After being awarded my PhD from University of Glasgow I worked as a Teaching Fellow in Music there for two years.
2009-2011 University of Glasgow (Music)
Teaching Fellow (0.6 fte)
In brief, areas of work included:
Sonic Arts Levels II and III;
Practice-based Composition Workshops;
Contemporary Music Ensemble;
Lectures in Music and Technology;
Advising UG Dissertations and students on the MLitt in Popular Music Studies (Creative Practice);
First GLEAM concert organiser and host;
Music Education Project Organiser;
2004-2009 University of Glasgow (Music):
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Songs for a Stranger is a collection or cycle of five electroacoustic works that draws metaphorical inspiration from the many senses of the word ‘stranger’.
Everyone feels like a stranger sometimes – when travelling somewhere new; returning home; confronting solitude. Some feel estranged in close intimacy; others find connection through anonymity.
Songs for a Stranger movements:
i A Fragile Memory (4’40)
ii Blowing In (5′)
iii Solitude (4’26)
iv I Said You Said (5′)
v In the Midst (4’39)
The piece was premiered in the intimate ‘dark space’ at The Arches LIVE! Festival in September 2011, performed and diffused over a 4-channel speaker system. I invited Swiss vocalist Céline Hänni to rehearse and perform the work for Arches Live. Sound diffusion: Graeme Truslove. Many thanks indeed to all at The Arches.
Songs for a Stranger was further supported by a Creative Scotland Quality Arts Production Award.
I am very pleased to say that I have received a Creative Scotland Quality Arts Production Award for the development of vocal performance work Songs for a Stranger.
Songs for a Stranger is a collection or cycle of five electroacoustic works that draws metaphorical inspiration from the many senses of the word ‘stranger’. The work was originally created for, and supported by, Arches Live Festival.
Cove Park residency for Lifeguard research and development with Adrian Howells, Minty Donald, Nick Millar, Mike Brookes and National Theatre of Scotland.
SoundAround was a mental health music/sound workshop and performance project co-facilitated with Erin Scrutton.
Over 10 weekly sessions we created a range of musical materials using voice, drumming, percussion and recorded sounds to create a final live interactive performance for the ‘Come Awa’ In’ opening weekend of Perth Concert Hall in Scotland.
**** Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman 23/0911, Arches Live!, Glasgow
……And down at the rough end of the basement, in a bare tunnel of a room, there’s composer Nichola Scrutton’s Songs For A Stranger, a 25-minute piece that moves beyond the limits of language into five segments of abstract electronic sound, accompanied by the increasingly fierce and brilliant vocal improvisations of Scrutton and her performing partner, Celine Hanni. There’s a central moment of meditation – titled Solitude – that recalls the deep resonances of Tibetan chant; then a final, shattering visit to what sounds like a dying rainforest, as a fierce richness of animal sound gives way to crackling cataclysm, and the soft, low sigh of a final breath….
*** Mary Brennan, The Herald (“…as a live performance, full of vertiginous vocal techniques, it was always impressive…”)
A short film about HumDrum.
All We’re Skilled In was a film, sound art and heritage project run in partnership with Plantation Productions, Glasgow Film Theatre and Scottish Screen Archive. Erin Scrutton and I worked with young carers in Glasgow to create atmospheric sound tracks for silent film clips using original historical footage of the Govan shipyards and the people who worked there. The film below, made by Jamie Dempster, is a short documentary of the project itself. The film has had several screenings, including the Glasgow International Film Festival.
Sister duo Nichola Scrutton and Erin Scrutton as And Then She Said in association with Plan B Collective created HumDrum pop-up singing and drumming events to celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day. Subsequent events included the West End Festival and the Royal Highland Show.
Watch a short film about HumDrum.
Check out some press photos of the HumDrum event at the Royal Concert Hall steps in Glasgow to celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day at Universal News.
Big thanks to our sponsors above, and a huge thanks to all involved!
Events included: International Women’s Day 100 year celebration, Concert Hall, Glasgow, Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery for the West End Festival, and the Royal Highland Show.
I was delighted to be invited to review Tara Rodger’s excellent book Pink Noises: Women in Electronic Music and Sound in Cambridge University Press Popular Music Journal.
Panic Patterns – sound design commission for theatre
I was commissioned by Glasgay! as composer/sound designer for Panic Patterns by Zöe Strachan and Louise Welsh. The work was further supported by a Creative Scotland New Music Award. The play was directed by Alison Peebles and ran from 19th – 30th October at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow.
“… sound designer Nichola Scrut(t)on’s noises off for comfort…” ****The Herald
“Nichola Scrutton’s sound design plays a starring role…” Broadway World
“…an atmospheric set and soundscape…” ***The Scotsman
“…while Nichola Scrutton’s ghost-radio music……add to a twitchy atmosphere” Times Higher
Some of my works have been selected for ‘Soundgate’ – an exhibition of sound art in Aalborg, Denmark at the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Utzon Architectural Centre and Platform 4. The works will also be streamed online for the duration of the exhibition.
New Music Award for Panic Patterns
I am absolutely delighted to say that I have been awarded a Creative Scotland New Music Award to support my composer/sound design commission by Glasgay! for Panic Patterns theatre production at the Citizens in Glasgow.
Panic Patterns is a new play by Zoë Strachan and Louise Welsh, directed by Alison Peebles. The show will run from 19th – 30th October 2010.
A film about Hooks + Bites – a Glow Co-Create project for the Curriculum for Excellence. The project worked in partnership with Perth Concert Hall, Perth and Kinross Council, Learning and Teaching Scotland and Creative Scotland.
Hold Your Breath was a large-scale visual/sound art project set up to improve the entrances/exits to the Clyde Tunnel, with the participation of the Whiteinch and Linthouse communities at each end of the tunnel. I composed the various contributions of source sound and music into one large 40-minute work, which was to be projected by radio into the cars traveling through the Clyde Tunnel. More info at Hold Your Breath
An excerpt of Sustenance has been selected for the Deep Wireless 7 CD produced by New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA), as part of the annual Deep Wireless festival in May, a month-long celebration of radio art. NAISA is based in Toronto and produces performances and installations spanning the entire spectrum of electroacoustic and experimental sound art.
I composed electroacoustic music for Simpozeum – a live performance by writer and artist Sarah Tripp.
Sarah created three spoken word/gesture performances: customs, objects, people, as part of ‘(Sim-poze-um)’, a collaborative installation event by four Glasgow-based artists created for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts. The performances took place in the Jeffrey Room, Mitchell Library, Glasgow. The music for the performances was projected and diffused through a four-channel speaker system.
Hold Your Breath was a large-scale visual/sound art project set up to improve the entrances/exits to the Clyde Tunnel, with the participation of the Whiteinch and Linthouse communities at each end of the tunnel.
I composed the various contributions of source sound and music into one large 40-minute work, which was to be projected by radio into the cars traveling through the Clyde Tunnel.
Various groups were involved in creating sound/music source materials for the soundscape: Paragon Ensemble working with St Jerome’s and Whiteinch Primary Schools; Art Form with Bryan Tolland; Tigerstyle and Dhol Infusion drummers; and the MacAlpine Family all contributed. I worked with Paragon Ensemble in the schools, gathering up sounds/songs from the children, the playground and surrounding streets, and recorded songs at the MacAlpine’s (four generation) family party
(photos courtesy of Kathy Friend)
Sustenance is a studio composition (14’37) that explores human interaction with objects and processes that make up our daily existence. The sound materials progress through sections, each defined by a specific sonic/material character drawn from the objects and processes used in cooking. At a higher level of structure, the work traces a general transformation from dry to wet, reflecting decay. Selected for various international broadcasts, SONUS online listening library and for NAISA Deep Wireless 7CD, produced in Toronto, Canada.
I am delighted to have organised the first GLEAM electroacoustic concert in the University of Glasgow Concert Hall. A call for works drew of 60 submissions. The event includes fixed medium works by:
Christian Banasik, Géraud Bec, Iain Campbell, Timothy Cooper, Jonas Foerster, Annelie Nederberg, Felipe Otondo, Dale Perkins, Calum Scott, Pei-Yu Shi, Graeme Truslove, Matt Walch.
Date and time: Saturday 20th March 2010 at 6 pm.
The Dwelling Series (2010) is a triptych of vocal works. Multiple concepts arising from the notion of the title Dwelling gave rise to an interactive process of improvising and recording with MAXMSP, through which I sought to explore a sense of ‘inhabiting’ the work. As inspiration for generating improvised material under this complex umbrella concept of ‘dwelling’ I used three general metaphors to articulate events or states: dust (nature), cycle (flow/journey) and echo (memory).
The compositional process consisted of creating successive vocal improvisations, which were merged together, fully intact, after each improvisation was captured. Manipulation of the captured improvisations was strictly limited to the editing of gestures and textures in time and space to enhance or magnify relationships/conflicts that emerged by chance as each layer was added.
(i) Dwelling/In Dialogue: studio composition (17′). Listen
(ii) Dwelling/Encounters: pre-composed sound and live performance, in which two live performers merged and improvised with a pre-composed soundtrack projected through multiple loud speakers. Swiss vocalist Céline Hänni and I undertook a short intensive residency to explore extended technique vocal improvisation that culminated in the final performance. (12’30). Listen
(iii) Dwelling/In Reflection: live interactive solo performance (18′). Listen
I am delighted to be organiser and host of the first University of Glasgow Music Department electroacoustic music event GLEAM on 20th March 2010 . Here is a call for works.
Academic Awards and Qualifications
PhD in Electroacoustic Composition – portfolio ‘Hearing Voices’ – University of Glasgow (graduation Nov 2009)
Funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Award – selected from open competition (2005 – 08)
MMus in Composition – University of Glasgow (2004 – 05)
Supported by a Bellahouston Scholarship and a Broomhill Scholarship
BMus (Hons) First Class –University of Glasgow (2004)
The Goudie Prize ‘Most Distinguished BMus Hons Graduate’.
Sound artist and facilitator in the creative team of Plan B Collective, who were awarded £30,000 for a Glow Co-Create project Hooks + Bites for the Curriculum for Excellence (2010-2011). The project worked in partnership with Perth Concert Hall, Perth and Kinross Council, Learning and Teaching Scotland and Creative Scotland. Hooks + Bites was one of ten education projects across Scotland commissioned to take artists into schools to work with pupils to generate creative content for the national schools intranet, Glow.
The Hooks + Bites project culminated in an exhibition in Perth Concert Hall’s unique media art space Threshold and included a digital audio-visual artwork on its soundbox, bank of screens and sound/audio unit in the public toilets. Plan B Collective was later selected to present a seminar on the ‘Hooks + Bites’ project at the 2010 Scottish Learning Festival.
Creative Team: Fiona Fleming, Nichola Scrutton, Erin Scrutton and Barbara Chalmers.
More on Glow Co-Create
The Co-Create project has been set up through a partnership between the Scottish Arts Council (Creative Scotland) and Learning and Teaching Scotland. GLOW Co-Create recognises the important role the arts can play in learning, in supporting and enhancing the Curriculum for Excellence, and in developing innovative new approaches to learning and teaching through Glow.
Managed by Learning and Teaching Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, Glow is the world’s first national intranet for education. It provides a platform for online collaboration and sharing and allows Scotland’s 54,000 teachers and 750,000 pupils to work and learn in ways that have not been possible before. Glow is breaking down barriers and making learning experiences and opportunities more widely accessible to users across Scotland. Also read more at TES news.
I composed electroacoustic music for Move Mood, an observational documentary film by writer and artist Sarah Tripp. Screenings at X-Ray at the Persevence, London, Diversions Film Festival, Edinburgh Filmhouse, Artists Film & Video at the BBC Glasgow (in association with the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art). Here’s an excerpt from the film.
Breathing Space (7’56) is an early studio composition that uses the human voice as the only sound source. As the title suggests, the driving force of the work is the breath and its potential to evoke different sensations of space. Breathing Space continually overlaps the border between the literal and metaphorical, and the ambiguous relationship between ‘natural’ and processed sounds. The form proceeds as a relatively free exploration of these multiple vocal possibilities but comes to pivot on a transformation from intense saturation to extreme reduction. The work was selected for a range of international broadcasts on experimental radio.
Composer/sound designer for Adrian Howells on his theatre installation performance The Garden of Adrian, created in collaboration with Adrian Howells, Minty Donald, Mike Brookes and Nick Millar.
Performances at Gilmorehill Theatre, University of Glasgow.