Da Greenland: ambisonics

An audio-visual work that was initially part of the Hurrian Cult Legacy album and was developed into an ambisonic (surround-sound) experience with the support of Yorkshire Sound Women Network and their ‘Sound Pioneers’ programme. This new ambisonic element was created during a week-long residency at the University of Hull’s studio and premiered at Middleton Hall later in 2021.

About the work

There are many theories around the origins of the Da Greenland Man’s Tune, one of which places its heritage with the indigenous Yakki-speaking population in Greenland. One story goes that during Shetland’s whaling era, workers onboard these Polar expeditions brought back this tune before it was absorbed into the traditional fiddle music of Shetland. It is a tune that marks the circulation of music and intercultural exchange, with the music production echoing this sentiment; melodic lines flow between voicings rather than staying within a single instrument’s parameters. Instead of seeing each instrument as an ‘individual’ as such (its own island), I wanted to create much more of a feeling of collectivity.

Here, the ocean is revealed as a connecting medium, a conduit for new creative expressions. The multiple origin stories act to reveal a more fluid quality to ‘tradition’, something that is usually presented as fixed and unchanging.

In September 2020, I got to spend some time in Linz, Austria, at the Interface Cultures lab and that’s where I met Iranian video artist Razieh Kooshki. She works a lot with Touchdesigner to create very fluid audio-responsive visuals so I asked her if she would like to create the video for this piece. As it is a work that frames the ocean as a connecting medium, rather than some kind of impermeable barrier or boundary, the visuals really reflect that. At times it looks like the view through a body of blue-green water as it refracts the light, whereas in other parts it bears more resemblance to a transient map of contour lines and shifting mountainous peaks.

Artist of the Month for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

Kin’s work is strikingly self-effacing – stepping back from authored roles of ‘composer’ and ‘creator’, she favours pseudonyms that slot into the social and technological themes present in her music.

HCMF

During my time on the ‘Sound Pioneers’ programme, I wrote three articles for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival as one of their Artist’s of the Month. The first of these articles focused on this piece:

Read: The circulation of music between disparate landmasses

Read: Coded messages in lullabies

Read: Sonifying geological and mineral data

Ambisonic concert at the University of Hull