This short video contains some taster clips of sound compositions created for Martin O’Connor’s The Mark of the Beast in 2018.
Zoë Strachan and I performed Static Flux at the Hidden Door Festival in Edinburgh on 29th May 2018.
Static Flux is a sonic seance! In this spoken word/sound piece Zoë and I are exploring narrative and time through chance encounters with remnants, fragments and the ephemera of past lives.
Static Flux was originally created for a live studio broadcast for Radiophrenia in 2017.
The Mark of the Beast gets a ***** review
Presented by Martin O’Connor and Platform
Written and Performed by Martin O’Connor
With Nichola Scrutton and the North East Recovery Community
Platform, Easterhouse 13th-15th April
The Scottish Storytelling Centre 19th April
Inspired by Glasgow and its relationship with alcohol and addiction, Martin’s latest poetry performance The Mark of the Beast explores society through a prism of morality, temptation and family attitudes towards the ‘demon drink,’ and is performed in Martin’s recognisable blend of Scots and song, shot through with religious references and imagery.
The performance includes sound design created by Nichola Scrutton featuring personal experiences of alcohol addiction from members of the North East Recovery Community.
Martin O’Connor – Writer and Performer
Nichola Scrutton – Composition/Sound Design
Fergus Dunnet – Set Design
Hana Allen – Stage Management
Davie Green – Lighting Design
Alan McKendrick – Directing Support
Eoin Carey – Image and Production Photography
Theatre Review – The Herald
The Mark Of The Beast
Platform, The Bridge, Glasgow
“Whit ye huvin?” The voice has a chirrupy geniality to it: pure Glesca’ camraderie. “Ur ye huvin’ a drink or no?” The camaraderie is now teetering on the querulous, the aggressive even. Offence is on the verge of being taken, here. Minutes into this pithy, comedic, often harrowing monologue about various shades of alcohol addiction, writer/performer Martin O’Connor has wheeched us inside a pub, and into the core shorthand of belonging – of being a mate, a part of a community – that is inherent in the offer of a pint.
One pint… unseen voices chip in with memories of the wee swally that first introduced them – often, as far back as childhood – to the compulsive disorder of getting totally blootered. The recorded voices belong to Glasgow’s North-East Recovery Community: mixed into Nichola Scrutton’s chorale-cum-sound design, they will add personal witness to O’Connor’s tangy, savvy progress through the cumulative effects of long-term alcohol abuse. There’s the bilious heartburn of self-loathing, the upsurge of resolve – “Ah’m affit..” – and the lonely isolation of battling your demons when your pals remain in the boozer.
There’s a graphically vicious section when a posse of well-dressed lads become a pack of drunken thugs, relentlessly kicking a total stranger
just because… because he was there. It all sounds, feels, pungently real.
O’Connor’s talent for morphing social documentation into a bravura prose-poem pivots merrily on the rhythms of everyday Glesca’ patois, but – back-lit by designer Fergus Dunnet’s row of stained glass windows – he offsets the gallus patter with the soaring fire and brimstone of biblical texts, juggling revelations and hallucinations in a linguistic cocktail of those abiding havens: bevvy and religion. We laugh a lot, because O’Connor understands bathos but he never mocks the alcohol-afflicted, or diminishes their trials in what is a truly exceptional piece of work.
I was delighted to collaborate on the audio form for Kate Briggs written piece Corner Corner Volta Flip, which was part of ‘How Forms Live’ at the Mitchell Library for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. The work was set up as a headphone installation in the Poet’s Corner.
Read more about Corner Corner Volta Flip
The Mark of the Beast is a collaboration with writer/theatre-maker Martin O’Connor that explores issues/ideas around alcohol and addiction in Glasgow.
Between November 2015 to March 2016, Martin and I undertook a period of research and development, commissioned by GEAC Platform-to-Health and GRAND (Getting Real About Alcohol n Drugs). Working with the North East Recovery Community.
At that time, I composed a sound installation Good Days Bad Days, incorporating the many voices/stories of participant’s experiences. For The Mark of the Beast, I re-visited and re-composed that material for Martin’s live solo show.
13th – 15th April, Platform, Glasgow
19th April Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Vernon & Burns -collaboration
Exploring the Unknown is a performance collaboration with Vernon & Burns, initially created for this lovely event in Glasgow produced by Sonically Depicting.
Have a listen to some Vernon & Burns on SoundCloud.
Listen out for Sarah Tripp’s Radiophrenia commission online or at 87.9fm. First transmission is at 6pm on 14th Nov 2017 with a repeat broadcast at 6pm on 15th Nov.
“One Hundred Glass Brains Waking Up is a fictional conversation between two people who begin as strangers. Without any prior social bonds they discover they are free to make each other up. This is escapist fiction pared back to two people in a room looking for a way out of social stultification.”
Performed by: Brighton Upton Trust
Composed by: Nichola Scrutton
More info at Radiophrenia.
Static Flux is a radio and performance collaboration with writer Zoë Strachan, which was initially created as a live studio broadcast for Radiophrenia in 2017.
Static Flux focuses on out-of-time memory states, and how they can be both static and in flux. We are interested in exploring narrative and time through chance encounters with remnants, fragments and the ephemera of past lives. Metaphors for our endeavour include the remnants found in second-hand bags and the pockets of clothing, or in notes scribbled on the back of black and white photographs. There is a melancholy air to these things, but as with any kind of haunting, also the potential for fear, and for deeper connections with our own sense of mortality.
29th May, Hidden Door Festival, Edinburgh
12th November, Radiophrenia
Collaboration as composer/sound designer with writer/theatre-maker Martin O’Connor on his solo show Togail Nàisean/Building a Nation. We toured as part of a double bill with Aisling Oidhche Meadhan Samhraidh/A Midsummer Nights Dream and had a performance at Tramway, Glasgow in 2018. Read more about it at Martin’s website here.
Isle of Mull
Stories of Easterhouse
As part of Made in Easterhouse at Platform Glasgow, I worked on the final stages of Stories of Easterhouse with the Creative Collective and Platform Associate Artist Katy Dye.
I recorded the stories, generated atmospheric backdrops through a creative sound workshop and composed the audio pieces for the final installation.
The map/sound installation is running through October/November 2016.