Family History

I decided, as of 30 minutes ago to have a look at the family tree of my Grandfathers closest relatives. To see the male names from the Harrison-Lord side.

These are a select few. Only ones that I found interesting – let’s imagine I’m on the television show “who do you think you are”

Male family names:

Osmond Marvyn Chiene 1880

Raymond Clarence Dessa 1905

George James Berckman Dessa 1874

Frederick William Denison Folger 1861

Etienne David Lord (Folger) 1903

Robert Bernhardt Gaughran 1942

Francis Grose 1700

John Harrison de Lord 1846

Emile Bernhardt Harrison Lord 1879

Julian Emile Harrison Lord 1931

William Bernhardt Harrison Lord 1909 (my grandfather)

Steven Joseph Harrison-Lord 1956 (my father)

These names range from birth date 1700-1956.

The registered locations of birth – a select few interesting ones – Rastrick (Yorkshire), (Westminster) London, Allahabad & Calcutta (India), & Ballyragget in County Kilkenny (Ireland).

Faculty of Arts & Media | Postgraduate Symposium 03/11/2015

Notes On The Day
Here’s a brief commentary on what I took from the day. (Rough notes, nothing special, just quick typing).
Keynote Address: Dr Simon Grennan: Some stuff to think about in Post-graduate Study in Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Design.
Your PhD demonstrates an understanding – it’s about locating my research and finding my field and focus. It’s what I say about it and how it’s great research.
Parody, Parodicparody reveals the truth – are we parodying an office, a lecturer? David said a title to a PhD and it ended up being a parody. Is COUNTER PRODUCT(I’VE) (an) OFFICE a parody – well you heard the question here first folks!
Then Grennan said “Tautological solipsistic” and my mind was blown…
(Tautology and – Solipsism (Listeni/ˈsɒlɨpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning “alone”, and ipse, meaning “self”)[1] is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist.)
He then pulled focus on two phrases and the differences between…
Cross-Disciplinary is when you refer to another field, or export methods from another field.
Inter-Disciplinary is when you adopt methods in or out from other fields
Mrs Kirsty Taylor: Project Officer (Postgraduate Team), Graduate School, University of Chester: Vitae Resources – The Professional Development of Researchers.
Postgrad webpages of Vitae Resources.
Helen Southall: Dance bands in Chester and North Wales, 1930-1970: Revealing a Hidden History
Simply after 10 years – The research finds you and you must have more than an enthusiasm for it.
enCompass Collective – Josh Slater & Ellie Russell: Dance Theatre: Why Disseminate?
Filming a rehearsal for evaluations or to check over what they have done. Providing feedback as well for Q&A. Remembering moves as well as archiving – new project, well they always look back to what they finalised and to old rehearsals. Reflection to revisit. I am inspired to document more – my memory is diabolical, I cannot remember anything and therefore I hold no knowledge on anything either. There are many aspects to take from this paper, but one key factor is to record and document more than the little I do.
Jessica Blease: Devising Theatre: Processes and Practice.
She took a theme from a performance, and made it the second performance, then took a theme from that and made a third performance. What a lovely journey.
Anthony Richardson: Dramatic Anthropology and the quest for social change in performance: From documenting Rio de Janeiro’s favelas to verbatim theatre representing a historical event in Simi Valley California.
Experience, feeling and inspirations – Dramatic Anthropology
The Revd. Robert Clack: The Music of Time
He was talking about time in music and ironically ran over time.
Matthew Harrison-Lord & Kyle Hill: COUNTER PRODUCT(I’VE) (an) OFFICE: A reflection on setting up a space (an office) with no boundaries.
See previous blog post for my Abstract.
Ben Stafford: Taking Influence from American Pie…
Devising his own song and taking the rhyming couplets from the song American Pie an then writing his own 8 minute song Carousel about it – like Mika in style, but I’m not sure if that’s because of my musical ignorance that I draw the comparison.
Kerry Collier: Of the Body, Time and Mind in Performance
Her reflection of the resting mind not just the body. She showed this with automatic writing and not thinking. Not nothing but not moving and past the body and space and mind and developing Deep Silence.
Roundtable Discussions
James Layton says for his PhD he wrote a lot early and would recommend that as it gets some down and it can be edited and reflected along the way. Go to conferences and deliver at them. He writes Cross disciplinary.
By doubting your work you can reflect but don’t doubt that you cannot do the work. Doubt the work not you.
TIME was an organic theme throughout the symposium.
Trust and enjoy the journey of self – openness and learning.
Take responsibility.
Let go of guilt. So what you spent the morning drawing, spend a good afternoon.

COUNTER PRODUCT(I’VE) (an) OFFICE: A reflection on setting up a space and place (an office) with no boundaries.

The title above is the of the paper I was asked to write for the Postgraduate Symposium at The University of Chester (03/11/2015). The paper is a reflection on the first week of my month long performance residency in association with The University of Chester into what an office is to me, the occupancy of space, and contemporary performance modes such as Live Art, performance of everyday tasks and improvisation.
Below is the abstract of my paper.
Dear Sir / Madam / To Whom It May Concern.
This paper comments and reflects on the first week that we (Matthew Harrison-Lord & Kyle Hill) set up a performative office on an academic corridor of lecturers and paid professionals. I found myself, as did Hill, having meetings and tutorials with lecturers and raising the question of ‘How do I start a career in higher education?’. What formed was the notion that each lecturer had earned their space and place (their office) within the University. In this paper we will reflect on evidence found during the process of setting up the space without any boundaries, and how this created a place with actions and performances of tasks that differed to our initial expectations. Using Marc Augé’s distinction between space and place we discuss the negotiations, exchanges and improvisations that happened from within our office. The paper highlights the journey from starting as assistants to the corridor to changing our focus and informing people that we would provide productive and counterproductive advice through one-on-one-on-one tutorials as our performance. We will discuss boundaries between staff and students and the geographical boundaries when positioned within a community that we are not part of (paid professionals).
Best Wishes
Harrison-Lord & Hill, Performative Duo.
Abstract written by Matthew Harrison-Lord

Soundscapes, Acoustic Environments and an Unrelated Song.

I have been searching for sounds to work with.
Sound can be a stimulus.
Sound can form a backing to a performance.
Sound can be the performance.
A generic and a questionable source from Wikipedia suggests:
“A soundscape is a sound or combination of sounds that forms or arises from an immersive environment.” (1)
However, another unreliable source from Wikipedia suggests a soundscape is not:
“[an] acoustic environment [as this] is the combination of all the acoustic resources within a given area – natural sounds and human-caused sounds – as modified by the environment.”(2)
Here are two specific soundscapes / acoustic environments that I have accumulated.
Office Sound “Published on 11 Sep 2013 – Busy office ambiance going on for 2 hours. Seamlessly gapless looping. Printers, keyboards, workers, coworkers, bosses, people and writing on paper with a pen.”(3)
Relaxation Music “Published on 1 Oct 2012 Relaxing Sounds of Nature White Noise for Mindfulness Meditation Relaxation Relaxing Spa Music Songs, Sound Therapy for Relaxation With Sounds of Nature: Baby Sleep, Study and Yoga Zen Meditation and Natural White Noise and New Age Deep Massage.”(4)
Here’s a song that featured in the first episode of ‘River’ 2015 on the BBC.
This was the first time I heard this song, and quite frankly it is just so funky! I don’t think it has any link to my practice, but it’s something that I’ve listened to recently and therefore maybe has subconsciously influenced my work.
I Love To Love by Tina Charles “Uploaded on 18 Aug 2009 Tina Charles – I Love to Love”(5)
(3) –
(4) –
(5) –



Yoko Ono is an inspiration to me from Cut Piece, to Grapefruit and this book Acorn.
Photograph of the book & pen that I own on the desk that I own with the coffee that I drank.
IMG_8152The first conceptual instruction is entitled ‘YOUR PIECE’ and this is my response.
Name (including all the names you are called by):
Matthew David Harrison-Lord, Lord, MHL, Matt, Matty, Matthew, Babe & Chuck.

Address (past, present, future):
1 **** Lane, Leeds, LS****
******* Farm, Chester, CH****
5, ***** Court, Chester, CH****
The ******, **** Grove, Leeds, LS****
1*, ******** Court, Chester, CH****
*2, ********** Road, Chester, CH*****
8 **** Way, Chester, CH***
7, *** Mount, Manchester, M*****
99*, **** Row, London, L*****
Age: I am the age where…
I start to build my future, I am the age where I question what life might bring me, I am the age where I start to reflect on what I have done.
What you like:
I like theatre, performance, live art, photography, music, technology, cars, fashion, interior design, friends and family & conversations with people.
I like Chester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Romania, Czech Republic & Holland.
I like mornings when at home and when on holiday the late sunny evenings.
I like a storm when I am safe inside, and I love snow when it starts to cover the roads.
I used to say white, and now I love grey, from clothing to rooms, cardboard to photographs. I like grey.
The sound of rain on the roof of a car, a live piano being played by a professional & a vintage camera lens shooting a picture.
When someone walks inside and brings the smell of fresh day on their clothing. Autumn is the best time for this.
I like meat when it’s cooked how it should be, Thai curries, lasagne & red wine.
Describe your world as you see it.
a) inner:
At the moment I’m a little stressed, and lost with where my creative focus should be placed, and how my creative mind should formulate ideas. So where better than ‘YOUR PIECE’ by Yoko Ono to question who I am.
b) outer:
A rat race with those rushing and pushing with deadlines and events that I just want to put my hands up and say, let’s take a pause just a moment or two simply to breath, yet I am aware of the judgement of failure or postponing (probably only from myself) and so I shall join the community that surrounds me and continue. It’s a happy world with a supportive network.
Your Regret:
My memory is rubbish and so I forget every memory that I create and that I should have, so I don’t have any regrets. Either that or I have yet to experience something major. I know that on a micro scale I always get engrossed in the activity that I am involved in and therefore I can regret the many times I have become so incredibly stressed and caught up in events that I don’t see the wider image / release from the moment.
Your Pride:
I pride myself on who I am – when I meet new people and how I talk to people confidently, and how I push myself to go forward even in challenging situations. I’m always critical of myself, but seeing (eventually, and even if it’s exceptionally delayed and detached from the action) what I have managed to achieve (even if small) and managing to find pride in that.
Your attachments:
a) animate:
My partner, my family, my friends & my teachers (wider sense of the word).
b) inanimate:
My recent collection of books, my technology, my house & my photographs.
Your wish:
For me to progress in my field of study.
That whatever I end up doing I keep being happy.
World Peace.

Rene Magritte

The following Paragraph is from
“Rene Magritte was an internationally acclaimed surrealist artist of all time… Rene Magritte described his paintings saying, ‘My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does that mean?’ It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing, it is unknowable.'”
Here’s a selection of paintings that I like painted by Magritte. All photos have been found on

The Son of Man, 1946 by Rene Magritte Golconda, 1953 by Rene Magritte The Treachery of Images, 1929 by Rene Magritte The Human Condition, 1933 by Rene Magritte

Em(barking) on my MA

I’ve just started my Master of Arts in Drama at the University of Chester.
It’s my toe dipping into an ocean of academia.
I can sense the shift, more than sense, I can feel the shift.
It’s going to be (and already has been) a confusing, exhilarating and challenging study of my practice in Drama.
So lets continue from the ‘Who am I?’ bullet points at the end of my PDF – see previous blog post.
Live Art Performance
This is my preferred performance style, I think it can be used as a clear open description for the style of work that I am producing. It seems to be a wide umbrella term that will allow me to create work that doesn’t have to be constrained. I may perform a one-to-one performance and I may have a large audience watching or getting directly involved; who knows what the content of the performance may be?
My Collaborative Series of work with Ellen Buckley focused around Instructions – either as the concept / titles of our performances or for the audience to complete a work. I wonder if this possibly could continue as my current practice as research, or if I subtly continue thinking about this, or if I drop it entirely. The question is whether there is scope for me to continue this.
This will have to be a large aspect of my research during my MA – because the academic institution requires me to document as evidence to build towards my development of research. (Hence this entire blog feed). I do love documentation that isn’t ‘writing’ – like a jar filled with the sound and smell of a performance. I have skills in video and editing, as well as photography – so this will be a constant and probably a large aspect of my work.
Audience / Observation / Ritual
I recently have been going to the see performances, conventional and commercial theatre. Specifically professional productions of musicals Little Shop of Horrors and Hairspray in the last week. And one thing that amazed me, transfixed me was the audience – not to say that the performances didn’t – but during the intervals the observation of audiences and what ‘rituals’ they ‘perform’ has made me think that there’s a Live Art performance somewhere within this observation. It has to involve ice-cream in the interval and rotten tomatoes – just who knows?
Something I know nothing about, in devising and creation of political theatre, and maybe an aspect of performance that I’m not sure how to make part of my performance. However saying that, I recently performed Hidioms in Liverpool, and my exploration and literal way of performing idiomatic expressions found another level. The audience members turned it into a participatory performance, one that found deeper meaning in my instruction to ‘Turn Over A New Leaf’ and found something that they thought they should change about themselves to better themselves, then turned the leaf. In a ritualistic and accidentally political piece of immersive one-to-one theatre.
I have explored performances that last 5 minutes, and one that lasted 12 hours. Indeed, I would like to explore a long performance, but somehow not endure, or to report on the endurance. Maybe start to document time and the length of time within my performances.
I have performed in non-conventional performance spaces, and indeed in conventional theatre spaces. I would like to find a focus within my practice as research to do with space. Perhaps the occupancy of space, the levels of performance within a space, and what space is to me.
A certain aspect of my performances is that they’re fun, if not for me then the audience, and if not for the audience then for me. It’s not my intention to ‘parody performance’ or parody whatever action I may be performing, however I have been told that at times I am on the cusp, or that I am parodying.
I have found an interest in the English language, and recently idiomatic expressions that I have turned into two separate performances Barking Up The Wrong Tree and Hidioms.  I would like to continue my use of idioms and instructions, or find a difference way to explore language. Previously I have performed Toilet Sign that specifcially used language to ban people from a toilet, only to see if they would defy the written instructions. Also Phone Interaction explored audiences use of language and ways that we use spoken or written words.