Posted on

Rough Breathing/Alex South

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.

Posted on

Sonic Bothy Inclusive New Music

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

 

Posted on

Static Flux/Zoë Strachan

Zoë and Nichola

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.

Radiophrenia 2017
Static Flux
 
focuses 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.

 

 

Posted on

Sonic Bothy Updates 2017

Sonic Bothy Review

Sonic Bothy Glass-instruments
Photo courtesy of Sonic Bothy.

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 recording 1

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.

Sonic Bothy Ensemble, Sound Festival

Performances include: Recital Rooms, City Halls, Glasgow, Mono, Glasgow, CCA, Glasgow, UNLIMITED, Tramway, Glasgow, ISME conference, RCS, Glasgow, SOUND Festival, Aberdeen, Atelier Public #2, GoMA, Glasgow, Counterflows Festival, The Glad Café, Glasgow

More Information

For more information on Sonic Bothy Ensemble, and all the charity’s activities, please visit Sonic Bothy’s website.

Posted on

Sura Medura Moving Out

Moving Out Sura Medura 2016

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.

Listening Post Sabda Saha Pintura

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.

 

 

Sudu - Tuk Tuk Tour Driver

Tuk Tuk TourDuring 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.

Samson and Nichola Moving Out 1Samson and Nichola Moving Out 2

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.

Posted on

Video Jam at Colombo Art Biennale

BANNERColombo Art Biennale - 2

VideoJam

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. 

The event took place on 2nd December 2016 at the ZMax Fairway Hotel roof terrace and was part of the Colombo Biennale Performing Arts Programme.

Here’s the Facebook event  and a link to a film clip here Video Jam clip

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Video Jam Colombo Art Biennale Clip

Video Jam at Colombo Art Biennale

Watch Video Jam clip

Here’s a short clip from the Video Jam at the opening night of the Colombo Art Biennale. The link takes you straight through to the Facebook page of Decibel.lk – a Sri Lankan online news, reviews and events site…just click the image to play…

Thanks to Decibel for that. And big thanks to Shereen Perera for inviting me to score for Video Jam.

Posted on

BBC Radio 3 Exposure

Exposure GigI was delighted to be performing solo on the first programme of a new BBC Radio 3 series – Exposure. The programme ‘explores the local alternative and underground music scenes’.

The live event is on 23rd September 2016 in Glasgow at the Glad Cafe. The programme will be broadcast on 29th September at 11 pm and available online for a month.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.