The Tree [40:00] is one of a series of four works entitled Centre and Edge, the result of research
into specific compositional practices, the production of space, the anthropology of place names,
paleoanthropology, human marks on the land and the natural and human history of Southern
Scotland. Field work began in 2009 when I investigated a range of environments and sonic
phenomena in the Scottish Borders and North Northumberland, the focus of my digital sound
The sound sources, all field recordings, include:
• A suspension footbridge across the River Teviot
• Creaking Scots Pine trees
• The Northumberland seascapes of St Abbs Head, Berwickshire and Craster,
• Ambient sound and machinery at work (Altendorf f45 and The Planer) in a furniture maker's studio
• The resonance of the underside of road bridges on the A68 in Jedburgh
• A rattling bothy and wind activated fence wires in the Harthope Valley, Cheviots, Northumberland
• Agricultural installations
• Domestic appliances
• Incidental electronic interference
• Sites of rural architecture
• Sites and locations of transition
• The wealth and complexity of vertical relationships between the various sound sources and their transformations are directed towards defying linear time, a situation where the work exists and
functions as a living Moving organic whole between and beyond the speakers.
The Tree gives the impression of a massive installation in which microphones have been left
open for long durations in various outdoor spaces, attached to built structures such as fences
and mountain huts, then all sources fed into the same listening space.
Ultimately The Tree is an engagement with salient aspects of a regional soundscape.