1824 Seconds [2008]

by Chris Dooks

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    This album was the result of a month long residency (which I extended to nearly three months) commissioned by Timespan Heritage and Arts Centre in Helmsdale, Sutherland in 2008.

    The brief was to make a piece of work in response to Helmsdale Ice House - an amazing piece of industrial coastal architecture - built in 1824. As a result, this release is exactly 1824 seconds long. Much of the audio was recorded in the Ice House itself. The track "An Ancient Piece..." was played along to with melodica in the venue, and features a very rare recording of Sutherland Gaelic, that even scholars struggled to translate. In the end, I left it alone and sonic-only and scored it also with Helmsdale Primary School piano.

    I turned the venue into a temporary record label - producing this recording and facilitating a few others. There was also a gallery show as well as the site-specific work which featured six lambda prints and two video installations.

    Made with and for :-

    i) Christine Cowie and family, who live in Helmsdale (the work features a recording of her father and mother she had never heard before),
    ii) The "Ours" group of young artists run by Ruth MacDougal
    iii) Edinburgh University's School of Scottish Studies
    iv) Cath Whippey

    There was also a greater body of work produced in this show, stems of which - both audio and video - have been remixed and collaborated with - and I'm still getting through all the sound recordings and images I made during this intense period of my life.

    This whole period of discovery, social interaction and practice was one of the happiest times of my life. The project is dedicated to fishermen and women everywhere. Thanks to my wife, Ellie for her amazing research skills and all the staff at Timespan.
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released January 15, 2008

Music: Chris Dooks
Archive: The School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh
Permission: The Cowie Family, Helmsdale
Research: Eleanor Thom and Chris Dooks with Jackie and Ruth from Timespan.

Special Thanks: Christine Cowie and the Ours group and Nicola Henderson.



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