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.
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.
Radiophrenia invited myself and writer Zoë Strachan to collaborate on a Live-to-Air commission. In our collaboration we explored the state of being In Transit and how it disrupts the interior monologues of two people on separate but overlapping journeys of a slightly mysterious kind.
Radiophrenia is a temporary art radio station broadcasting from the CCA in Glasgow. In 2016 it produced a two-week exploration into current trends in sound and transmission arts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
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.
From the archive – Segami Dance Company was a collaborative project with New Zealand performer Hugh Major in the early 1990s in Edinburgh, Scotland. We joined forces after our paths crossed while working in the experimental theatre scene.
We created a handful of works including Bruised (solo), My Heart and My Legs, This Glorious Prison, and Shifting Sands, and performed in Edinburgh, London and a few venues in New Zealand’s north island. During our stay in New Zealand we also held workshops and collaborated with performing arts students to create their own contribution to our performance.
Our main influences were Butoh dance, other movement practices like Tai Chi, and indigenous cultures – we were interested in creating intense, contemplative, energetic work. I am currently going through archive materials to see what remains from that time.