74 Degrees North

Peter Robert K A Davidson, Peter John Stollery (Composer), Paul Mealor (Composer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


Seventy Four Degrees North is a collaborative research project from three academics at the University of Aberdeen, Professor Peter Davidson (libretto), Professor Paul Mealor (instrumental/vocal score) and Professor Pete Stollery (electroacoustic score).
The writing team was committed to a true collaboration between the three elements of text, instrumental/vocal music and electroacoustic music/sound design. Davidson initially produced a synopsis to which Stollery composed a short electroacoustic sketch, which influenced Mealor’s first work on the score. Stollery and Mealor subsequently worked together on the design of the rest of the score, subverting the expected paradigms of electroacoustic = negative, instrumental = positive. Neither of the two elements is subservient to the other throughout the work.
Mealor’s score develops the notion of waves brought about through harmonic and rhythmic construction and wave-like motion characterises much of the electroacoustic element, which is a constant of the dramatic and musical narrative, evoking and reflecting all aspects of the arctic setting of the opera.

The electroacoustic element is spatialised over four stereo pairs of loudspeakers which surround the audience. The opera begins with an immersive icy soundscape which is playing as the audience arrives, immediately transporting them to a place far removed from the space in which they find themselves; the interplay between space and place are important in Stollery’s work, as can be seen from other research outputs.

The electroacoustic sound score consists of 47 separate soundfiles, sometimes delivered consecutively, sometimes simultaneously with QLab software delivering the soundfiles in performance.

Seventy Four Degrees North was composed in the studios of the University of Aberdeen between May 2009 and May 2010. It received eleven performances in May 2010 by Scottish Opera, who commissioned the work, in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of the FIVE:15 project.

Portfolio: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/music/uploads/files/REF/seventyfour_portfolio.html
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputDVD
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2010
EventScottish Opera performance - Aberdeen Edinburgh Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 May 201015 May 2010


  • opera
  • electroacoustic


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