Sweet Airs

Sweet Airs

Sound work

By Cathy Lane

Available in the Spring Issue 2016 of Framework::Seasonal, for sale as a digital album.


The wind is responsible for so many things in the Hebrides (remote islands off the west coast of Scotland). It hardly ever stops blowing. It has many characters and is accompanied by all kinds of other weather conditions. For a sound artist and composer making recordings in the islands the wind can be a curse, but it is more often a delightful carrier of the voices of people, animals, birds and things. These airborne sounds often come from far away, their source hidden from view, mysterious like the ‘sweet airs’ of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest – the sounds of a birthday party far across the island; sheep roaming the cliffs; people singing hymns together in a house; cows waiting to board the ferry to be sold on the mainland; snippets of a church service and the cries of different birds. The wind also has its own voices and activates the songs of other objects – gates, plants, leaves, fences. The wind is an accompaniment to all aspects of life on these unique islands.

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The framework:seasonal issue #8, "another superb compilation of previously unreleased sounds by artists working in the field recording community. this selection features new names as well as several you’ve certainly heard before, all of whom are new to framework editions‘ release series. blanca rego, christopher delauranti, christina kubisch, stephanie spray, darius ciuta, cathy lane, julia hanadi al abed & lou mah al abed ratier, martin kay, magali babin and rodolphe alexis."


Available for €20 donation or higher on www.frameworkradio.net/seasonal/spring2016/


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The Hebrides Suite

This work is a part of The Hebrides Suite a sound art research project by Cathy Lane, initiated in 2008. The project builds on her repeated visits to the Outer Hebrides over the previous three decades and is driven by the desire to investigate how we can hear the sonic traces of past lives and past events on the present. The Hebrides Suite now consists of eight separate sound compositions which combine field recordings, archive material and spoken word; a CD release and various exhibitions and concert performances and publications. 

Read more on the www.hebrides-suite.co.uk


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