Sound Thought: Explorathon Programme

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Sound Thought: Explorathon September 27-28, 2019 – Riverside Museum, Glasgow Explorathon is Scotland's contribution to the European Researchers' Night, funded by the European Commission, which takes places simultaneously in over three-hundred cities across Europe every year. At Explorathon: Glasgow, Sound Thought will present a series of audio and interactive installations, as well as 'Sounding the Landscape', a programme featuring works completed during artist residencies with the RSPB. These researchers are drawn from a number of universities across Scotland, including the University of Glasgow, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, University of the West of Scotland, University of Edinburgh, and the University of St Andrews. Sound Thought is a festival series of music of music and sound research, composition, and performance run by postgraduate students. Sound Thought has presented annual events since 2007, having previously collaborated with the Centre for Contemporary Arts, The Old Hairdresser’s, Pipe Factory, The Arches, eSharp, LUX Scotland, Subcity Radio, Floored Music, Glasgow New Music Expedition, and the University of Glasgow. One of Sound Thought’s key aims is to promote the work of postgraduates and to showcase the wide-range of creative practice and research occurring throughout Scotland and the UK. The committee would like to thank: Zara Gladman, Rachel Leckie, Steve Reid, and the RSPB.

Sound Thought: Motion Committee Kevin Leomo Andrew Rae Jamie Macpherson Sonia Killmann Alessio Wagner

Installations September 27 (6-10pm) + September 28 (1-4pm) Sound Map Nicole Ecke | University of Glasgow This piece is an exploration of “natural” soundscapes versus the technology used to capture and portray them. I implemented a physical representation of a sound map where each listener can use their own body to explore the various locations, triggering the sounds with their hands. In the creation of this project, I fully immersed myself in various environments (some in nature, others indoors, some involving machinery, or people) to then present them in a technology-heavy manner using Light Dependent Resistors. The process of recording in Glasgow and its surrounding areas led me to develop a closer relationship to and understanding of a city in which I am newly situated. Nicole is a sound artist currently obtaining her masters at University of Glasgow. Originally from New York, she moved to Scotland to pursue her interest in acoustic ecology, sound mapping, and field recording.

Corners of a circle Sonia Killmann | Royal Conservatoire of Scotland “Corners of a circle” is a piece revolving around the musicality of sounds that are specifically associated with Glasgow. Being displayed in an old subway carriage, most of the sounds for this piece were sourced on the Glasgow Subway. Various corners of the subway were recorded and explored, in order to gather enough material for an accurate musical representation of the subway circle. Blended with sounds of musical instruments, the familiar sounds of the Glasgow Subway take on a new meaning. Sonia Killmann is a sound artist, composer and jazz musician from Belgium. Having finished with an MA in music at the University of Glasgow and going into a postgrad in composition at RCS, she plays the saxophone in various bands and collaborates with local artists. Her work encompasses audiovisual installations, electroacoustic music and jazz, which can be found on:

The Science of Sound Jamie Macpherson | University of the West of Scotland An interactive workshop demonstrating how we hear things, from the sound leaving your mouth, to it reaching your ear and everything that happens in between. A simple and easy way to see sound in the digital world. Jamie is a student at the University of the West of Scotland studying Sound Engineering and Production; and came top of her class in her HNC year. She has experience working in the music industry from both running sound at live events and studio recording and mixing; along with a history of volunteering to operate sound systems at events and venues. She has worked with studios to mix and master several albums and record many bands. She has also travelled around the UK and Ireland to help with crewing and running concerts of varying sizes. Jamie wishes to continue to produce music in both live and studio settings, she is passionate about the impact music has in peoples’ lives and wants to be a part of that process. She feels strongly about helping to capture music and share it with people.

Web-canvas Eleni-Ira Panourgia | University of Edinburgh Web-canvas is an interactive web artwork that centers on simultaneous material transformation through participation. This work’s audio-visual aesthetic includes visual material in the form of a cutup digitized monotype and sonic material as acoustic and electronic sound samples. Web-canvas encourages its audience to interact by replacing its parts and transforming both its visual and sonic components. The artist’s sonic interpretation of the visual work is shared with the user and can be played back, reset, erased and recreated according to their own aesthetic decisions. Web-canvas is then a work that shifts the aesthetic power over the outcome between artist and audience. The mode of interaction of this work allows the audience to compose the canvas visually or aurally, by manipulating its pieces, which in their turn will trigger changes in the sound of the work. The concurrent visual and sonic interaction of the audience with the canvas is considered as the work itself. The multi-dimensional mode of this practice supports the idea of how changing one element will affect the whole. How we are bonded with everything around us is symbolized by the way each piece of the canvas constantly depends on the state of a larger entity. Audience-participants are invited to make sense of their actions based on the simultaneous changes of sound-to-visual. Dr. Eleni-Ira Panourgia is an artist and a teaching and research fellow at the University of Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée. She has recently completed a PhD in Art at the University of Edinburgh as a scholar of the Onassis Foundation titled ‘Co-composition processes: form, structure and time across sculpture and sound’. Eleni-Ira’s work focuses on intersections of visual-spatial and temporal dimensions in a responsive and interactive way in relation to materials, their processes and technologies. She is member of Greek Sculptors’ Association, the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece and RAFT Research Group. She is co-founder of sIREN research network and co-founder and managing editor of Airea Journal.

Sounding the Landscape September 28 (12-2.30pm) – performances repeating In conjunction with RSPB, Sound Thought presents: Sounding the Landscape. Five composers/sound artists present sonic artworks in response to the theme, Sounding the Landscape. Three of the artworks presented will be the outputs of RSPB artist residencies completed in 2019. Baron’s Haugh: A Sonic Response Alessio Wagner | University of Glasgow Barons Haugh: A Sonic Response is the sonic output for an RSPB artist residency Alessio Wagner has been working on during 2019. It is an acousmatic ambisonic work.

Can we not hear the birds that sing? Lisa Robertson | Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 'Can we not hear the birds that sing?' is a piece for solo violin which was written during an artist residency with the RSPB, based at the urban nature reserve of Barons Haugh, on the outskirts of Motherwell. The piece juxtaposes the localised sounds of the nature reserve with the urban surroundings it finds itself enclosed in, including, in audible proximity, the M74 Motorway. The piece contains transcriptions of bird calls of the species which populate the reserve, following the variations which occur throughout the calendar year. These bird call motifs make up the basis of the piece. The arrangement of the bird sounds alters to depict the sonic characteristics of each season. Interspersed with these are representations of human interference with nature. One shows a more harmonious relationship – broken fragments of a folksong entitled ‘Clydes Water’ and the other a destructive relationship with the sounds of clashing intervals and harsh timbres. The piece also makes use of ambient sound and object-based instrumentation – suggesting music that exists in closer contact to nature. Lisa Robertson is a composer from the West Highlands of Scotland. Upcoming performances of her pieces include by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard, the Slovak Sinfonietta and Inchcolm New Music Ensemble. Previous performances include by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Red Note Ensemble, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, Cappella Nova, Hebrides Ensemble, Rolf Hind, Brodick Quartet, Beckett Quartet and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir in festivals including West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Sound Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, PLUG Festival and on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction programme. Her piece was recently selected for the APC Modern Pibroch Library, Canada. She participated in PRS for Music’s ‘Wild Plum Songbook Workshop’ and consequently her piece was commissioned for an upcoming performance at the Cheltenham Festival 2019 by Lucy Schaufer and Huw Watkins. She was selected for hcmf// shorts, an opportunity to perform her own piece at Huddersfield Comtemporary Music Festival 2019. She has participated in masterclasses with Brian Ferneyhough at the Ferienkurse Darmstadt, Sir James MacMillan at the Theoartistry Scheme at St Andrews University, Deirdre Gribbin, Liza Lim, Ashley Fure and Nicolas Hodges and workshops with Royal Northern Sinfonia, Bozzini Quartet, Juice Vocal Ensemble and Ligeti Quartet, who recently recorded her piece. She was selected for the Advanced Composition Course with Sir Harrison Birtwistle at Dartington International Summer School 2019. Awards include shortlisted for the Scottish Awards for New Music 2019 Dorico Award for Small / Medium Scale Work, joint winner of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival Composers’ Competition and runner-up in the Cappella Nova Composers’ Competition and the Walter and Dinah Wolfe Memorial Award. She is currently undertaking a PhD with Gordon McPherson and Emily Doolittle at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She previously studied at Royal Holloway, University of London with Helen Grime and Mark Bowden.

The Listening Cave Suite Calum Scott | University of Glasgow Glasgow based sound artist Calum Scott presents video documentation of his Listening Cave Suite, developed on residency at RSPB Baron's Haugh and presented as part of Sounding The Landscape on the 7th and 8th of September 2019. The works are outdoor sound installations which aim to engage with hidden and historical listening on the site. 'Echo' creates an immersive sound environment on the Clyde Walkway at dusk with lights and bells triggered by the live echolocation of bats. 'Cycles' uses simple analog solar circuits to mimic natural cycles on the site and references the haugh's historic use as grazing land for cattle. Calum's residency has taken inspiration from the Listening Cave, a curved brick structure on the adjacent Dalziel Estate thought to have been built for Lady Hamilton in 1765 to amplify the sound of the Dalziel Burn and the waterfall below.

Calum Scott is a sound artist from Aberdeen, Scotland currently undertaking AHRC funded doctoral research at the University of Glasgow. His research focuses on the development of object-based sound art works (or sound sculptures) which seek to interrogate links between sound and the physical world. Calum's sound practice involves the creation of electronically actuated physical objects and assemblages that produce raw/acoustic sound. It stands in contrast to acousmatic sound work by using technologies of sound reproduction as acoustical motors which produce sound rather than as transparent media which carry it. A key methodology in his work is the recreation of existing sounding objects as stimulus for his creative process. This form of ‘creative media archaeology’ seeks to explore aspects of the historical through a creative reengagement with objects. Calum's work has been exhibited by the Courtauld Institute/ Aberystwyth University (Noises of Art conference), the Hunterian Art Gallery, Queens University Belfast (Sonorities Festival) and Leith Theatre (Hidden Door Festival).

Nocturne Kevin Leomo + Katie Kim | University of Glasgow + Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Nocturne for solo alto flute was written for Conrad Marshall as part of Psappha Ensemble’s Composing for Flute Scheme. Nocturne alludes to the experience of walking alone at night. The piece explores a wide array of sounds and timbres afforded by the alto flute. The subtlety of natural sounds at night is reflected by the flute’s slight changes to timbre: inflections, surprises, pauses, extreme quiet and distant sounds. Aspects central to the work are the notions of silence and space, which are abundant in a nocturnal setting. Additionally, various states are represented, from calm and serene to more agitated and hurried movement. The work is influenced by the performance practice and sounds of the Japanese shakuhachi, where the colours of the shakuhachi are blended with my own compositional vocabulary. Kevin is a Scottish-Filipino composer based in Glasgow who writes primarily for acoustic instrumental forces. His works have been performed by Psappha Ensemble, Glasgow New Music Expedition, Neave Trio, Ensemble Móbile, Society for New Korean Music, TaiHei Ensemble, Ensemble Okeanos, and The Hermes Experiment. In 2017, Kevin graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MMus in composition by research, completed under the supervision of Professor Bill Sweeney and Dr. Jane Stanley. Kevin is currently undertaking doctoral studies with Dr. Drew Hammond and Dr. Jane Stanley, where he is researching aspects of cross-cultural composition. Current projects include a collaboration with cellist Emily De Simone developing techniques influenced by Korean instruments haegeum and geomungo, a forthcoming work for Red Note Ensemble as part of Sound Festival 2019, and a collaboration with Jasdeep Singh Degun as part of Psappha’s Composing for Sitar. Kevin is interested in education engagement and has participated in projects at primary, secondary, and tertiary level. He is co-director of the Scottish Young Composers Project, the University of Glasgow’s music outreach project, where high school students from across Glasgow receive free mentoring in composition and a workshop of their work. Kevin has held the position of Sound Thought committee chair since 2017.

Katie Kim recently received her M.A. in Chamber Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She earned her B.M. in performance from Oberlin College and Conservatory where she studied with Alexa Still. Ms. Kim is an active chamber musician; she is a founding member of the Okapi Duo, a flute and guitar chamber duo, with guitarist Brian King. She is also flutist of Ensemble TMT, an ensemble consisting of flute, harp, and viola. Kim has been a prizewinner of many solo competitions, including the Lansum International Competition, the Grossmont Scholarship Competition, and the 2018 Southern Guitar Fest Ensemble Competition. Ms. Kim enjoys teaching and is passionate about promoting music through community engagement. She has also held internships with the San Diego Symphony in the fields of development and community engagement and was an intern for the Oyster Bay Music Festival's 2017 season. Kim is currently pursuing a Masters in solo performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Annihilation + Aether – Sonified Deathscape Holly Warner | University of St Andrews Annihilation + Aether is a ten-minute sound art piece illustrating a conceptual deathscape. The piece is based on field-recordings captured in sites evocative of death and is processed and structured according to interlocking theories that sculpt the progression from soundscape to deathscape. In this manner, a soundscape reminiscent of death is processed through to conceptual deathscape, marking the destruction of memory in stages after death, and communication of grief. An exploration in theory and practice of the manifestation of death in the sonic domain, this project exists as a sound piece utilising multi-sited field recordings and anthropologic/philosophical concepts and theories to inform the composition of a ten-minute experimental sound work. Its aims were to expand on microprocesses arising between a soundscape and a theoretical conception of a deathscape by recreating this in the sonic domain using opaque mediation techniques [BrøvigHanssen]. I drew from my academic work on the application of cultural theory to studio technological practice, from my role as an electronic artist and as a sound designer. As death can be said to frame life, this project aims to assimilate ruptures attributed to annihilation, while drawing correlations between text and sound, life and death, and loss and the other. The concept of deathscapes was set out by Kong (1999); I employ the notion of deathscapes described by anthropologists Maddrell and Sidaway to portray the depth and resonance of loss and sorrow experienced as it meshes with the soundscape and embodied sentiment. My aim was to create a piece of sound art in the style of an acoustic soundscape [such as Feld: see Structuring the Soundscape], and through the application of multiple strings of sequential theory, transform this material to conceptual deathscape. Holly Warner is a PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews. Drawing on philosophical anthropology with an ethnographic research focus on phenomenologies of sound, the sonic 'self', memory and metaphor, sound design, studio discourse, and compositional process. Research interests in individuality, phenomenology, relational musicology, symbolic interactionism, identity and narrative, consciousness, imagination, and technological mediation.