizes after having spent two nights there I drove straight to Avebury. The main car park is administered by the National Trust , as is Avebury as a whole, so that was a bonus for me as I got free parking. The first shots I took were of the stone circle , which I just followed all the way round filming the stones as I went. The rain was making the filming more difficult, but I managed it and still got some great shots. I then filmed around the village and decided at that point that doing the 6 mile walk would be not the best idea. However, there was Avebury Manor , so as that was a National Trust property I could go inside without any additional cost and film inside this historic house instead. So despite the rain I was very pleased with my day of filming in Avebury. I then made my journey back home to Derbyshire once I had completed shooting.

I wanted to compose a haunting musical score for my Avebury film, “Ancient Stones of Avebury”. The ideas in my head were nothing specific, but I thought it would be nice to use voices on my keyboard such as a pan flute with synthesized accompaniment to highlight the mysterious quality of the stones. With this in mind I started to record a theme using the “forest” sound on the keyboard and a bottle sound that was similar to a pan flute. However, as I continued to record this music I was finding that it wasn’t really working for me, so after having recorded music for nearly half of the film I deleted the lot and decided to start again. I chose not to try to carry on creating a mysterious or haunting theme, so concentrated more on just coming up with a good tune. In the end I came up with a score using guitar, strings, woodwind, French horn and cello, which was nothing like what I originally envisaged for my Avebury film, but it was nonetheless a much more satisfying theme. For the sequence where I first enter Avebury Manor I composed a theme using the harpsichord sound, which I felt highlighted the historical atmosphere of the house.


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