Three Cities

Pete Stollery (Composer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


Three Cities forms part of the Three Cities Project, a multimedia research project created by Suk-Jun Kim, Pete Stollery and Ross Whyte.
Two central ideas drive the project; the first is Edward Casey’s phenomenon of “re-implacement” within visual representations of place and his three distinctions of:

place at - exact depiction;
place of - representational transformation;
place for - contemplating the ideal.

The second is Suk-Jun Kim’s three “engagements with place” when creating soundscape composition:

1 - visiting, dwelling on and experiencing a place;
2 - composing with sounds recorded at the place;
3 - listening to the recreation/representation of the experience of the place.

Sounds were captured from visits made to the three cities; Kim and Whyte visited Bergen; Whyte and Stollery visited St Petersburg; as residents of Aberdeen, all three recorded sounds there. Using the Bergen stage as an example, Whyte and Kim’s presence whilst recording material (first engagement) meant they would have a different relationship with the sounds of the place from Stollery (who was not there and could therefore only reach second and third engagements).

For Three Cities, I chose to keep the sounds recorded in groups according to Bernie Krauses’s biophonic, anthrophonic and geophonic categorisations, in order to maintain a certain integrity. The piece opens with stretched pedestrian crossing signals from each of the three cities followed by a section of minimally transformed field recordings of birds. Then, traffic sounds, which both articulate gesturally (cars) and also operate in a textural context (underground train).

Three Cities was commissioned by the sound festival. It was composed in the studios of the University of Aberdeen in the second half of 2012 and received its premiere at the From tape to typedef conference at the University of Sheffield in January 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputCD
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • composition
  • sound art
  • sonic archaeology
  • web-based interactivity and text on our relationship with sonic environments


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