A Bit in the Air

Catherine Keay (Artist), Graeme Wilson (Composer)

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance

Abstract / Description of output

Devised as a collaboration between sculptor Cath Keay and improviser Graeme Wilson, this innovative new work for Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra is a structured and improvised interaction with Keay’s 2010 work, Hung Sentence. The sculpture, comprising 116 extruded porcelain letters, spells out a quotation from a patient in psychiatrists Laing and Esterson’s Sanity Madness and the Family (1964). The apparent malleability of these forms articulates the disconnection and sense of being overwhelmed that the women describe in the book. Fired and suspended across the stage, however, the letters’ rigidity gives them a bell-like voice, with an intriguing range of sonic possibilities.

The ceramic letters are played and negotiated by the orchestra as a percussion instrument, through free improvisation and a series of conductive strategies, with a central role for improvising voices. Suspended as a screen across the stage, each form resonates with idiosyncratic pitch, while the grinding and rattling of letters grouped into words generates aleatory tonalities.

The premier performance, by GIO and guests including Marilyn Crispell, Maggie Nichols and Franziska Schroeder, took place at Centre For Contemporary Arts, Glasgow as part of GIOFest VIII.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherGlasgow Improvisers Orchestra
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2015
EventGIOFest VIII - Centre for Contemporary Art, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Nov 201528 Nov 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • sculpture
  • performance
  • improvisation
  • Interdisciplinary
  • music
  • Laing


Dive into the research topics of 'A Bit in the Air'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • The Word For It Now: A Bit in the Air performance

    Keay, C. & Wilson, G., Nov 2017

    Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

  • Cath Keay- sculptor

    Keay, C., 30 Apr 2014, The Language of Mixed Media Sculpture. Scott, J. (ed.). 1 ed. Marlborough: The Crowood Press, Vol. 1. p. 11, 51, 54-60, 149-153 11 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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