photo by jeni reid

In August 2013 as part of Spincycle Skye with Sampler Culture Clash, a group of unusual suspects gathered to perform at Skye Bike Fest.   The sonic laboratory explored circular and periodic motion and all things that rotate, repeat, occillate and spin. As lead artist on the Spin project with Atlas Arts and with previous knowledge and admiration for previous projects with Sampler Culture Clash,  I developed ideas around a programme of events for the year long Spincycle programme.  Atlas arts invited David Littler and Jason Singh from Sampler Culture Clash to spend a week long residency on Skye working with spinners , weavers, knitters, singers, musicians and cyclists from the island to create a new performance 'Spincycle - A sonic journey into the world of spin'. Spincycle was a journey around the island; of circular and periodic motion; of revolutions and reels; cycles and occilations and rotations; a meeting of cultures and people connected through textiles and sound. The project supported by Creative Scotland.

Spincycle brought together David Littler, Jason Singh,  Skye Weavers,Hector Macinnes, singer Anne Martin  for a performance at Skye Bike Fest.  I joined the talented group and read a sock knitting pattern on stage during the performance. We were delighted with the outcome and determined to do it again! This year with support from Arts Council England, David Littler  made this happen as part of his Yan Van Tethera project in partnership with the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS).

"The project featured: An exhibition of new work by artists Freddie Robins, Shane Waltener, Prick Your Finger, Stewart Easton and the McGrath Makers Group delved deep into the EFDSS's archive; 
The project culminated in a live performance from sonic arts collective sampler-cultureclash as they unite Gaelic song with spinners, weavers and knitters, and traditional and electronic musicians in an exploration of things that spin."

As the finale to Yan Van Tethera project Spincycle took to the stage again with fantastic additions to the group, on bodhran and song Aimee Leonard,  on knitting machine Rachel Matthews, clogging by Laurel Swift and digital shenanigins with multi disciplinary artist Adam John WilliamsI was particularily excited to have the opportunity to be part of it all again but also use wearable technology in the form of a sensor glove as I read the sock knitting pattern.  Adam had partnered with  RS Components putting together a wearable musical instrument for Jason Singh to work with at Music Tech Fest. Have a look at Adam here in a great wee film.   

As a music lover, it was a real priveledge to be in rehearsals with such a talented bunch and watch in awe at the way they improvise and jam together.  Laurel Swift arrived on day 2 and began clogging and before long Aimee and Jason accompanied on Bodhran and beatboxing creating beautiful call and responses and united sound. Sampler culture clash are genius at bringing together diverse practices in both textiles and music and I am really proud to have been part of such an exciting venture fusing tradition and technology, hand and machine, gaelic song, clogging, beats and voice. 

Count me in on the next venture Mr David Litter of Sampler Culture Clash!