Su-a Lee on Amble

First day of electronics week for Mr McFall's Chamber and I arrived just after midday at an idyllic spot just outside the tiny hamlet of Heriot, in the Scottish Borders for our week's residency. A beautiful artists space and recording studio, built and designed (I think?!) by Andy Law and his artist wife, Pat. It is called Heriot Toun. And it is a fantastic place to work. Beautiful open views of lush green hills... open plan design, with geothermal hot water and heating. Ace to have a fully functioning kitchen... and Robert had arrived with a welcoming spread of croissants and an abundance of snacks, fruit and coffee! I had made a flying journey from Easterhouse in Glasgow, where I had just done a first performance of a baby theatre show called The Presents, with a theatre company called Reeling and Writhing. This morning was sold out and was a success with the babies! I was just happy that there were no messy mishaps...

The electronics team (Martin Parker and Alex Fiennes) had done a sterling job of setting up the studio with an impressive array of electronic 'toys'. I was introduced to our first composer of the week, an instantly likeable girl called Amble Skuse. She is currently studying in Benbecula with Anna Wendy Stevenson who we all love! Robert, Brian and Rick were already tackling the first of the days pieces, Sea Longing. It was a gentle start with long slow notes in a 4-part harmony. It seems that Brian's line was triggering some of the pre-recorded samples. Though essentially Martin and Amble were doing all the triggery trickery!! And Alex was recording the proceedings.

Imagine our delight when our lovely manager Jo arrived through the doors bearing a tureen of homemade spiced carrot and lentil soup! Enough to feed us three times over! And all the trappings of lunch... the perfect salad, sun-dried tomato loaves... marshmallow teacakes!! Various discussions over lunch about new recipes... tried and tested ones too...

As you can see, it's really all about the food.

The second part of the day was spent tackling a piece based on a looping cycle, with all our parts building up on top of each other, tickled by delays and effects. After the first run through it was clear that there was a slight hiccup in the looping process... Martin and Amble spent some time rejigging the format. It is inevitable that there is time spent on reprogramming various patches when there are electronics involved, but what a joy to come out the other end with a solution and a result that puts a smile on all our faces!


A site

Mr McFall’s Chamber is a registered charity: SC028348

Design by