January 18, 2019

What will music sound like when humans disappear?

Lucie Treacher, 24

Deep in the hillside, above the industrial town of Invergordon in the Highlands, are six forgotten oil tanks. Recently discovered by scientists, these tunnels currently hold the world record for the longest echo in any man-made structure (75 seconds). I stumbled across the space a couple of years ago, as it’s very close to where I grew up. This improvisation in the space with my voice and nyckelharpa (a Swedish fiddle) is a very personal expression of my own fears for the environment, performed inside an alien monument to the past. The experiment is something I call a sound painting: creating giant sonic gestures in the space, which build up and bleed into each other and lose their meaning as they become blurred. Performing in this abandoned space which is normally silent but filled with this huge invisible resonant potential raises the question: what will happen to these spaces when humans are gone? And furthermore, what will music sound like when humans are gone? If music is a human construct then can it truly outlive humans anyway? This film explores the intersection and dependency between sound, space and humanity. I suppose that it’s a requiem to humans and their music.

My work weaves sound with performance, theatre, film and community arts. My work is characterised by vivid and highly textural sound worlds, inspired by the landscapes in which I grew up in the North East of Scotland.