Joint composer with Erin Scrutton for Code Butterfly, a site-specific performance created by Curious Seed Dance Company for the Leith Festival, Edinburgh, (involving 5 professional performers, (dancers/ aerial artists, singer) and 15 young women from the Leith area. Performances: Out Of The Blue, old Drill Hall. Edinburgh.
Directed by Christine Devaney
Designed by Karen Tennant
Production Manager: John Riddell
with Jennifer Patterson, Skye Reynolds, Kaela Rowan
Fretwork (2013) draws its compositional language from the intimate physical gestures associated with playing the guitar – the act of plucking becomes transformed metaphorically into a range of percussive attacks, pops and clicks. While the piece unfolds as an abstract sound collage, fragments of recognisable guitar sounds emerge and recede amidst more decorative falsely extended vibrations and resonances. Available at Bandcamp
Originally commissioned and created for High-Slack-Low-Slack-High – a suite of audio works relating to the Clyde River curated by Minty Donald for GI Festival of Visual Art – Lateral was made as a live, site-specific installation set in Dixon Street, Glasgow. Subsequent to that event I created a studio version of the work.
Dixon Street is a main thoroughfare that runs from the river directly up through the city’s main shopping artery. The aims of the work were to highlight a sense of disconnection from the river and to create multiple cross currents by merging the river sounds of Lateral and the sounds of the city environment. The work was projected over large horn speakers mounted in the street between two buildings, creating a view down to the river. Six vocalists added a further layer of human presence with their resonant tones both emerging out of and being subsumed by the undulating sound density of the site.
The starting point for the work was the idea of a ‘Lateral System’ – a system of navigational aids comprising shapes, colours and numbers, used to guide boats up river channels into ports and docks. However, the multiple resonances of the word ‘lateral’ took on greater significance in the work through the associations and digressions that emerge with the notion of a flowing river. Place names, numerical information from tidal charts and signal/radio sounds serve as signposts along the way, rooting the work in a real world place. But the perpetual flow of water and the periodic rhythms of a vocal landscape contribute to a sense of multiple spatial and historical resonances, and to ideas of flowing with and against the current.
Many thanks indeed to Claire Docherty, Kirstie Edgar, Jessica King, Morag Stark and Hanna Tuulikki for their live vocal contributions both on site at Dixon Street and at the closing event in the Clydeport Authority Headquarters.
Curated radio show ‘Glasgow Soundscapes’ WebSynRadio (France)
Curated listening hour at Brooklyn Acoustic Ecology Festival (US)
LOLG project Shona Island (Scotland)
(25 Feb – 2 March)
Here. now. where? Saout Radio, 5th Marrakech Biennale
(12 – 18 January)
Framework Radio broadcasts
12th london, uk ::: resonance 104.4fm
13th amsterdam, nl ::: concertzender
13th vancouver, us ::: radio nouspace
14th south devon, uk ::: soundartradio 102.5fm
14th maribor, si ::: radio marš 95.9fm
15th lisbon, pt ::: radio zero
15th vancouver, us ::: radio nouspace
16th coimbra, pt ::: rádio universidade de coimbra 107.9fm
16th lisbon, pt ::: radio zero
17th ljubljana, si ::: radio študent 89.3fm
17th brussels, be ::: radio campus 92.1fm
17th vancouver, us ::: radio nouspace
18th london, uk ::: resonance 104.4fm
18th new york state, us ::: wgxc 90.7fm
18th brasilía, br ::: rádio paisagem
Foldover, WOBC 91.5 fm, Ohio
Time/Zones, Akademie der Kunst, Berlin
AIR/EAR Installation, Radio-System, Argentine
High-Slack-Low-Slack-High, GI Festival, Dixon Street, Glasgow
High-Slack-Low-Slack-High, GI Festival, Clydeport HQ, Glasgow
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.
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.
All We’re Skilled Inwas 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.
Aria for Breath and Glass (4’09) and Aria for Voice and Plastic (4’42) are a pair of studio compositions. The Arias were originally made for a Charles Rennie Mackintosh Festival concert held at the University of Glasgow. The compositions emerged as a material response to two gesso ‘Opera’ panels (Opera of the Winds, Opera of the Seas) created by Margaret MacDonald (Mackintosh), and drew further inspiration from the plastic debris crisis in the pacific ocean.
Events included: RadiaLx, Radio Art Festival / 88.4 FM, Lisbon, Portugal, Elektramusic ‘Radio Show for Experimental Music’, Web Radio, summer playlist, ‘Soundgate’, Aalborg, Denmark, Sonic Art Oxford Jukebox online, Soundscape Room, Digital Arts Week, Zurich, International Electroacoustic Listening Room, Fullerton (CA).
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
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.