Sing the Gloaming


A collaboration with Tommy Perman and Simon Kirby for a commission from Sanctuary Lab for a temporary installation at Galloway Dark Sky Park, Scotland, in September 2017.



Phonaesthemes are words whose form seems to evoke their meaning directly. In the English language, there are many phonaesthemes beginning “gl” which relate to light, for example: glimmer, glitter, glow, gleam and gloam.

In Sing the Gloaming, a collection of sung vocalisations of these ‘light words’ have been recorded onto cassette tape loops. A set of tape decks, housed in glowing sculptural objects were installed across a small area of the Galloway Dark Sky Park. Their spatial arrangement subtly maps the linguistic evolution of light words from the Proto-Indo-European “*ghlei-”.

The loops repeated through the night, slipping in and out of resonance and rhythm until the tape deck batteries are drained, somewhere around dawn.

Project website.