Findhorn Bay Arts

Sound Horn

Brodie Castle, Forres

Keith Bruce

four stars

AMID the hips on the dog-rose, fungi blooming underfoot, and cones forming on the ornamental fir of the Shrubbery garden at Brodie Castle, half a dozen retro loud-speaker horns have sprouted around the central stone-plinthed sundial.

Artist Katie Anderson’s Sound Horn installation was first seen and heard at Pollok House in Glasgow last November as part of Cryptic’s Sonica programme. That organisation’s partnership with Findhorn Bay Arts has produced this relocation as the first element of the Moray Firth organisation’s alternative to its festival in September.

Anderson admits she is no expert in sound design, but using electronic tones and her own speaking and singing voice, and exploiting the resonances of the two copper and four aluminium horns, she has produced a very memorable first foray into sonic art. If you want to listen to the physics of wave-forms and double-source interference, they are there to heard in her 12-minute looped composition, but most people who visit the Shrubbery will have their ears teased less scientifically by the harmonising notes and her repetition of a phrase that has only grown in sonority since she recorded it: “Where do we go from here?”

Findhorn Festival director Kresanna Aigner is very conscious of the tensions in her community between those who wish to see tourism opened up and the residents upset by the arrival of convoys of campervans, so work that is “gentle” and “things that people will feel safe with” are on the agenda for an extended programme of one-off arts events between now and next Spring. Another artist, David Sherry, is already “in residence” and she hopes others who would have been involved in this year’s cancelled event will be able to adapt their work to the new format. Anderson’s Sound Horn is an auspicious start and emblematic of her intent.

At Brodie Castle, Forres until Sunday August 23, 10am to 4pm.