Sound Thought: Motion – A PGR-led Festival Series

Sound Thought: Motion – A PGR-led Festival Series

Kevin Leomo is a third-year PhD student in Music. He is the committee chair for Sound Thought, a music festival series run by #TeamUofG postgraduate students. The event was most recently held in August 2019, and in this post, you’ll find information about the series, the PGRs who participated, and their work.

Sound Thought is a festival series of music and sound research, composition, and performance that has presented events since 2007. The event has previously collaborated with the Centre for Contemporary Arts, the Riverside Musuem, The Old Hairdresser’s, the Pipe Factory, The Arches, eSharp, LUX Scotland, Subcity Radio, Floored Music, and Glasgow New Music Expedition.

One of Sound Thought’s key aims is to promote the work of postgraduates and to showcase their wide range of creative practice and research, and important opportunity for all PGRs.

Held in the university’s Concert Hall on August 16, 2019, Sound Thought: Motion featured an array of arts-based practice from across the College of Arts, with researchers from subject areas including Music, English Literature, Creative Writing, and Philosophy.

In ‘(False) Appeals to Nature’, Adam Castle and others discussed composers’ or sound artists’ attempts to mimic nature in their work.

In ‘(False) Appeals to Nature’, Adam Castle and others discussed composers’ or sound artists’ attempts to mimic nature in their work.

The Presenters and Performances

Sonia Killmann presented Bewölkt (meaning ‘cloudy’), an audiovisual collaboration with multimedia artist Jakob Urban which combined field recordings, a simple piano track, a video with layered imagery, poetry, and text for a thought-provoking piece on the nature of clouds.

English literature PhD student Will Allen delivered a paper on schizophonic sound in David Foster Wallace’s 1996 Infinite Jest. The presentation discussed composer R. Murray Schafer’s term ‘schizophonia’, as well as how Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing’s reading of schizophrenia manifests itself in the human brain.

Composer Jordan Henderson played his work Nothing comes from nothing. The piece was a sonification of data (or the turning of non-audio data into sound) that turned the relic signal of the big bang recorded by the Planck spacecraft into sound, which made excellent use of the 8.1 surround speaker setup, along with other images and signals recorded by spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency or NASA.

Maria Sledmere and Max Parnell, based within the Creative Writing department, performed Pure Sound: Traversing the Ambient Vernacular, an experimental audio-lyrics essay with live spoken word, manipulated field recordings from various European cities, and minimal/ambient projected visuals which transported the audience to surreal transitional urban soundscapes.

Maria Sledmere and Max Parnell performing  Pure Sound: Traversing the Ambient Vernacular

Maria Sledmere and Max Parnell performing Pure Sound: Traversing the Ambient Vernacular

PhD student in music Kevin Leomo presented his practice-based research in collaboration with cellist Emily De Simone. Emily demonstrated developments in string performance techniques informed by Kevin’s previous work with the Korean instruments haegeum and geomungo.

Multimedia artist Jo Tomlinson is an MLitt philosophy student who screened her work, Space Feeling, a captivating video collage of different visuals and sounds which navigated the spaces between physical and virtual environments, questioning the intersection of the ‘self’ within these spaces.

Alessio Wagner discussed his recent artist residency with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) at the Barons Haugh nature reserve in North Lanarkshirt (east of Glasgow) and how he subsequently turned field recordings into a new work, Barons Haugh: A Sonic Response.

Alessio Wagner discussing his artist residency with RSPB.

Alessio Wagner discussing his artist residency with RSPB.

If you want to read more about their performances, have a look at the event program.

Sound Thought: Motion was supported by the University of Glasgow College of Arts PGR Community Building Fund.

Sound Thought: Motion committee consisted of Kevin Leomo (committee chair), Alessio Wagner, Sonia Killmann, Andrew Rae, and Jamie Macpherson.

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