The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and residents of Wester Hailes have unveiled an audio visual installation created during the orchestra’s residency in the area.

Suzanne Parry is the composer who has worked with visual artist Ewan John and musicians from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to create an audio visual installation just finishing at the Royal Scottish Academy tomorrow. But don’t worry, there are two more opportunities to see and listen to the result of this innovative project from Monday of next week until mid February.

Composer Suzanne Parry and Kirsteen Davidson Kelly of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra talked to us about the audio visual installation

Incredible Distance has been created during the SCO’s three year residency in Wester Hailes and has involved many residents after an open call for submissions. People were asked to take out their phones and record sounds, capture images and explore aspects of their everyday lives which had a sonic or visual resonance.

Workshops followed, individual fieldwork and group sessions and a 12 minute soundscape has now been woven into the installation which sits alongside four 30 second miniature musical representations of key Wester Hailes sounds performed by classically trained musicians.

The film is shown alongside recordings like Ice Cream Van which have been given emphasis in short 30 second recordings of Suzanne Parry’s interpretation

The result is a cultural soundmap of Wester Hailes with sounds and images such as handwritten sketches printed on sheets of aluminium.

During the workshops a 24 hour timeline was pinned to the wall at WHALE Arts. Participants then reflected on that time period and shared any sound or images via Dropbox. In a hectic world, the project encouraged the participants to look up and around – to stop, to observe, to listen, to have a heightened appreciation of their surroundings and to explore how our everyday soundworlds can influence how we connect with our local environment and with other people. 

Part of the ‘score’ involves speaking, music performed by the SCO musicians and other sounds from Wester Hailes.

The installation continues at the RSA until 17 January as part of the Society of Scottish Artists annual exhibition, and will then be staged at WHALE ARTS until mid February when it moves on to the Fruitmarket Gallery from 12-16 February 2019.

For more information about the SCO’s unique programme of creative music projects and performances in Wester Hailes see https://bit.ly/2itbHyV

We met composer Suzanne Parry to find out about the way the project evolved. You can listen to our long interview below which includes a chat with Kirsteen Davidson Kelly of the SCO who explains the exciting things that will happen next with their three year residency.