A recording of Songs for a Stranger: (v) in the midst has been selected for the documentary audio compilation Voix Brutes Vol II, to be released by Audition Records on 15th May 2014. The focus of the Voix Brutes compilations is the voice in live performance – its extended forms, techniques and possibilities.
More info including the list of selected artists is here.
[ar093] VOIX BRUTES | International Compilation | Vol.II listen
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.
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’. The work was originally created for, and supported by, Arches Live Festival.
……And down at the rough end of the basement, in a bare tunnel of a room, there’s composer Nichola Scrutton’s Songs For A Stranger, a 25-minute piece that moves beyond the limits of language into five segments of abstract electronic sound, accompanied by the increasingly fierce and brilliant vocal improvisations of Scrutton and her performing partner, Celine Hanni. There’s a central moment of meditation – titled Solitude – that recalls the deep resonances of Tibetan chant; then a final, shattering visit to what sounds like a dying rainforest, as a fierce richness of animal sound gives way to crackling cataclysm, and the soft, low sigh of a final breath….
*** Mary Brennan, The Herald (“…as a live performance, full of vertiginous vocal techniques, it was always impressive…”)