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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
Where do our artists come from? Where do our artists come from?

John Kenny & Chris Wheeler

Doric

2004

Ellen's spellin's unco queer
She his ae wye o spellin 'heer'
An twa-three wyes of spellin 'gear'
An neen of them's the richt wye.
Phyllis Goodall
Poemes Electroniques: an exploration into Huntly's vernacular sounds and languages

John and Chris are two versatile musicians, proficient in brass instruments, electronic media, DJing, composition, dance, performance and the carnyx - an ancient wind instrument. They joined Deveron Projects as artists in residence in autumn 2004.

What does Huntly sound like? We are aware of this whether we are passing through, working, living or playing here. But what would a sound poem of Huntly sound like - rather than a musical interpretation? Working with sounds that refer to the past and the present of the area, how will these everyday sounds reflect the character of Huntly and the North East - often represented by the native Doric culture and tongue?

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Together, John and Chris spent a week sampling many sound sources around Huntly and its local environment. These sound sources reflect many aspects of the area, from domestic human situations to local industry, agriculture, and the natural environment, recorded at all hours of the day and night. There is a particularly magical association between this area and the carnyx, which was created by Pictish craftsmen in this area around 2000 years ago (a significant number of sounds derive from the Deskford area, where the carnyx was discovered). These sound sources were then woven into a tapestry of sound which can be projected into a performance space, against which a live performer creates new textures and commentaries. The result is in effect an electronic tone poem for trombone, recorders, carnyx, voice and stones, with electronics; reflecting a journey through time and place, with very special reference to both the accent and cadence of the Doric speech, and the course of the River Deveron from Huntly to the sea.

     

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