Democratic Resonance – Scottish Parliament

extracts from Democratic Resonance
multichannel sound piece, 30mins duration
By Zoë Irvine & Pippa Murphy 2015

Democratic Resonance is the first piece to emerge from the artist residency in the Scottish Parliament undertaken collaboratively by Zoë Irvine (sound artist) and Pippa Murphy (composer) 2013-4.

For an extended period the two artists explored the building in sound, walking and talking. Their sonic curiosity inhabits a crossover territory between documentary field recording, ethnography and musical composition. Recorded conversation was also an important element. The artists met with many different people who work in the building and began to get a sense of all the different activities which contribute to the working of Parliament.

The basis of Democratic Resonance lies in the building’s different acoustics, the idea of the fabric of the building being a resonator of the activities within. The piece aims to bring to the listener a sonic experience of different spaces and times in the working life of the building. Recordings used in the piece come from the corridors, hallways, basement and courtyards. The sound reflects from Kemnay granite, Caithness flagstone, Scottish oak, Italian marble, glass, concrete, carpet. It circles in the stairwells and lift shafts and resounds through the kitchens, corridors, hallways, basement, chamber and committee rooms.

During the Festival of Politics this year, the a 7 channel version of the piece was installed in the Parliament building.

The artists thank all those who participated in the making of the work and the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body for hosting the residency. The residency was supported by funds from Creative Scotland.