This short video contains some taster clips of sound compositions created for Martin O’Connor’s The Mark of the Beast in 2018.
Rough Breathing Performance
Many thanks to John Cavanagh for inviting us to perform on 1st July 2018 at Sharmanka Gallery amongst the wonderful, atmospheric kinetic sculptures.
Alex and I are collaborating as a performance duo exploring the music/sound potential of voice and clarinets through improvisation.
I am very much looking forward to our residency in Oct/Nov 2018 with CCA/AC Projects to pursue our Rough Breathing project.
Here’s a link to the Sharmanka event. https://www.facebook.com/events/181727232538481/
I was absolutely delighted to be part of the opening of the Beton 7 Festival in Athens on 4th June 2018. The event opened with an introduction by curator Demosthenes Agrafiotis, followed by my solo performance When Night Comes, screenings of Wendy Kirkup’s two films Touches Bloquees and film from a score, and a Q + A session with Wendy and me in conversation with Simon Murray.
After the opening the festival runs from 5th – 17th June 2018. The theme of the festival was “Visions-V_Ideas, Performances”…
“Visions-V_ideas, Performances” celebrates 5 years since its launch at BETON7. In April 2014, it was stated that the set of actions of the festival aimed at exploring the interface between performance and video in the specific frame of the Votanikos neighbourhood – the site of BETON7, Center for the Arts.
A review may be necessary, not in the sense of a conclusion but an assessment for future adjustments. According to a terminology, performance is at the crossroad of the living arts (arts vivants), which rely on the human body as the main tool, in order to found its artistic idiosyncrasy or specificity (dance for example) and the visual arts, where physical elements allow to shape primarily spatial structures (e.g. sculpture). At this crossroad, the video is entering, which is the field, the opportunity to create a new version of what is happening at the aforementioned crossroad from aesthetic and social point of view.”
Many thanks to Rania and Demosthenes for their invitation, welcome and hospitality.
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.
Alex South and I are collaborating as a performance duo exploring the music/sound potential of voice and clarinets through improvisation.
In particular we are pursuing a project called Rough Breathing, in which we investigate the role and impact of breath in our performance practices.
Delighted to be supporting at the Drawn to Water album launch. Alex South and I will play a new 30 minute set called Rough Breathing at the start of the night.
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.