Category Archives: Sound

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:

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.

Open Evening: February 2016

Open Evening at Digital Design Studio, Wednesday 17 February 2016

An opportunity to visit the Digital Design Studio here at Pacific Quay, Glasgow and chat with the lecturers involved with our Masters programmes:

  • MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy
  • M.Des in Sound for the Moving Image
  • MSc in Visualisation (International Heritage)
  • MSc in Visualisation (Serious Games and Virtual Reality)

Academic Staff will be available from 1730hrs to 1930hrs that evening to meet with students interested in these programmes.  Additionally we will include a short demonstration of our 3D capability in our purpose-built laboratory early in the evening.

More information here.

Merry Christmas!

Seasons Greetings from the DDS. This year’s Christmas card from The Glasgow School of Art is a video piece by DDS alumni Laurence Chan. Enjoy, and seasons best!

Merry Glitchmas
Merry Glitchmas – Seasons Greetings from The Glasgow School of Art – Click to launch video

Paul Wilson Presents Audio Post Production Masterclass

An opportunity to take part in a Masterclass with award winning MDes Sound for the Moving Image Tutor Paul Wilson

The Royal Television Society will be holding a Masterclass on Audio Post Production on the evening of Wednesday 28th October. The event starts at 7 pm and will take place at BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay, Glasgow.

This event will appeal to experts and those who are interested in learning more about the fascinating and powerful world of audio post.  The evening will include a pro-tools demonstration, an in-depth analysis of the techniques involved in creating a mix by Paul, and an expert review of new loudness broadcast specifications in the DPP framework.

Interested in going? Details about the even can be found here.


Mixing Things Up with Audio-Visual Performance Night

On September 15th, the graduating DDS MDes Sound for the Moving Image students hosted an evening of synaesthetic artworks fusing visual experimentation with sonic art.  Included in the performances were works from Toby RidlerSaint-LaurentCracked Hands, and Grim Lusk, with live visuals mixed by Saint-Laurent.

Cracked Hands (Rachel Grant)
Cracked Hands (Rachel Grant) Playing at the MDes Sound for the Moving Image graduate show
 A great evening with a good turnout and some unique and talented performances, and we hope everyone enjoyed the show as much as we did.

Musicians wanted! Performers required for innovative research project

Hi! I’m Iain Laird, a PhD candidate here at the Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art. I am looking for experienced musicians (Grade 8 ABRSM or similar) to take part in an innovative research project that will hopefully result in new technologies for musical performance preparation and practice.

Do you play the Violin, Viola, Spanish/classical Guitar, Clarinet, Oboe, Cor Anglais, Saxophone, Flute, Trumpet, Trombone, Cornet, Flugelhorn or any other orchestral instrument? Yes! Then I would love to hear from you. My email address is .

You will take part in an interactive listening test while performing in one of our state-of-the-art 3D surround sound studios. The main aim will be to determine how on-stage acoustics affect how you, the performer, perceive your performance (fyi all data obtained as part of this study will remain anonymous). This study will be running until the end of June/July but the sooner you can participate the better. It is also supported by Arup Acoustics, a world-leader in concert hall acoustic design.

You will receive a £10 cinema voucher as a thank-you for taking part! Not quite MU rates unfortunately but it will be a token of my appreciation for your very valuable input to this research.

Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you, and please spread the word to any fellow musicians who may be interested.
Cheers, Iain.

Sound for the Moving Image Showcase – 28th May

Join us on May 28th for the this year’s Sound for the Moving Image Masters students interim degree show at the Glasgow School of Art. The exhibition will span across all spaces of the Art School student union and showcase student works through the medium of film, 5.1 surround installations, live music performances and more.

To whet your appetite, you can also checkout the excellent trailer for this year’s show, which can be found here.