Three Cities Project Finale – Today!

27 Oct

The Three Cities Project has been running for two years with participants from Aberdeen, Bergen and St Petersburg learning about and engaging with aural culture from each of the three cities through working with sound recordings. This finale will document the project and will include work by Ross Whyte, Pete Stollery, Trond Lossius and Suk-Jun Kim.

In addition to the performances, there is a stunning interactive  intermedia installation (created by Suk-Jun Kim) which utilises audio and video materials gathered from the three cities – as well as a cleverly hacked Xbox Kinect device…  The installation will be running all of next week in the new Sir Duncan Rice Library at the University of Aberdeen.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library University of Aberdeen, Bedford Road, Aberdeen

6pm (Intermedia Installation runs for 1 week)

Free Entry



Calling all Flâneurs!

30 May

I’ve just uploaded one of the pieces that I wrote as part of the Three Cities Project to a new website.  I’m looking for volunteers to download it to their mp3 players and then go for a walk somewhere (anywhere) with it playing through headphones.  The original recording was made in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg earlier this year.  You may want to visit a local gallery or museum…or you might just take a walk down a nearby street – it really doesn’t matter.

What I’d then like is a short email with the following:
Where you walked
When (including time of day)
A few words about the experience – any observations?
If you happen to take any photographs along the way, that would be hugely appreciated – but not essential.


Emails shoud be sent to


With your permission I’d then put a short post on the site with a map of the area that you visited and your responses.  I’m in the process of adding more material to the site.  At the moment there are some pictures, a short description and a video.  The piece is going to be included in my PhD folio and this exercise is a kind of research into how people respond to relocated sound via headphones.


The track itself is 13 minutes in total and can be downloaded from here:


Many thanks in advance!

Three Cities @ Musa

24 Apr

Last Sunday evening saw the first major Three Cities Project event.  It was held at Musa in Aberdeen and we gathered a crowd of around 50.  The evening included performances of new compositions by Suk-Jun Kim, Pete Stollery, Trond Lossius and myself, as well as a performance of Marc Higgin’s imaginative work, Lift (see Pete’s post below to listen).

I think it’s safe to say that it was never going to be easy performing soundscape compositions in a venue that usually hosts pop, rock and folk music.  However, I do believe that the audience engaged with what we had to offer and possibly even reconsidered how they perceive their aural environment.  As an example, I got a terrific text message from my friend following the gig:

“After an evening at the farm, I think you have to come and do some recording…I’m hearing everything in a whole new way!  Imagine 10 cows drinking out of a trough…I can only liken it to an elephant drinking out of a bath!”

I feel very grateful to have performed my work alongside Jun, Pete, Trond and Marc.  Following Marc’s participation at the Three Cities Project workshop last November in Aberdeen, I’m happy to hear that he’s been delving into a bit more composition.  You should check out his Soundcloud page:  Trond’s pieces reminded me of what Pete has described as the difference between “sonic inhabitants” and “sonic tourists”.  Being a Bergen resident, Trond’s field recordings really highlighted that difference for me.  His engagement with the Bergen soundscape captivated and moved me a great deal.  Pete’s Crossing_Bergen is a composition which uses the same material as my Crossing piece.  Pete was not with Jun and I when we visited Bergen just over a year ago.  That “soundmark” of the tiny boat ferrying passengers across the Bergen water holds a distinct resonance for me.  For Pete, I imagine it has been like responding to a postcard, from which you draw a very different perception than the tourist had.  To hear those sounds recontextualised really gave me a thrill:

The gig concluded with Jun’s all-encompassing Three Returns.  Jun’s piece comprises recordings of all three cities (one of which – St Petersburg – he hasn’t visited).  As the only participant of the project to have been present in all three cities, it was perhaps Jun’s composition that I engaged the most with, and it seemed a fitting conclusion to the night.

As well as my Crossing piece, I performed a new work, Heritage.  I did my best to convey to the audience what my compositional approach to the piece had been – but nerves (and red wine!) may have muddied my speech.  In an earlier post, I described the profoundly emotional experience of walking through St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum – a vast building that houses centuries worth of art and artefacts.  During our visit there (which due to time restrictions lasted around an hour), I decided to make a recording of my walk through the endless rooms and hallways.  Foucault coined the term “heterotopia” – that is, spaces of otherness or “a single real place that juxtaposes several spaces”.  For me, the Hermitage is the ultimate heterotopia: a maze of corridors linking rooms with paintings, sculptures and artefacts from many past centuries, experienced daily by people from all across the world.  Time freezes when you walk through those doors.  The piece I composed, Heritage, is my response to that experience:

Finally, many thanks to the staff of Musa who helped to make this event the success that it was.  We’re all very excited to see and hear what the next stage of the project brings….

– Ross

Tomorrow’s gig…

21 Apr

Just to whet your appetite for tomorrow’s gig – here are some links to various things we’ll be presenting at MUSA…

Five pieces from last year’s Three Cities Aberdeen public workshop where five intrepid newbie composers came and recorded sounds of Aberdeen and made pieces using those recordings. We’ll be playing them tomorrow night and here are links to them for you to listen to now…

Lift – Marc Higgin


Money doesn’t solve the problem – Jasmin Bray Triance


Spacy – Danny Smith


Jumps – Andrew Stewart


AB25 Mark Yeats


Also – here are link to .kmz files to load into Google Earth to listen to the sound maps we created for the three cities. There’s a link to each map and one to download all three:


Aberdeen sound map

Bergen sound map

St Petersburg sound map

All three sound maps zipped together