HOLLOW BONES


OVERVIEW

'Hollow Bones' (6' 51”) is an example of electroacoustic composition, a skill I learned under the guidance of Robert Dow during my time at the University of Edinburgh. The piece is an emotional response to a painting titled 'The Magic Circle' by John William Waterhouse (1886). The image in this painting, shown to the right, depicts a female figure dragging a stick around a cauldron, in a barren, desert setting. Upon first seeing this work of art, I was entirely overwhelmed with a flurry of emotions. The image struck a powerful chord with me, and I was utterly encapsulated by the intertwining layers and themes.

Through my interpretation, there are strikingly dark undertones which provoke sinister connotations. I envisage the idea that the young woman possesses supernatural power, and is somehow creating life through potion. Picturing her as a sorceress, I like to think that she is creating supernatural life in an attempt strike revenge against some unknown body. The title derives from the idea that the life she creates is hollow on the inside. Finding it difficult to efficiently articulate my reaction to the piece in words, I felt compelled to convey it through sound. In doing so, I felt I could capture the raw emotions I experienced during that initial viewing. Power, beauty, confusion, chaos, mystery, aggression, evil; all attributes apparent in the artwork which I sought to reproduce sonically. A vast and varied timbre of sound was used to differentiate between different emotions and themes. Further to this, I wanted to create a sense of narrative; a sense of life growing and developing throughout the piece. As a result, sound-objects, as well as translating themes or emotions, represent physical parameters visible in the artwork.