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Chartless Rudderless Night

(2012, rev. 2014)   collaborative electroacoustic composition

Chartless Rudderless Night is a collaborative audio-moving image installation based on the Orkney lighthouses.

Myself and sound designer/composer Alessandro Altavilla were commissioned to write the piece by choreographer and artistic director Claire Pençak. The rest of the creative team included John McGeoch (video editor), Merav Israel & Will Thorburn (dancers).

Sat27-10-12Alchemy 68Pençak’s choreography & moving image expresses the collision of waves on rocks, ships that pass in the night, the scanning beam of a lighthouse on dark seas and the smallness of us all in the face of the elements. The music draws on data from cycles and signals of the Orkney lighthouses, which gave rise to multi-layered patterns which ebb and flow, creating looming waves of varying intensity. The process began by recording fragments for baritone/tenor/alto saxophones and double bass before creating an electroacoustic composition which combines these recorded sounds with electronics. The saxophone and double bass parts were played by myself and bassist John Pope.


Showings of the installation include:

11 October – 9 November 2014 in Fraserburgh, Scotland

The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses


16 – 18 August 2014  in Papay Westray, Orkney, Scotland 

Papey Listskjul

15 August 2014  in Papay Westray, Orkney, Scotland 

Papey Listskjul  Live performance by Helen Papaioannou (tenor saxophone) and Alessandro Altavilla (electronics), based on the composition Chartless Rudderless Night


26 – 28 October 2012  in Hawick, Scotland

Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival

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Sat27-10-12Alchemy 55

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