I’m intrigued by the interplay between the sounds that are conventionally part of concert music, and those conventionally excluded. I recently started bringing external sounds in, while continuing to use traditional instruments and – with a certain ambivalence – becoming a studio musician. In the works below I engage closely with a story or a topic while I pull the disparate sounds together.
Following the bombing of the Manchester Arena in 2017, people of Manchester gathered tributes in an enormous spontaneous memorial, which was subsequently collected and stored by the Manchester Art Gallery. Now known as the ‘Manchester Together Archive’, this collection serves as a reference point for the way the city came together to mourn and to express their peaceful community solidarity against violence. I am working in collaboration with Kostas Arvanitis on an installation to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the tragedy in May 2022.
I was asked to write a piece exploring the idea of place, in sound. In response, I examined how a place is not only as a physical location, but also a trigger for experience which can be expressed in sound. I used voices to explore how the experience can lead to a transformation of the self, along with manipulated oud sounds and water sounds. The narration describes an encounter in a place which, on the surface of things, seems a safe refuge. The place turns out to be anything but safe beneath the surface. I had not set out with that aim, but I found myself joining the #metoo movement in music and sound. Rather than focusing solely on individual violation, the composition uses the multi-tracked medium to represent community. The narrator is alone, but other voices contribute to the drama and gradually realises she has lived something that millions of people have experienced and continue to experience every day. Ultimately her voice becomes a chorus. The visit to the “Sacred Place” allows her hope in the power that community could provide, in creating resilience and resistance to hidden, unspoken acts of violence. With thanks to the women who shared their voices.