Altered Landscapes (2005-6)
trumpet and vibraphone/percussion and live video/electronics

Altered Landscapes was written for duo Contour, and uses the poem 'Under the Slates' by Martin Daws as its inspiration.   The poem reflects Daws' response to the altered landscape formed by slate quarrying in the village of Bethesda in North Wales.   The role of the instrumentalists in this piece is to create a textural accompaniment to the text. Through different sound transformation techniques, the sounds of the instruments are     altered in real-time to create word-painting effects.   Video sequences of the poet himself are juxtaposed against images of the area in question. These images are manipulated in real-time by the sound of the instruments themselves. The video imagery, like the music, is intended to reflect the meaning of the text.



Robert Mackay is a composer and performer based in the UK. He studied electroacoustic composition with Mike Vaughan at the University of Keele, before going on to complete a doctorate in electroacoustic composition with Andrew Lewis at the University of Wales, Bangor. Currently he is a lecturer in Creative Music Technology at the University of Hull, Scarborough Campus.

His compositions have gained international recognition in the form of prizes and honours: Bourges (1997 and 2001): EAR99 from Hungarian Radio, 1999; Confluencias 2003; SPNM Shortlist 1997 - 2005. His pieces receive regular performances internationally (including broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 1, and Radio Cymru). Several recordings of his work are available.

He has played and written in a number of bands and ensembles, including the international improvisation group IMP and Welsh Hip-Hop collective 'Tystion'. With whom he recorded 2 John Peel Sessions at BBC Maida Vale Studios, and collaborated with John Cale on the film Beautiful Mistake, as well as performing on various radio and television broadcasts (including supporting PJ Harvey). Awards included: 'Album of the Year' from the BBC RAP awards and 'Single of the Week' in 'Melody Maker'. 3 albums and 4 EPs are available.