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Sura Medura Residency

uzarts logo sura medura residency

I was thrilled to be selected for a six-week Sura Medura residency with UZ Arts  from October to December 2016. The Sura Medura residency on this occasion was being hosted in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka. My fellow artists were Natasha Russell and Sumit Sarkar, and two other artists arrived later in the residency – Martin Janicek and Samson Ogiamien. Early experience after arrival was a whirlwind of sensations and there was definitely a process of settling into Sunbeach and adjusting – heat, humidity, sounds, smells, surf, swimming, dogs, jungle, mozzies, food, walks, and meeting many warm friendly folk along the way sharing experiences, tips and ideas.

Sura Medura, Storm Brewing

Presentations

As part of the residency we travelled to Colombo and gave presentations to staff and students in the University Faculty of Visual and Performing Arts in week 3. That was a really good day – as well as meeting people, we were fortunate to be shown round all the art departments then had lunch before travelling back.

Sura Medura, Train Nichola ScruttonTrain TimetableFaculty Of Visual And Performing Arts Colombo UniversityFaculty Of Visual And Performing Arts Colombo University2

Thinking about soundscapes

The sound environment is generally very dense and I spent quite a bit of time actively listening and drawing.The area has two main aspect – beach and jungle – and each has its own distinct soundscape. On the beach side the sea roars continuously as the surf thunders in and on the jungle side the air is thick with heat, bird song, massive trees rustling and people going about their daily lives.  A railway line runs between the two through much of the area and regular trains, horns and bells punctuate the air. In the mix are a whole rich array of sounds – the hollering voices of people selling at markets and on the street, the honking and revving of huge buses overtaking other vehicles at breakneck speed (treacherous), thunderstorms and torrential rain, intermittent firework eruptions, the bread, fish and other vans making melodic announcements and so on. I created two soundscape pieces – Sabda saha Pintura and Wave Shift.

Sura Medura, Fish Market

Sura Medura, Lightening Storm

Sura Medura, Jungle

 

 

 

 

 

In week five  we hosted a Moving Out public event at Sunbeach as part of the Colombo Art Biennale, which was a big success. And actually it was on my birthday so an extra cake was involved at the end of the night. Read a bit more info on that at Moving Out. Finally, we had a trip up to Colombo for the opening of the Biennale. I also had been invited to perform/score a film clip at the opening as part of Video Jam. More info on that at Video Jam

Huge 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.

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Radiophrenia 2016

Radiophrenia

Radiophrenia 2016 Live-to-Air Commission

Over the summer I’m delighted to be collaborating  on a Radiophrenia 2016 commission with writer Zoë Strachan for a Live-to-Air performance.

The temporary radio station will broadcast from 29th August until 11th September 2016. Our live-to-air performance will take place on 5th September at the CCA in Glasgow.

Fine more details about all the commissions and performances at Radiophrenia.

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Curator – WebSYNradio

websynradio

Glasgow Soundscapes: Place, Space and Memory

I am delighted to have been invited by Dominique Balaÿ to curate a programme for broadcast on WebSYNradio from 16th – 30th June 2016.  Alongside a selection of my own works are compositions by Alistair MacDonald, Bethan Parkes, Luca Nasciuti and Mark Vernon – big thanks to them for contributing.

Read more and listen at synradio.fr.

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Good Days Bad Days | Martin O’Connor

A sound installation created in collaboration with writer/theatre-maker Martin O’Connor.

Good Days Bad Days wordsMartin and I undertook a 5-month research and development period with Glasgow’s North East Recovery Community commissioned by Platform-to-Health and GRAND (Getting Real About Alchohol N Drugs). Participants were engaged in conversations focusing on remembering their first and last alcoholic drink, to open up bigger discussions of childhood and family life; living conditions and wider society in Glasgow and the impact of addiction and recovery on individuals and communities.

 

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These conversations formed the basis of an immersive sound installation that was staged at Platform Glasgow and as a headphone installation at Outskirts Festival in 2016. The installation was a development for Martin’s live show The Mark of the Beast in 2018.

 

 

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At First Light

At First Light listener
At First Light listener – WISWOS, LICA

At First Light  is a studio composition (8’49). Arising from an ongoing strand of exploration around ideas of ‘ephemeral’,  At First Light is a vocal meditation  inspired by the play of light at sunrise and a notion that each moment may be filled with the past, present and future. The process of making the piece involved repeated exploration of the material ideas using a simple MAXMSP patch, with the final work being created in a single real-time improvisation. While a version of the piece was ultimately fixed to become At First Light, inherent in the process and the material is an idea of transient evolution – emergence, cycle and decay.

The piece was selected for:

Women in Sound/Women on Sound‘ Symposium at Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts (LICA) (2015)
New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival Concert 35 (NYCEMF) (2016)
Tomorrow, Today will be Yesterday‘ group installation at CAAA, Guimaraes, Portugal, ELO, Victoria BC, Canada, and LCGA, Limerick, Ireland as part of the Screen Dance Festival.

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Phoenix Dance Theatre | Choreographers and Composers Lab

I was absolutely delighted to be one of four composers selected for the Choreographers and Composers Lab 2015 – a two-week intensive residency with Phoenix Dance Theatre in Leeds. The residency was led by  Sharon Watson and Ken Hesketh, with guest speakers – Robert Cohan, Peter Weigold, Zoé Martlew, Dr Jo Butterworth, Mike Dixon, Didy Veldman.

Choreographers: Adrienne Hart, Mbulelo Ndabeni, Claire Lefèvre and Sandrine Monin.
Composers: Roberto David Rusconi, Nichola Scrutton, Sarah Westwood and Eloise Gynn.
Dancers:  Hannah Bateman, Francesca Caselli, Andreas Grimaldier, Joshua  Harriette, Carmen Marfil, Marie Astrid Mence, Ben Mitchell, Vanessa Pang, Alice Shepherdson, Sam Vaherlehto , Prentice Whitlow.
Musicians: Hara Alonso, Oliver  Dover, Sean  Hamilton, Becky Yen-Huan

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Sonnets/Radiophrenia

RAdiophrenia logo

 



Sonnets was a series of live, interactive, largely improvised sound poems, and was created for a Radiophrenia live-to-air commission in 2015. The work drew on the root meanings of the title word – from  ‘son’ (song) and ‘sonus’ (sound) – rather than the traditional poetic form. I used minimal processing, and focused instead on weaving together a palette of breathy sounds, phonemic fragments and vocal gestures into a series of self-contained but interlinked sound worlds, sometimes with field recordings, to invoke or reference a fictional place or state.

(Please note the sound clips are currently off-air)

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Sound Kitchen Prague

Sound Kitchen
A new solo live work City Song has been selected for performance at the forthcoming Sound Kitchen as part of Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in June 2015. See the Event page here for more info and links.

City Song explores a shifting dynamic of power, connectedness and fragmentation, and emerged during development time that was supported by a Creative Scotland Artists’ Bursary Award.

Creative Scotland

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Teine Èiginn | Dougie Strang

Tein Eigin/Need Fire
Dougie preparing the installation

I composed a soundscape for Teine Èiginn / Need Fire – an installation created by Dougie Strang for the Hidden Door Festival 2015.

The teine èiginn, or need fire, was lit during a ritual enacted in times of illness, amongst people and/or livestock.  Records show that the ritual was still in use in remote communities in the Scottish Highlands up until the end of the nineteenth century.

Watch a short film version 

In addition to my own voice on the soundtrack, many thanks to Dougie Strang and Rona MacDonald for singing a song each.