Author Archives: robflute

About robflute

Rob Mackay is a composer, sound artist and performer. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Hull. Recent projects have moved towards a cross-disciplinary approach, including geology, soundscape ecology, theatre, audiovisual installation work, and human-computer interaction. His work has been performed in 18 countries (including several performances on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 1 and Radio France), and a number of his pieces have received international awards (Bourges (1997 and 2001), EAR (1999), La Muse en Circuit (2007)). He has held composer residencies at Slovak Radio (Bratislava), La Muse en Circuit (Paris), the Tyrone Guthrie Arts Centre (Ireland), Habitación del Ruido (Mexico City), and CMMAS (Morelia). He has collaborated with a number of poets, including Martin Daws (Young People’s Poet Laureate for Wales, 2013 – 2015) and John Wedgwood Clarke (for the Arts Council funded Dictionary of Stone and Sea Swim with Lara Goodband). This was a natural progression from working on a number of projects based on the theme of geology, including a collaboration with percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie on the Natural England funded Ruskin Rocks project, led by a team of scientists and musicians at the University of Leeds who created two stone instruments (lithophones). He has also created a Jurassic soundscape for Scarborough’s Rotunda museum which is currently installed. Rob has been a reviewer for numerous international conferences, including ICMC (International Computer Music Conference), NIME (New Instruments for Musical Expression), DHRN (Digital Humanities Research Network), and journals (Organised Sound, Cambridge University Press) and is editor for Interference, a Journal of Audio Cultures. He has played, written and produced in a number of bands including the Welsh Hip-Hop collective Tystion with whom he collaborated alongside John Cale on the film A Beautiful Mistake (Film 4), as well as recording two John Peel sessions on BBC Radio 1 and supporting PJ Harvey. The band have a chapter devoted to them in Sarah Hill’s book ‘Blerwytirhwng?’ The Place of Welsh Pop Music (Ashgate 2007). Rob has done session work for Super Furry Animals producer Gorwel Owen, songwriter Euros Childs, and Hip-Hop producer Kista. He is currently enjoying playing in the Welsh Afro-tropical collective Drymbago, having supported Quantic and Tony Allen. More information and pieces at: University of Hull Profile Page

Presenting at COP26

I’ll be in Glasgow sharing our experience of Red River Poetry: Listening to a Polluted River at #COP26 with John Wedgwood Clarke on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Listen live or online. Weds 10th Nov: Glasgow Science Centre, Towerbase North, … Continue reading

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New Digital Release on Gruenrekorder

It’s been a real pleasure to work with field recordings from wetlands in Chile as part of the amazing Soundlapse project run by Felipe Otondo. There’s a new digital release of works created using these recordings on the Gruenrekorder label. … Continue reading

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Flight of the Monarch on BBC Radio 3

Over the past couple of years I’ve been putting together a Radio programme for Between the Ears with producer Andy King inspired by the project Following the Flight of the Monarchs. I’m happy to announce the 30 min feature will … Continue reading

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Garden to Garden

I’ve been working with artist Feral Practice to produce sound for her film made for Invisible Dust as part of the project Garden to Garden. In partnership with Scarborough’s Victorian-era South Cliff Gardens, ‘Garden to Garden‘, explored the changing ways we see, … Continue reading

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ECOde Finished

We’ve now completed the ECOde project in Scarborough with Invisible Dust. Here’s a lovely video about the sound component that I worked on with local kids from the Library’s Code Club. ECOde from Invisible Dust on Vimeo.

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ECOde – Phase 1 complete!

It’s been a real joy to work on the first phase of the ECOde project run by Invisible Dust in collaboration with Scarborough Library’s Code Club. ECOde introduces children and young people to the natural world, inspiring them to investigate … Continue reading

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ECOde – Scarborough

ECOde is a project run by Invisible Dust with kids from Scarborough Library’s Code Club. The aim of the project is to help the code club kids to become more aware of their environment and changes in it through coding … Continue reading

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Following the Flight of the Monarchs Exhibit at the British Science Festival and Australian Radio

I presented a mini exhibition at the British Science Festival in September which was hosted at the University of Hull this year. This was a collection of presentations, including our touring, immersive hide, as well as a fantastic documentary on … Continue reading

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Review in 5:4 Blog for Electric Spring Performance

My recent performance of ‘Flight of the Monarchs’ received a really nice review in the 5:4 blog. It was in the Ambient@40 conference at the University of Huddersfield, involving a live audio stream from the Cerro Pelón Monarch butterfly reserve: ‘Rob … Continue reading

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Eavesdropping on Monarch Butterflies

In January and March this year, I returned to Mexico to visit the Cerro Pelón Monarch butterfly reserve. Working with an interdisciplinary team of artists and scientists, including Monarch expert Dr Pablo Jaramillo, we’ve been exploring the reserve. This has … Continue reading

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