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Wave Shift

Wave Shift is an immersive, abstract, evocative soundscape composition in which myriad notions of water serve as a bridge between real and fictional landscapes. Source materials for the work include a selection of field and hydrophone recordings, captured during a Sura Medura Artist Residency in Sri Lanka,, and vocal sound recordings.

Wave Shift Release

South Asia Phonographic Mornings

On 18th August 2019 Wave Shift  is first up in the new season South Asia PhoNographic Mornings as part of the soundscape project Each Morning of the World produced by Stéphane Marin in France. All tracks and the album are available on Bandcamp, and all donations go to the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE).

Many thanks indeed to Stéphane for inviting me to contribute the track, record the the voice intro and outro for the season’s radio broadcasts each week, and the album artwork.

 

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Sura Medura Exhibition

Sura Medura Exhibition

A Sura Medura exhibition is running from 21st April to 19th May 2017 at The Briggait in Glasgow. The exhibition includes a range of work by artists who have been artist-in-residence at Sura Medura in Sri Lanka.

Wave Shift, a new work made in collaboration with artist and illustrator Natasha Russell, is premiered as part of the Sura Medura exhibition. Read more about Wave Shift

 

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Wave Shift/Natasha Russell

Sura Medura ExhibitionWave ShiftWave Shift was originally an experimental audiovisual collaboration with artist and illustrator Natasha Russell in response to the ideas and situations we encountered on the UZ Arts Sura Medura Residency in Sri Lanka. Natasha and I were in residence from October – December 2016, along with Sumit Sarkar and other visiting artists. Following the installation I re-worked Wave Shift into a stand alone composition.

During our post-residency collaboration, Natasha and I were interested in the way an understanding of the experience of a place shifts over time, between people, even at the drop of a hat. We decided to weave decaying memories, slippery facts and shifting folklores through sound and print to form a portable set that melts place and atmosphere into an imaginary landscape.

Wave Shift At The BriggaitIntegrating with the structure and printed visual landscape with the set, my Wave Shift audio was projected into the space as an immersive, abstract, evocative soundscape. Source materials for the work included a selection of field recordings captured during the residency and vocal sound recordings. Both the main thread of sound that underpinned the work, composed with a series of hydrophonerecordings, and the form, which unfolds as a series of wave-like emergences, draw on myriad notions of water as a bridge between real and fictional landscapes.

The installation was exhibited in 2017 at Sura Medura Exhibition, The Briggait, Glasgow and then Summerhall, Edinburgh

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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.

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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.