Tuesday, 8 January 2019

In a hectic world, the project encouraged the participants to look up and around - to stop, to observe, to listen

Part of the score of Incredible Distance
Part of the score of Incredible Distance
What does 24 hours in a place sound like? The Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), the residents of Wester Hailes (an area in the South-West of Edinburgh), composer Suzanne Parry, musician Emma Smith, and artist Ewan John are trying to capture this essence in their installation Incredible Distance which has opened in Edinburgh at the Society of Scottish Artists 121st Annual Exhibition (until 17 January 2019), and is then at WHALE Arts (22 January – 9 February 2019) and the Fruitmarket Gallery (12 February – 16 February 2019). The installation is part of SCO's three-year residency in Wester Hailes.

Over six weeks residents worked with Suzanne Parry and work-shop leader Emma Smith at WHALE Arts to create an audio-visual installation which explores the sonic and visual identity of the Edinburgh suburb, capturing snapshots of daily life through the collection of found sound, imagery, film and original musical composition. A 12-minute soundscape with accompanying imagery and footage has been created alongside four 30-second miniature musical representations of key "Wester Hailes sounds" performed by classically trained musicians. Together with accompanying scores of handwritten sketches printed on sheets of aluminium, a "cultural soundmap" of Wester Hailes has been created.

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.

From October 2017 to summer 2020, through creative workshops, projects and public performances with young people, adults and families from across the Wester Hailes community, the SCO hopes to open new worlds of musical learning and enjoyment for local residents and to inspire people of all ages to explore and develop their musical potential and creativity.

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