In 2002 the Galway Arts Festival ‘Soundshapes’ project
paired a sound composer with an object composer in an equal partnership to
create a Soundshape. Working with Antrim sculpture Graham Gingles, we
created a large-scale music box, based on one Graham inherited from an
aunt. The theme of memory emerged, conjuring up many possibilities.
In Graham’s music box an electrical devise triggers a hidden CD to play.
Using speech, bass clarinet and original music box sounds, I wove together a 5
minute soundtrack. Once you open the lid, the music draws you in to
explore Graham’s memories, to see and to listen.
I recorded a vocal collage of family, friends and students prompting them to
recall early memories, describe an early photograph, highlighting the colour
of different accents, pitches and timbres. A notated bass clarinet
line was added first and then when mixed with the text and the music box
sounds, a second improvised layer was added.
As soon as the lid is opened, 5-year old Michael grabs your attention
with Twinkle Twinkle. Bass clarinet enters quietly with a long held
note before Ciara describes a music box she was given as a present...