To support my application, I have compiled a selection of works that best demonstrate my practice. These include excerpts from a series of soundwalks entitled An Gàrradh and two electroacoustic compositions, The Metalization of a Dream & The New Atlantis. Further details on each work, along with audio extracts, are provided below.
An Gàrradh (2022)
A series of three place-based electroacoustic geolocative soundwalks that draw upon the natural environment, heritage and culture of Uist. The works combine original compositions, environmental field recordings, and narrated archive recordings that span over 70 years of Uist’s history. Mapped to three locations on Uist, these works are available on the free geolocative audio app Echoes. Commissioned by Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre with funds from Event Scotland, the soundwalks will launch in Autumn 2022 (110 minutes in duration). If successful, the focus of my residency at Cove Park will look to expand upon the techniques developed through these works that will inform the creation of a new series of soundwalks, entitled Dúthchas, that investigate one’s sense of land, people and culture.
The Metalization of a Dream (2019-20)
The Metalization of a Dream is an open form sound-work responding to the dada and surrealist-inspired collages of Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005). A pioneer of pop art, Paolozzi’s practice drew inspiration from artists that utilise similar collage and cut-up techniques such as Charles Ives and William S. Burroughs. As such, these relationships are explored within this work through John Cage’s concept of the coexistence of dissimilars, where the notion of harmoniously blended elements is eschewed in favour of collage-like juxtapositions ‘that fuse in the ear of the listener’. Like Paolozzi’s collages, this work incorporates ‘found objects’ in this case John Taverner’s In Nomine and the writings of Gertrude Stein that are reimagined, juxtaposed and intertwined with composed and indeterminate materials alongside soundscape recordings to form an equivocal sound world.
This work was commissioned by Galvanize Ensemble and premiered by Galvanize Ensemble at Newcastle Lit & Phil in February 2019 with funds from The RVW Trust, Arts Council of England, and PRS Foundation. A three-minute excerpt of the work is provided below. A 20-minute video version for SOUND Aberdeen is provided below.
The New Atlantis (2011)
Commissioned by Handel House Museum, this work is a response to an extract from Francis Bacon’s celebrated utopian novel of the same name published in 1623 where he describes the Bensalem ‘sound houses’, which bears a startling resemblance to how we produce, realise and listen to music today. The work incorporates a sonic landscape with samples ranging from gibbon calls to bullfrogs captured by the composer at London Zoo and The Devil’s Hopyard State Park, Connecticut. This work was produced with thanks to ZSL London Zoo and iPark Artists Enclave, Connecticut.