Sounding Seams documentary — released on Thursday 16th May

Clang Sayne: The Great Sea of Unknown single — released Friday 17th May

Clang Sayne: single & video release – released Thursday 30th May

Clang Sayne: A Restless Wanderer of the Earth single – to be released Thursday 6th June

Clang Sayne Sounding Seams EP release

Clang Sayne From a Galaxy of Dust We Were Unspun release/p>

In 2018 the Irish National Heritage Park and Wexford County Council Arts Department invited me to make a sound-based artwork in response to the ancient art of metal forgery.

On the island of Samos circa 600bce, Pythagoras passes a blacksmith’s workshop. He hears the sound of metal on metal: two tones - one high, one low. They produce a harmony so beautiful that he’s compelled to find their source. From this fleeting moment of sensory enchantment comes a life’s work, and over the years he discovers the harmonic series, and gives it a mathematical expression.

So enchanted is he by the perfection of his discovery that it leads him to a kind of spiritual enchantment, and he concludes that it must underpin the very order of the cosmos itself; that the sun, stars and planets must orbit the Earth in the same ratios that give rise to musical harmony, and as they do so, they emit ‘the music of the spheres’ - the most exquisite harmony imaginable.

Sounding Seams is a playful exploration of this myth and its ensuing themes of order, chaos, wonder, and our place in the cosmos, viewed through the prism of metal forgery, heritage and sound.

Unfolding over three phases between 2018-2024, I created three live performances (Sounding Seams I,II, & III), a permanent sound sculpture at the Irish National Heritage Park (‘the portal’), a musical instrument (the chime cage), and an EP of songs recorded in the park with my band, Clang Sayne exploring the inherent themes of the myth. This EP, along with a short documentary following the project from its inception in 2018 will be released in the coming weeks.

Sounding Seams I

Pythagoras conducted his harmonic experiments with lengths of string. In keeping with my brief to work with a blacksmith and whatever materials he had (scrap metal pipe) I ended up making 37 tuned chimes. I cut them to fit the dimensions of the performance space (the crannog at the Heritage park) and hung them to make a sound installation which I could also play, and use to retell the myth.

Guy Urbin (blacksmith) & Laura in Sounding Seams I performance, Heritage Park, Wexford, 2018

Laura in Sounding Seams I performance, Heritage Park, Wexford, 2018

Sounding Seams II

Inspired by the enormous pipes I’d spied in scrap yards during Sounding Seams I, I made a permanent sculpture for the park, comprising a circular formation of 7 free-standing chimes, ranging in height from 1.5 - 3 metres.

Situated high on the Hill of Carrig, overlooking the Slaney River and surrounding Wexford landscape, I imagine this sculpture and the sound it produces as a kind of physical and sensory portal, through which a player can connect with both the primordial act of calling out across a landscape - as our forebears would have done with horns, yodelling or drums in antiquity - and the transcendental power of harmony as expressed in the Music of the Spheres as a reflection of cosmic order and the divine.

The Stillages at FM Whelan Steelworks, Wexford, Summer 2019

Suspension mechanism (by Alex Petcu) Summer 2019

Laura playing chimes sculpture, Heritage Park, Wexford, November 2019 (photo by Caludio Nego)

Sounding Seams III

Throughout the first two phases of the project I was so busy making instruments that I had very little time to make music. In Sounding Seams III I took musical sketches I'd made with the chimes in Sounding Seams I and developed them into a song cycle exploring themes inherent in Pythagoras’ 'Music of the Spheres'.

I made a customised frame for the chimes (the ‘chime cage’) so they could be set up as a proper musical instrument.

I recorded these pieces with my group, Clang Sayne during a week-long residency in the crannog at the Heritage park in 2022. An EP of the recordings will be released in June 2024.

Clang Sayne playing chimes in the crannog, Heritage Park, Wexford, June 22

Residency workshop in the crannog, Heritage Park, Wexford, June 22

Funded by