India Gailey has recorded a wonderful version of my piece Winter Music on her debut album, which was released today. You can buy the album here.Winter Music was created during a residency at the Banff Centre in January 2017. I recorded natural sounds and improvised outdoors with my breath, voice, and hands. I also built a cello (for lack of a better word) out of ice. I shaped the resulting recordings into an electronic track that creates an environment for performers to improvise with. Winter Music was premiered on flute by Yong Clark, and has also been performed on cello and accordion by Brice Catherin and Branko Džinović.
I've just posted a recording of my newest piece, Spine. It was recorded at the Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre by James Wicks, Franziska Deschner, Sarah McCabe, and Fraser Bowles. Spine is named for the stark white trunks of birch, which remain constant as the colours of the seasons shift the rest of the forest around them in cyclic, gradual layers. You can listen to Spine here.
At the end of July I was in Nova Scotia to start work on a project with India Gailey. The idea was to travel around Nova Scotia recording instruments, natural sounds, and ourselves in interesting acoustics. I'll be shaping the recordings we made into an EP that should be released this fall.
On our first day, after a wrong turn and a river crossing, we found our way into Hayes cave. The cave has a tiny entrance that immediately opens up into a huge cavern filled with wonderful sounds of dripping water and a small lake. We brought in a cello and recorded some wonderful improvisation that mixed beautifully with the sounds and acoustic of the cave.
I'll be doing a residency at the Banff Centre in January. I'm very excited to be able to spend time in such an amazing environment! The Banff Centre is where I first experienced 21st century classical music, and it's thrilling to be able to return as an artist. I'll be making a lot of field recordings and using them to create two new pieces - a long electronic installation, and a short piece for violinist and pre-recorded audio. In Banff I want to explore the resonance of different outdoor acoustic spaces, and the idea of 'performed soundscape.' How can the recordist shape the soundscape around them? How can I play the outdoor environment? How can the sonic and resonant...
This is a medium that I had been hoping to explore for a long time, so it was very exciting to have the opportunity to create these. I wanted to find a way to work more directly and immediately with nature than my classical composition allows by building sculptures that constantly transform elements of nature into musical sound. You can hear both sculptures right now in Wolfville!
Grove is a sculpture made up of five railway tie-sized posts stood on end, with strings running down the side of each one. In a strong, steady wind the strings act as Aeolian harps and create an soft, eerie, beautiful sound. Walking along the dykes was one of my favourite parts of living in Wolfville, and I was thrilled and honoured to be able to place a sculpture on them.
This sculpture project started in June 2016, when I met with the Wolfville Committee on Public Art. They were very supportive and were able to help me find the best location for both sculptures. The actual construction took place in October 2016. As with my music...
This sculpture is made up of four music boxes hidden along the forest paths in Wolfville. Each box plays a short piece I composed based on the birds I could hear in the forest during my week in Nova Scotia. The boxes play at different speeds depending on how much light is shining on them at any moment.
I'm delighted to be writing an article for the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology's quarterly newsletter! The article, discussing the influence of soundscape on my work, and some of the background for my pieces Five Landscapes, and Skaftafell, will appear in the online newsletter at the beginning of October.