The Mark of the Beast – a collaboration as composer/sound artist with writer/theatre-maker Martin O’Connor that explores lived experience of alcohol and addiction in Glasgow.
Between November 2015 and March 2016, Martin and I worked with the North East Recovery Community to create materials for a sound installation Good Days Bad Days. I composed a ‘soundtrack’ from the many voices/stories of participant’s experiences that was projected as an immersive installation at Platform Glasgow. The work was commissioned by GEAC Platform-to-Health and GRAND (Getting Real About Alcohol n Drugs).
The installationwas research and development for Martin’s live solo show The Mark of the Beast , for which I re-composed the Good Days Bad Days material in 2018.
Through the Rough Breathing project I have been collaborating with clarinettist Alex South to investigate the role and use of breath as an improvising tool in live performance. Our collaborative exploration to date has focused on a) the psychoacoustic and sonic relationships between voice and clarinet, and b) breath and bodily breathing processes as potential material and/or structural devices within free improvisation. One line of inquiry, for example, centres on how the breath might sculpt the dynamic flow of sound-making in performance.
With early exploratory performances at The Glad Cafe and Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre (many thanks John Cavanagh), the work was further supported and developed through a CCA/AC Projects Residency in the Creative Lab at CCA 2018 and Tectonics Festival 2019.
In 2020, Rough Breathing was shortlisted for the Scottish Awards for New Music Ism Prize for Collaboration.
I am delighted to have been working with Sonic Bothy Ensemble since January 2014. Sonic Bothy was founded by creative director Claire Docherty, and explores, composes and performs experimental and contemporary music.
I post occasional updates – read more in News or click on the Sonic Bothy tag.
For more information on Sonic Bothy Ensemble, and all the charity’s activities, please visit Sonic Bothy’s website
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
Static Flux is a radio and performance collaboration with writer Zoë Strachan. The work was initially produced as a live studio broadcast for Radiophrenia in 2017 and then subsequently selected for a live performance at Hidden Door Festival 2018.
Static Fluxfocuses 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.
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 (performed by Daibhidh Walker, directed by Liz Carruthers).
The tour visited venues in Lewis, North Uist, South Uist, Skye, Isle of Mull, Glasgow, Edinburgh. In 2018 the work had a performance at Tramway, Glasgow. Read more about it at Martin’s website here.
Sonic Bothy Ensemble’s first gig of 2017 at Mono in Glasgow gets a wonderful review from The Cusp Magazine. Read the full review here…
Sonic Bothy Ensemble have been in residence at Riverside studios recording tracks for a forth coming album.
Paritor Award – Sonic Bothy was one of several Glasgow Life/City Council partnered projects submitted to the National Music Council Awards, and received the Paritor Award for New Music in Education. Read more about the Paritor Award and other winners at the National Music Council website.
Wave Shift was originally an experimental audiovisual collaboration with artist and illustrator Natasha Russell in response to the ideas and situations we encountered on the UZ Arts Sura Medura Residency in Sri Lanka. Natasha and I were in residence from October – December 2016, along with Sumit Sarkar and other visiting artists. Following the installation I re-worked Wave Shiftinto a stand alone composition.
During our post-residency collaboration, Natasha and I were interested in the way an understanding of the experience of a place shifts over time, between people, even at the drop of a hat. We decided to weave decaying memories, slippery facts and shifting folklores through sound and print to form a portable set that melts place and atmosphere into an imaginary landscape.
Integrating with the structure and printed visual landscape with the set, my Wave Shift audio was projected into the space as an immersive, abstract, evocative soundscape. Source materials for the work included a selection of field recordings captured during the residency and vocal sound recordings. Both the main thread of sound that underpinned the work, composed with a series of hydrophonerecordings, and the form, which unfolds as a series of wave-like emergences, draw on myriad notions of water as a bridge between real and fictional landscapes.
The installation was exhibited in 2017 at Sura Medura Exhibition, The Briggait, Glasgow and then Summerhall, Edinburgh
The final stage of our residency was focused on preparing for our Moving Out event. The other artists involved were Natasha Russell, Sumit Surkar, Samson Ogiamien, and Rose Staff. On the day, we were thrilled to have a big local crowd join us, and delighted that many people came down from the Colombo Biennale and the University Faculty of Visual and Performing Arts to join us for some or all of the time.
Overall, the day at Sunbeach was a wonderful combination of visual art, sound, sculpture, video, performance, people, food, beer, Arrack sour, sea, sand, laughing, chatting, sharing…and cake (what a fabulous day for a birthday!). In our exhibition, which combined some finished elements and work-in-progress, my sound work Sabda saha Pintura was available as a headphone installation.
The title Sabda saha Pintura means sound and picture in Sinhalese – through much discussion this seemed to be the most apt translation for the collage idea I was working with in the piece. Exploring differences in the English/Sinhalese languages was very intriguing – how or in what way metaphors or concepts translate, for example, sound, soundscape, landscape, environment.
During the afternoon an audiovisual tuk tuk tour was running – a collaboration between Natasha (Russell) and me. Three people at a time could hop into Sudu’s tuk tukand take a short round trip to visit Natasha’s work in local shops accompanied by my soundtrack.
The soundtrack combined recordings I gathered from those shopkeepers introducing themselves and their businesses, shop sounds, etc – the general store, jewellers, barbers, a fruit and veg stall. I also recorded an introduction to the tour in Sinhalese, with pronunciation help from folk at Sunbeach. Big thanks to Sudu and Chinthaka for running the tours.
Early evening, I accompanied Samson Omiagien with some live vocals for his performance piece with sculpture, which we had rehearsed in the lead up to the event. The evening finished with a fantastic Sri Lankan curry banquet.
Big thanks to Neil and all at UZ Arts, Chaminda, Chathura, Hasantha, Kari and all at Sunbeach, Maria and Jack, my fellow artists-in-residence, everyone I met.
In the final week of the Sura Medura residency we headed up the road for the opening of Colombo Art Biennale in Sri Lanka. I was excited to also have been invited by Shereen Perera to create a live score for the Video Jam event on the opening night. I responded with a solo vocal performance to a beautiful, strange and thoughtful clip of Sri Lankan film-maker Vimukthi Jayasundara’s Light in the Yellow Breathing Space.