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  • Writer's pictureDouglas McCausland

Welcome // Project Overview

Updated: May 18, 2018

Hello, and thanks for stumbling across my blog - the newest section of my website. The primary purpose of this section, at least for the time being, is to document the creative process and work of my MSc thesis at the University of Edinburgh. This project will be quite large in scope, and the nature of the posts on this blog may cover anything from short thoughts and fragments, to longer-form discussions, to media content (audio demos, performance system designs, videos), and so on. I hope you find the content engaging, and an honest portrayal of the process required to complete a project of this size. Now I hope you will join me in the following section for a rundown of the nature of this project...


[re]glossolalia // A hardware-hacking live electronics installation and performance series at the Talbot Rice Gallery (Working Title)

This project, [re]glossolalia, is a companion work being created in response to a previous composition of mine for alto saxophone and electronics entitled Glossolalia, which is being premiered at the New York City Electro-Acoustic Music Festival in July of 2018. As such, this piece centers on some similar concepts of radio, circuit-bending, hardware hacking, interactive systems, political commentary, and "discovery", but further explores aspects of space, acoustics, performance, and temporality. While this work is in response to a previous work, it will not contain previously composed material, and will operate purely as an aesthetically related work playing on similar themes. This project is organized under four major “tiers”, in order to create an installation that blends between disciplines of traditional audio installation design, fixed-media composition, live electronics programming, hardware hacking, and performance.

Tier I:

Four ‘nodes’ will be placed at various points throughout the gallery, playing with the concepts of discovery, transience, everyday objects, and space - as well as a sort of ‘liminality’. These nodes will be speakers with motion detectors built into the space, playing prepared snippets of fixed-media content.

NODE 1: Entry stairwell, two speakers spaced at the bottom and top of the stairwell (in stereo) conversing with each other. Playing with the sense of space and reverberance of the stairwell as people ascend. (In stereo)

NODE 2: Entry stairwell, from the very top - with a speaker placed at the very top of the stairwell. Will trigger when people get close to entering the gallery, playing with the reverberate of the space… (In mono)

NODE 3: Lift entry, motion sensor, maybe small snippets that play in sequence as people pass by. Likely to get less foot traffic than the others. (In mono)

NODE 4: Lift, with either a speaker inside of the lift, or a speaker at the top blasting sound down the lift shaft (height of lift changes sonic properties). (In mono)

Tier II:

Bookending performances…

  • As a method of 'starting' or 'establishing' the installation, I will be performing a series of small sets at the location of each node on Friday May 25. Following each performance, that node will then be turned on - beginning the installation's run.

  • Meanwhile, the installation will culminate in a final performance (more sizable), which will operate as somewhat of a “final answer” for the installation, and revealing the fullest nature of the recorded radio content - and the dialogue with it. (Date TBD)

Tier III:

Small performances will occur through the duration of the exhibition at each node as a type of dialogue and / or conversation with the content of the node, at which point the nodes are “updated” accordingly to contain both their original audio and the new performance audio. (Dates TBD)

Tier IV:

Wrap-up work, documentation, and reformatting the work for digital release (possibly taking shape as an audiovisual release, in addition to a BandCamp release).

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