Tide Times: Responding to Cramond

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This article explores site-responsiveness in the context of a collaborative work, Tide Times, by Laura Bissell (writer) and Timothy Cooper (electroacoustic composer) created for the island of Cramond. In this co-written submission we examine the ways in which the work responded to our experience of exploring the tidal island on the East Coast of Scotland during five visits between April and August 2018. Contextualising Tide Times through Ingold’s ideas of atmosphere and place (Ingold, 2015), theories of soundwalking (Westerkamp, 2007) and acoustic ecology (Clarke, 2005) we discuss our attempt to heighten the participants’ experience of the island and encourage a playful exploration of place. This article will discuss the ways in which the electroacoustic compositions and texts responded to site, environmental sound, the natural flora and fauna of the island and its visitors. Tim’s electroacoustic compositions were combined with a palimpsest of texts including reflective accounts of visits to Cramond (written by Laura and Tim), site-responsive poems (written by Laura), fragments of found text, poems and excerpts from oceanographer Rachel Carson’s The Edge of the Sea (Carson, 2014)(curated by Laura). These audio tracks attempt to explore an experience of this place, its tidal qualities, and the multiple identities of Cramond Island over time. Inspired by the geocache we found on our first visit to the island (a global treasure hunt using GPS), we created nine treasure chests to be found using a map to accompany the audio exploration which included invitations for visitors to the island to engage in making their own creative responses to this site. Whilst the pre-recorded tracks and the invitations remain constant, the way that the participants respond to these will continue to reshape the precise nature of the work: in this way the participants become active collaborators in the creation of Tide Times.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235–266
JournalBody, Space, Technology (e-journal)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 12 Mar 2019

Author keywords

  • site-responsive,tidal island, poetry,electroacoustic music,explorative