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Known for its natural beauty, the Emerald city is experiencing a period of rampant development; mirroring the wider world. Industry leaders must increasingly engage with environmental concerns raised by the public, as has been demonstrated by the ongoing climate change protests. For the latter group, this is a deeply personal issue which must affect the way we all interact with nature forever; for the former, it seems climate collapse is an administrative nuisance rather than impending reality. I use this context as a starting point to explore how Human, Machine and Animal might interact if the machines and tools we use in our taming of Nature were given anthropomorphic voices. Field recordings of construction sites and the natural world intersect as the machinery rattles to life. How would the diggers, jackhammers, trucks, the frames of the skyscrapers themselves, interact with their surroundings if liberated from their day jobs? The minerals from the ground, re-moulded into the building blocks of humankind, would surely have some things to say.
This piece charts a loose journey through the life of such machines, including the monotony of the construction site, hearing the dazzling voices of many humans, a flirtation with the natural world, and an inevitable return to ordained duty. The natural resonances of these field recordings inform the melodic content of the piece, including the recurring, poignant melody.
Commissioned by the generosity of Radiophrenia Glasgow, 2020.
Premiered online via Radiophrenia Festival, 14 November 2020.