Pipeline – Pete Stollery shortlisted for Sound Art / Electroacoustic Work

March 4, 2017 in safnm2017 by mwhiteside

Pete Stollery

  1. How did the piece come about?

For ages I’ve been meaning to write a piece for Roger Williams and his Aberdeen Organ Book project. Each year, he has an organ recital as part of the sound festival and I finally got around to completing it for his 2016 recital. It’s written for organ and digital sound and is a piece which looks at the similarities between the organ recital and the concert of electronic music performed over loudspeakers, where the object making the sound is hidden from view. Organ sounds come out of the loudspeakers as well as the organ pipes and the organ is required to produce sounds which sound, at times, as if they have been transformed by technology. The resulting ambiguities and the lack of anything to look at allows the audience to concentrate more on the listening experience – a running theme in my work.


  1. Was the piece written for a specific space, and if so, how did that influence the work?

I composed the piece for the premiere on the Aubertin organ at King’s College, Aberdeen and all the sound recordings for the digital sound part were made there. At one point in the piece the organist holds down a high G flute sound which I then bring into the 8 loudspeakers rotating it and shredding it; the technology extends the capabilities of the organ, seamlessly, or at least that’s the plan. The piece is going to be performed again later this year in Union Chapel, London, which will probably mean a trip to London to record the same things I recorded in Aberdeen, so that I can make up a digital sound part specifically for that organ.


  1. What other projects do you have on the go at the moment?

I’m working on a piece for bandoneón (the accordion used in tango) and electronics for the amazing Eliseo Tapia in Buenos Aires as well as tidying up a few of my soundmapping projects around Aberdeen and writing a piece for eight bassoons entitled You’re a Fisherman’s Bassoon to be performed as part of sound’s celebration of the bassoon in November.


  1. Who are the upcoming Scottish creators to watch?

Of course, I’ll have to namecheck some of my students here…Ross Whyte’s work with Alasdair Whyte (no relation) is really innovative and he’s part of a real groundswell over recent years of Aberdeen composers and sound artists, like Luca Nasciuti and Maja Zećo. I’ve also been really impressed with creations by younger people as part of Sound & Music’s Go Compose! project such as Clara-Jane Maunder and Kara Taylor and I’d be in real trouble if I didn’t mention Joe Stollery.


  1. What other pieces have you seen this year that you found exciting and will stand the test of time?

John De Simone – The F Scale

Graham Fitkin – Vamp (album)


  1. What is the piece that you would most like to write?

The yoghurt chiller cabinet in Tesco, Inverurie hums a minor third continuously. I don’t think anyone else knows this so I want to write a choral piece (to be performed as a flash mob – by a choir looking as if they’re buying yoghurt) lasting a couple of minutes, to be accompanied by this drone. At the end, the choir dissolves into the aisles of the supermarket leaving the minor 3rd a little more audible than before.