To round off this year’s festival, Pete Stollery curates his first Electroacoustic Fair on Saturday 13 November. For the one day only, The MacRobert Building at the University of Aberdeen will be turned into a theme park of sound with performances, workshops, demos and “sonic rides”. Pete … tell us more!
“Well, I’m getting rather apprehensive about this weekend. It’s not that we’re not ready for it – we’ve been planning this for almost a year now. Aled – that hero of a Music Technician at the University – and I have been scouring the four corners of Scotland to bring loudspeakers to Aberdeen this weekend. I think everyone must be doing acoustic sets on Saturday as we’ve got all the kit here! Add to that the fact that we’ve got BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre) bringing a van up, and we’ve got around 100 loudspeakers in action in various parts of the MacRobert Building. Awesome…But it’s not all about volume – it’s about spatialisation; projecting the sounds around the space.
No, the reason I’m apprehensive is that I had a look at the list of people who are going to be in the MacRobert Building next Saturday and it reads like a Who’s Who in European Electroacoustic Music…not only are all the loudspeakers here but all the key players in electroacoustic music are as well!
I first had the idea for this weekend about 10 years ago when a few of us were trying to set up some kind of a national centre for electroacoustic music. It never materialised but one of the things we explored was what a typical Saturday in the centre might actually look like. We came up with this idea of a kind of “theme park” where people could come off the street and “play” with various bits of technology to create interesting sounds; you could also go to performances of the best electroacoustic music and hang around with some of the composers in the café. That’s pretty much what will be happening on Saturday with composers, performers and researchers from Manchester, Birmingham and De Montfort (Leicester) Universities bringing their best work up to Aberdeen to join with what we are doing here.
So what are the highlights – well all of it really…but it’s great to have a musical instrument amongst all the technology, although it is a fairly obscure one! Richard Craig will perform a new Creative Scotland commission from Diana Salazar on the contrabass flute. It’s a stunning instrument and I’m really pleased to be writing a piece for Richard on this instrument myself to be premiered next year. There’s James Dashow from Italy, Simons Emmerson and Atkinson from Leicester, Jonty Harrison (the guy who got me into all of this in the first place), invisiblEARts, Adrian Moore, David Berezan….OK – they’re all wonderful people and I’m chuffed that they’ve all agreed to come up.
With concerts at 12 noon, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm and loads of things to “play” with in between, this promises to be an incredible event… and a nice way to celebrate my 50th birthday from earlier this year.
See you there…”
More details about the whole weekend here!