{ headlong dovvn a gully towards the audience vvatching gobsiiiacked in their galoshes in The Seere! Sign (1998). Such moments make Angus Farquhar the single most innovative director in modern Scotland.

That last superb event. a night time vvade through the avvesonie river gorge knovvn as the Devil's Pulpit at l)rymen near Loch Lomond. is the best model for The Path. Iissentially a short journey through some stunning scenery. The Secret Sign magnified the drama of the landscape vvith hi-tech sound and lighting effects. creating a sublime meeting place betvveen man and nature. Like The l’ut/i. it risked accusations of gilding the lily. btit pulled it off because of Angus's genuine sensitivity to the environment.

‘I think that‘s vvhy vve chose to do things at night.’ he says. as vve continue our vvalk through a glen that once supported 3()()() people and bears the marks of at least l5()()

it years of human history. ‘.\'ot many people have experienced the Scottish Highlands at night. It's a vvay of coming back to something 7‘ that's very familiar to yoti. btit seeing it through slightly different eyes. And

sometimes you have to take a little step :i sidevvays to the vvay you normally come to the hills. It‘s a homage. we‘re not creating Disneyland.’ But isn‘t there something implicitly 3. Disneylandisli in taking the tovvnies out to the country for the night. especially for an event funded by the poptilist Millennium Festival? ‘I don't see it as an issue. it‘s for anyone.‘ he says. adding that he‘s expecting a 50‘; rural ii audience. ‘The question is should our relationship vvith nature he ptit into mothballs or is there a vvay of interacting that doesn't have long— term damage and that allovvs you to get something from the access you‘re given‘." The Path is an attempt to do just that. It‘s not about flashy effects. btit Buddhist mantras. singing bovvls and sacred cairns. The illuminated horse-shoe shaped vvalk \vill shovv signs of great mountain cultures and ancient HITS/(S. the local (iaelic deities said to appear at dttsk

In Test Dept. Angus Farquhar beat out a rhythm of anarcho- socialism to counterpoint the dull thud of 805 Thatcherism

The Story So Far

1982 Test Dept forms in London 'liiiaqme The Shamen as sataiiist bondaqe freaks,

but better,’ NME later recalled.

1989 Test Dept collaborates With Welsh (ompaiiy Brith Got on The Gododdin at Tramway. The result is stunning

1990 The Second Coming, a large-scale atta(k on the heritage industry that

knoc ks Bill Brydeii's high—profile production of The Ship into a hat.

1991 The Soul Machine brinqs Glasgow's Cottier Theatre to life, but otherWise fails

IO (.‘X('|l(.‘.

1993 Now renamed iiva, the (ompany

takes over Tramway for Sabotaqe, a journey into the human body

1994 Mtiltiirietlia s( tilpttires iii the IOTTTT of SOtindworks. 1994 The Silent Twms tells the true life tales of the Gibbons sisters in a former

V|( toriaii prison

1995 The internet (oines to the (I()( ks iii the underwheliiiinq Stormy Waters 1996 First outing of Graham Ctiniiiiiqton’s

brilliant Pain

1997 Virtual Woild Oithestia, a live perloriiiarite from three (ontiiieiits 1998 The Setret Sign takes us on a

journey into the DeVil's Pulpit

1998 nva proqraiiiiries the National Day

for Britain at tishori's Expo 98

1999 Grand Central, a wander through

Glasgow's de( ayinq hotel

1999 Dael Orlandersmith (leliqhts

audiences With The Gimmick.

2000 The Path, over the hills and far away.

around particular waterfalls. (Although quite

where that places nva's resident inventor. Dr

(irahani 'l’ydeman. vvho has been developing gi/nios vvith titles like Dangerous ()hjeei Flying A! SpeedAems‘s‘ Moor. is hard to say).

‘We realised very quickly that it wasn't right to btiild it round a big effect.‘ says Angus. 'If you get these Munros on a certain night. and you‘ve got snovv on top and moonlight reflected off them. it is an incredibly grand panorama. but at the same time vvhat I'm interested in is things that we can guarantee. and also things you can get tip close to.‘

THE FIRST THING that strikes you about Angus Farquhar is the calm. Although his co- director Hilary \\'estlake likes to call him Anguish Ir'arquhar. you‘ll rarely find him anything btit laid back. He claims to be a vvorrier. If that‘s true. he‘s good at hiding it. And it's no surprise to learn of his interest in meditation.

'I do meditate] he says. ‘I5ot' a long time I've done exercises every morning. I do need calmness in what I do. It is decidedly stressful at times. Meditation creates space vvithin your ovvn mind. letting you see your ovvn mind in action. a vvay of vvatching yourself.‘

Btit behind the calm exterior is a driven man. Is his ego in the driving seat‘.’ Leaning back against a huge slab of granite. Angus lets out a long sigh. ‘I‘m very ego driven.‘ he decides. ‘But you can deal with people well and you can deal with people badly and when your ego gets the better of you. you lose your sensitivity and you steam- roller people. That is part of grovving tip. I don't mean from l3 to 2T. btit truly grovving tip vvhich is not accepting the version of who you are at that moment in time. So yes. ego

has been terribly important. btit I want in the long-run to be better in the vvay I treat people.‘

Ego is one thing. but surely only a megalomaniac vvould drag 5()()() people tip a mountain‘.’ ‘.\'o. the drive is about a belief.‘ he says. 'It’s not for the sake of it. It's for the sake of vvhat you discover: the ideas. the emotions. the beliefs and the uncovering are what make the complexity vvorthvvhile. That's why my technology-based vvork wasn't so interesting: the complexity became more interesting than the idea. Here the means justify the end.~

After the event itself. Angus plans to stay on to create a new artistic map of the area. one that reflects the old Gaelic place names. the standing stones and the folklore in a vvay that no ()rdinance Survey ever would. He’s proud that he raised £15.()()() to rebuild the stone step access to the Devil’s Pulpit and is committed to funding the drystone dyking programme in Glen Lyon.

‘The great thing about doing it in the Millennium Festival.‘ he says. 'is that you should be able to leave a really strong trace for

'I was very angry for about ten years, but I'd say the work now

is much more reflective.’ Angus Farquhar

people to look back on in hundreds of years time to say that people were interested in these ideas.‘

Angus Farquhar tosses the stone back in the stream. Like he says. he‘s in it for the long term.

The Path, Glen Lyon, Fri 19 May-Sun 4 Jun. Information: 0141 204 3346. For more mountain mirth see The Cartoon, page 128.