Fulgurite Chamber

Research output: Non-textual formComposition

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Aims and Context

Fulgurite Chamber explores solutions for combining live music and visual media in the form of an audiovisual performance installation incorporating multi-channel sound, light sculpture and live quarter-tone bass flute (of which only a handful of instruments exist worldwide).An Arts Council of Ireland Music Project commission, Fulgurite Chamber is part of an on-going collaborative partnership with Mercury Music Prize-winning artist Mark Melvin (brother), and London-based ensemble, Rarescale (Carla Rees, flute & Michaell Oliva, electronics).


Methodology and Findings

What results is an integrated audiovisual environment that is governed by the dialogue between its component elements, often focusing on their shared attributes, e.g. the potential “curve” facilitated by the instrument’s microtonal tuning vs the coiled, neon lights, the resulting phasing of multiphonics vs visual flickering. Meanwhile, the spatial diffusion of sonic elements and placement of sculptures forms the basis of an approach that examines and reconfigures existing preconceptions of the term, “chamber music”. 


The work is significant in several additional ways. The piece is the first––and, to date only––mixed media work ever written for the Kingma system bass flute. Furthermore, the creation of the piece led to discoveries regarding the use of multiphonics for the instrument, incorporated into the piece and discussed in Carla Rees’s recent PhD thesis exploring performance practice and repertoire for the Kingma System alto and bass flutes.



Initially commissioned for the Derry~Londonderry 2013 City of Culture programme, Fulgurite Chamber was premiered at Ebrington Barracks, Derry in April 2014 and later performed at Belfast’s Crescent Arts Centre (also April 2014). 

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEbrington Barracks, Derry/Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 24 Apr 2014


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