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Final Times (electroacoustic music, 1998)


Final Times is a short piece of "cinema for the ears" based on sounds I recorded in the Scottish city of Glasgow where I live and work. It is a vibrant city and the piece uses some of the sounds which I carry around in my head. We hear people moving about in cars, buses, trains and particularly the Subway whose sound is unique. There are voices with distinctive local accents (the title of the piece is heard in the shout of a newspaper seller), a football crowd, a pub and more intriguing sounds like the rhythmic clicking of an escalator in the huge, Victorian railway station. Sounds and the images they suggest are transformed, and their juxtaposition and layering makes new meaning. The clicking of the escalator becomes a train rattling on rails; voices are stretched into the hum and squeal of the subway train, which returns in the sound of a distant bagpiper on the street, shimmering like heat haze.

Commissioned by the BBC for Radio Scotland; on CD drift-one (1999, A.D.O.R. 991) and Sonic Art from… (MPS MPSCD0013).