Sounds of the Flow


St Magnus International Festival

In late March 2012 Pippa Murphy visited Orkney to undertake a commission from the St Magnus International Festival to create an installation which would be placed in listening posts around the Scapa Flow area. She worked with all age groups gathering sound and music to take back to her home in Edinburgh and has created a new work from her research and recordings, which captures the essence of the Flow. If you are feeling adventurous you can follow the trail round all the listening stations.
‘On listening to Sounds of the Flow you will be taken on an imaginary sonic journey through the Flow, passing by dialect, poetry, seascapes, currents, topography, tales of old, maps, charts, boats, ferries, aeroplanes and the beautiful landscapes and characters that Scapa Flow bestows.’ Pippa Murphy


Part 1         5’06”

  Sounds of the Flow part 1


Mayfield singers singing music by Pippa Murphy

Dive breathing – Ben

Ian Stout talking about his father in the flow

Jude performing bell at Scapa Flow Visitor centre – Lyness

Burray School – vocal seascape


Part 2        6’01”

 Sounds of the Flow part 2


All primary school children saying place names in Orkney

Radiant Queen Boat Engine and walkie talkie in Stromness

Kirkwall Grammar School – G drone improvisation

Stromness Academy – Glock and marimba riff

Dog and sea at Skaill bay


Part 3        3’16”

Sounds of the Flow part 3


West Mainland Day Centre visitors talking about corncrakes and the war


Part 4          5’06”

Sounds of the Flow part 4


Stromness Primary – electronic toy, dialect

North Walls Community School – school breakfast club ambient recording, screws, scelotape

Stromness Academy – vocal drops, fiddle

Cameron Stout – Clapshot poem

KGS – mud splashing, giggle

Orphir Primary – Squeaky door

Emily Turton – Voice and drum

Various locations – Rain, hail, wind, sea


Part 5         7’07”


Hamnavoe arriving and debarking

Stromness harbour – crab unloading (evening), birds (morning)

KGS – junior string orchestra, footsteps


Part 6      2’47”

Sounds of the Flow Part 6


Stromness Academy – class improvisation

Pam Besant – poem

Fire crackle – Inganess Bay


Part 7        3’58”

Sounds of the Flow part 7


Kirkwall Airport – aeroplanes, announcements

Beach walk – Skaill bay


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