Disembodied words, phrases, often semantically lost, permeate the piece – a ghosting of words and meanings surface within the discourse. A core of sonic material is constantly being reworked, reinterrogated, unfolding its own electroacoustic dialectic.
Shelter stems from previous work I did with a designer on notions of shelter; this collaboration produced a range of new work including Three Points of Dislocation. During this research project, I recorded my parents talking about their experience on the first night of the blitz in Plymouth (England), March 20th, 1940, where they sheltered in the basement, a wine cellar, of the Royal Hotel. Early next morning they emerged to a shattered landscape to find “houses on fire”, where there was no water and nothing worked – a war torn horror that is still all too common in the world we live in today. They relate this night over 60 years ago with a cool matter-of-factness. This is contrasted with the intense electroacoustic sound-world that unfolds.
The work uses recordings I made of: shattering glass, piglets screaming, pig breathing in (snorting), crickets in the evening air, sound of rain (once), and the original recording of my parents. There are a few other sounds that are used very sparingly – these include a human cough, and a dog panting. In the composition of Shelter, this limited sonic palette was blended, fused and distorted in ways that perhaps a painter might work with a limited palette of colour.
In June Shelter was awarded a mention in the Bourge 2006, Trivium, First Category.
Shelter is dedicated to my father (1917-2005) and my mother (1917-2008).
- International Computer Music Conference Nov. 2006, Tulane University, New Orleans, Jukebox;
- Premiere at Soundings (concert series); University of Edinburgh, 27 Oct 06;
- EMM, Kansas City Oct. 12th.
- 12 Nights Electronic Music and Art Festival in Miami, Florida. December 5th 2009.
- The acousmatic composition Shelter was featured in the Coventry City Peace Month on Wednesday November 16th 2011, in Ellen Terry Theatre, Coventry University as part of the piece Shoe Test
- Noisefloor2012, Staffordshire University, May 2nd 2012 as part of Shoe Test