Sound Thought @ The CCA

This week in the Glasgow CCA is Sound Thought – the University of Glasgow’s annual postgraduate sonic arts festival.

Through a series of concerts, screenings, performances, discussions and workshops, the three-day festival will show how research and practice from a range of sound and music disciplines communicate across artistic canons.

DDS PhD student Jessica Argo and tutor Ronan Breslin both have works that will be performed as part of the festival, this Thursday evening.

Jessica will be presenting a paper and providing samples of Soundscapes used in her research: “Immersive Soundscapes to elicit Anxiety in Exposure Therapy: Physical Desensitization and Psychological Catharsis

Jessica will present physiological data analysis from her experiments, to reveal the most powerful and consistent anxiety-triggering sounds. Questionnaire responses also offer insight into participants’ emotional involvement and reactions.

Ronan’s work goes under the title “Adolescent Nuclear Angst…Or how I Learned to Stick My Head Between my Knees“.

Ronan notes:

As a child of the late 70’s and early 80’s my abiding memory was of the malevolent spectre of nuclear annihilation. Ronald Reagan was elected US president promising to confront an “evil empire” and in my school playground we fretted about the latest scare-mongering TV documentary or drama depicting the imminent apocalypse.  The Soviet Union was the evil bogeyman waiting in the woods; not witches, demons or monsters.  After watching one particular film “Threads”, a 10-year old me recalls asking my all-knowing, military-trained, strong and protective dad what we would do if there was a nuclear war. “Stick our heads between our knees and kiss our arses’ goodbye” was his glib reply.

This AV piece will have resonance as a warning from the past as well as offering me a chance for me to finally get payback on my dad for his inconsiderate flippancy.

The full programme is available here. All events are free, but registration is required.

 

Student nominations for BAFTA NewTalent Awards

Congratulations to DDS Grad Kevin Murray (MDes Sound for Moving Image, 2015) who has been nominated for a BAFTA Scotland NewTalent award for his short film “Paperclips” – created as part of his work for the MDes.

You can watch the film online here:
https://vimeo.com/138628940

And congratulations also to Tommy Reilly (2014) who is nominated in the Composer category for his work “The Beholder”.

You can see the full list of nominees here.

In the Valley of Guns and Roses

David McAulay, currently on the MDes Sound for Moving Image programme at the DDS, was sound mixer, editor and composer for the just-released documentary In the Valley of Guns and Roses. The documentary follows the struggles of Irina, a single mother working in a weapons factory in Bulgaria’s Rose Valley.

In addition to mixing and editing the sound for the production, David also wrote the score, and had this to say about his work:
“The director Simon and I have often talked about the sensitivity required when imposing music upon a character. This is particularly important in documentary film. Even the slightest shift in tone can damage the integrity of the story. This has led me towards finding a way of using the character’s speech patterns and gestures as the basic building blocks for my compositions.

Irina is deeply connected to the folk music of Bulgaria through both her singing and her relationship with her late Grandfather. Simon captured some great performances demonstrating this connection. I worked with fragments of these old folk songs, using the melodic contours as building blocks for new material. Her very constitution is embedded within the score.

While studying Irina’s speech melody, I developed an intimacy with her that had a profound impact on the resulting music. By isolating and repeating phrases from her interviews I could transform her speech into melody and continue building the score around that. The Czech composer Leoš Janáček was one of the first to use speech melody in his operas and said – ‘if speech melody is the flower of the water lily, it nevertheless buds and blossoms and drinks from the roots, which wander in the waters of the mind’.”

In the Valley of Guns and Roses is showing all this week on Al Jazeera, and is available online here.

More information on the MDes Sound for Moving Image here.

Explorathon 2015

Back in October, Stuart Jeffrey, (Research Fellow in Heritage), Laura Hundersmarck (International Heritage Visualisation intern), and Mhairi Maxwell (Research Developer for International Heritage Visualization) took part in the Explorathon event at the National Museum of Scotland.

3D printer in tow, they joined astronomers, chemists, physicists and fellow archaeologists to showcase some of the most cutting-edge discoveries and technologies available today, and presented work from the ACCORD project: an endeavour to co-create 3D-models of archaeological sites and monuments that has been travelling across Scotland to work with local communities.

They outlined their work by video here, and details about Explorathon, and the other fantastic projects presented there, can be found here.