During a residency earlier this year, Nichola Scrutton and Zoë Strachan developed a process called ‘test-pitting’ (a term used in archaeological excavation) to create a palimpsest of sound (composed, recorded, vocal, improvised), found and composed text, and drawing, relating to ideas of inner and outer landscapes. 

Through The Second Life Awards, the Edwin Morgan Trust will provide funding for Nichola and Zoë to build on and develop the test-pitting process. Their project, Lying Over Under Another, will engage directly with Edwin Morgan’s scrapbooks and respond through sound, text and mark-making in order to create a new sound art piece. Nichola and Zoë’s responses to the diverse materials found in the scrapbooks will be woven through the project, which will invoke bodies (entities) and their relation to each other.

The scrapbooks physically represent the layering and palimpsest that Nichola and Zoë strive to achieve in their sound collaborations, while the verbal disintegration and moments of absurdity and humour that emerge from the test-pitting process echo Morgan’s own poetic practice. 

We are very excited to receive a Second Life Award from the Edwin Morgan Trust. We have been collaborating on sound art/experimental radio pieces for six years, and we are delighted to have the opportunity over the next year to make a new body of work that interacts directly with Edwin Morgan’s archive. 

Nichola Scrutton and Zoë Strachan

Three outcomes are planned over the year: a live performance of a new sound art piece; a studio recording; a pamphlet of text and drawings accompanying the performance. 

Nichola Scrutton is an award-winning composer/sound artist, vocalist and artist who works across a range of media. Her work has been broadcast internationally, most recently Dream Stream on Radio Art Zone for European Capital of Culture Esch 2022, and previously, her sound composition PIB#1 won the US IAWM Pauline Oliveros Award. Nichola has extensive experience as a collaborator in a range of interdisciplinary and participatory contexts, and has collaborated with writer Zoë Strachan on several experimental radio broadcasts and performances. Her current work-in-progress includes Night Vision for vocal ensemble, and solo album, Interzone, to be released in 2023. @NicholaScrutton

Zoë Strachan is an award-winning novelist, short story writer and librettist who also works in non-fiction and drama. Her last novel, Ever Fallen in Love, was shortlisted for the Scottish Book Awards and the Green Carnation Prize and her next novel, Lips That Touch, is forthcoming in 2023. Her opera The Lady from the Sea, composed by Craig Armstrong, won a Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival. She is Reader in Creative Writing at University of Glasgow. For the past six years, she has collaborated with sound artist Nichola Scrutton on experimental radio and performance. @zoestrachan

%d bloggers like this: