Part of the works produced during the Glenfiddich Residency.
A choir of voices constituted of staff at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland where we were artists in residence (May-August 2019). Each volunteer was asked to contribute two short voice recordings, one the highest pitched sound they could produce, and one the lowest. They were asked to hold the sound for as long as possible. It’s through the extremes that you find the middle, the moment of equal measure, the halfway point.
The resulting recordings were arranged according to how long they’ve been working at the distillery, 2 months being the shortest, and 39 years and 5 months being the longest (their collective average years of service: 10 years and 2 months). In terms of duration, the transposition was one month equals one second. The overall duration was based on the age of the distillery, founded in 1886 (so, its 133 years equals 26:36 using the same logic of 1 month = 1 second). The treatment of the voices was primarily kept as simple as possible, stretching and repeating. Subsequent layering and panning effects add some edge to the recording that was otherwise intentionally kept monolithic—conveying a single collective mass, in constant labour, reflecting the fact that their constant work shifts enables the clear spirit to shift to whisky as it ages in the casks.
The recordings were first presented as part of the Swan Song installation.
The Doric Dozen Choir: Mark Beattie, Colin Corson, Gemma Cruickshank, Julie Ettles, Maureen Farquhar, Laura Forsyth, Carol Hendry, Sarah Law, Fraser McGill, Helen Murray, George Paterson, Fred Robertson, Adrianne Sellar, Vicki Shaw, Megan Thomson, Robbie Walker.
Their years of seniority: 6 months, 1 year and 2 months, 2 months, 24 years and 10 months, 8 years, 18 years and 5 months, 1 year and 11 months, 12 years, 4 years and 8 months, 39 years and 5 months, 9 years and 7 months, 5 years, 3 months, 17 years and 6 months, 3 years and 6 months, and 11 years and 6 months.
Their job titles: an HR Manager, a Food & Beverage Team Leader, a Hospitality and Events Assistant, a Senior Malt Barn Team Member, a Label Store Operator, a Technical Analyst, a Technical Analyst, a Utilities Team Leader, a Warehouse Coordinator, a Visitor Centre Handyman, a Technical Planner & Site Development Leader, a Process Team Leader, three Bottling Team Members, and an Operations & Finance Team Member.
Thanks to Andy Fairgrieve.
See also: Swan Song
Exhibition and Performance History:
2019 Glenfiddich Distillery (Dufftown, Scotland)