By Richy Carey
Richy is a 1st-year PhD student working on the phenomenological language of audio-visual music.
Sound Thought is an annual music and sonic arts festival run by University of Glasgow postgraduates. Held this year at the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts from the 30th March till the 1st April, the festival brought together works, papers and performances by sixty contributing artists and academics from around the world.
Postgraduate students Richy Carey, Kevin Leomo, Kira Belin, Amina Turner, Eileen Karmy Bolton and Dorian Bandy programmed the festival alongside four contributing organisations, LUX Scotland, The Pipe Factory, Glasgow New Music Expedition and Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media Festival.
The first day began with a seminar on the sound of visual art, with papers dealing with the sound of gallery spaces and the sculptural processes at play in avant-garde sound art. The next session was programmed in collaboration with the Pipe Factory, an artist-run space in Glasgow’s East End, and included one of the stand out performances of the festival in Isobel Anderson’s These Places Should Only Ever Be Imagined, a mixture of spoken word and soundscape set to postcard images documenting, misremembering and reimagining the artist’s field recording trip to the Isle of Harris.
Wednesday’s session closed with a sold out concert of audio-visual works co-programmed with LUX Scotland, a screening of Turner Prize winning artist Elizabeth Price’s At the House of Mr. X and culminating in a live audio-visual performance by duo Joshua and Oli Sabin.
Thursday began with a session focused on musicology with University of Glasgow researchers Aaron McGregor and Seth Rozanoff alongside mesmerising saxophone performance by the University of Edinburgh’s Christian Ferlaino. The midday session explored music and sound in society with papers and performances focusing on sound and anxiety therapy, Iain Findlay- Walsh’s Autoethnographic processes, domestic abuse and the cultural connotations affecting contemporary harp music.
The third session of the day interrogated sound’s relationship with architecture through papers and screenings, including a fascinating presentation by Rahma Khazam discussing architects who have embraced sound and noise. The day closed with an evening performance of works chosen with the Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Music Festival, showing 5.1 surround works, a 15 piece orchestra playing live, interactive music, drone music, audio-visual works and spoken word performance.
The final day of the festival kicked off with a session exploring sound in landscape through papers and a performative audio-visual screening. This was followed by an effecting performance by Lori E Allen and Rachel Pimm in the CCA theatre space dealing with the materiality and fossilisation of man-made objects. The audience then enjoyed a series of screenings relating to digital aesthetics and a fascinating presentation by Frances Morgan, who spoke aboutarcheological investigations into early computer music. The final session of the festival before sound and music’s relationship with text and voice before moving on to an evening concert programme performed by the Glasgow New Music Expedition playing newly commissioned works for violin, viola, cello and clarinet.