Oh Dear Me (2016)
November 12, Dundee, Scotland
w/ Sue Huang

A brass band is distributed along a path winding through the post-industrial Blackness area of Dundee, Scotland. When participants type a message at computer consoles on either end, their words are encoded via rearranged fragments of the “Jute Mill Song,” a protest song written in 1920 by Dundee mill worker Mary Brooksbank. The musicians subsequently pass the music to one another by ear until the message is decoded on the opposite terminal. Along the way, the melodies reverberate in the urban spaces associated with Dundee’s industrial past and connect historical textile production with the hidden labor of contemporary computation.

Commission: NEoN Digital Arts Festival. Musicians: Ana Romero, Arin Grattidge, Colette Colman, Emily Stokes, Joey O’Neil, Jordan Robertson, Kenny Letham, Marcus Shanks, Rebecca Wilson, Scott Kerr. Documentation: Bonnie Brae Productions. Thanks: Donna Holford-Lovell, Dan Faichney, Anna Murray.