Thickness Pete Stollery

“Thickness” is the preferred name used by fishing communities on the Buchan coast of NE Scotland for the coastal sea mist or haar which rises from the sea and creeps slowly across the land. There are many superstitions and stories about this sea mist, passed down over generations. One such story, of which examples can also be found on parts of the east coast of North America and Canada, tells of widows leaving the front doors of their homes open as the thickness starts to creep over the land; legend states that the souls of fishermen drowned at sea were contained in the mist

Thickness was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with funds provided by Shell UK. The first performance (Lis Dooner, flute, Sophie Renshaw, viola) took place on 20th October 2000 at the Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen as part of the Looking out to Sea project.

The instruments are amplified and their signals should then be mixed and fed in stereo to a pair of loudspeakers at the centre of the stage, just in front of the performers.

It is preferable that the tape part is diffused over a system of loudspeakers (minimum of 8) to enhance the dynamic and spatial features of the sounds on tape. If this is not possible, then the flute, viola and tape parts should all emanate from a pair of loudspeakers with the instrument signals panned appropriately to reflect their position on stage and the tape part in stereo from both speakers. Reverb may be added to the instrumental signals if the performance space acoustic requires it.

  • Year of composition: 2000
  • Duration of the submitted work: 7:00

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