Swan Song


With Marla Hlady

Part of the works produced during the Glenfiddich Residency.

First exhibit at the Artists at Glenfiddich space in Dufftown, Scotland, July 26 – August 25, 2019.

Two stills from the Balvenie Distillery were retired on June 28, 2019 after serving for 12 years. They were removed through the roof by a crane and replaced by new ones. The swan neck portions of the stills were then cut for us by expert coppersmith Dennis McBain. They were then pressure washed before being brought into the gallery.

Their shape resembles the horn of a gramophone, so for the installation, each are used to playback recordings we made throughout the distillery and of The Doric Dozen—a choir of voices constituted of staff at the Glenfiddich Distillery. Each one volunteered to contribute two short voice recordings, one the highest pitched sound they could produce, and one the lowest. They were asked to hold the sound for as long as possible.

The recordings are triggered by devices that mash them up. They are treated kinetically. They are distilled acoustically. They are mangled mechanically.

Thanks to: Andy Fairgrieve, Dennis McBain, Douglas Paul.

Photo credits: Marla Hlady, Christof Migone.