Since November 2019, sound art duo Oor Scintilla – Louisa Love and Clive McLachlan Powell – have been spending days in and around the Whiteadder valley capturing audio for a collection of sound pieces inspired by the archaeology and their sensory experiences of the valley.

Louisa Love capturing moorland water sounds, just south of the Whiteadder Reservoir.
Sounds from Louisa’s audio capture.

Each track will be made in response to a particular location of interest, indicated by the LiDAR map, layering together sound captured through methods of locational field recording with voice, spoken narrative, improvised performance and composed music.

Oor Scintilla recording a singing bowl near Edin’s Hall Broch.

As a collection, the sound pieces will try to mirror the mapping qualities of the LiDAR and the project’s sense of breaking down of distance between the past and present. It could be interpreted as a kind of speculative ‘sonic atlas’ of the Whiteadder valley. The sound works will integrate fragments of archaic songs from the local area, taking formal qualities from them and reconfiguring them with contemporary texts and archaeological references to create an overall poetic weaving of language, form and sound that is both in and out of present senses of time.

Example of traditional song ‘Boys of Mullaghbawn’, performed by Clive McLachlan Powell.

The final pieces will be produced as an EP collection on disc and performed live at some point in the future.

Adding audio layers in the studio.
Oor Scintilla ‘fishing’ for sound in the Whiteadder River, near Elba bridge.

You can listen to their track ‘dialling the moor, moss, impossible waters’, created for the Whiteadder George Henderson Festival in May 2020 here:

Oor Scintilla are Louisa Love and Clive McLachlan Powell, an Edinburgh-based contemporary artist duo working experimentally in sound, music, performance and sculptural practices. They produce environmentally-responsive audio works which seek to foreground the physical poetics of sound, place and the human voice. Listen to other audio work of Oor Scintilla here: