Le Sirenuse is the film result of a residency at Lyth Art Centre in Caithness, Scotland, where I was asked to invite collaborators with the resources of a theatre for the first time. Previously, I have had film documentation of my performances, but this provided the first opportunity to make a performance expressly for filming.
Le Sirenuse is Italian for both mythological sirens and a specific location of islands in Italy where they were said to have lived and lured men to their death.
In 2010 I founded Torcher Chamber Arkestra, an experimental platform that explores cultural identity, social and political topics through flameworked glass performance and glass-made music with audience participation. The British glass orchestra section of Torcher Chamber Arkestra was built by myself for frequent collaborator, Glasgow-based composer Alistair MacDonald, Director of the Electroacoustic Studios at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In the film he adds live electronics and sound design, and performs, whilst drummer Stuart Brown, also Glasgow-based, is the lead percussionist. I perform and make new instruments, handing them off to Brown. Many new glass instruments were developed for this film by myself, with assistance from Kirstin Binnie, Austyn Finnegan, Ainsley Francis, Ingrid Phillips, H.S. Martin, Scott Glass, and Jordan Smith.
After we made the film we gave a performance. Afterward we had a have-a-go session where the audience could try out the instruments for themselves, followed by a question and answer session. These have-a-go sessions proved so successful that we always include them in our performances.
Le Sirenuse is supported by Creative Scotland, Caithness and North Sutherland Fund, and Lyth Art Centre.