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Melting Shifting Liquid World is an immersive work for String Ensemble, Electric Viola and Electronics delivered over bone-conduction headphones, premiered at the National Maritime Museum on the 16th March 2019. The piece features different sonic interpretations of climate change data from ocean monitoring indicators. It also incorporates a poem called “Still Life with Sea Pinks and High Tide” by Maura Dooley (The Silvering, Bloodaxe Books, 2016) and natural recordings from the Arctic, recorded by world renowned field recordist Chris Watson.


Thoughts from the premiere:

In the press:

…the result was an entirely different, much more expansive sense of immersion than one usually experiences. The work’s title could hardly have been more directly relevant to what the music was doing. It was easy to hear its slow changing and evolving forms as processes of shift and melt, and the fluidity of Harding’s material – no solid sonic objects here – combined with the way we could move anywhere at any point to create a world that felt decidedly liquid… Further tensions emerged between tendencies toward dronal stasis and large dissonant agglomerations, the flat map beneath our feet seemingly being extended upward into something three-dimensional through the pronounced shifts in musical contour.Extract from review of Melting, Shifting, Liquid World - Dr. Simon Cummings, 5:4 (click for full article)

“The effect of this multi-layered, multimedia approach was nothing less than scintillating, the evocative strains of Harding’s orchestration counterpointing the often unsettling sensation caused by the pre-recorded sonic textures fed to us through headphones… But the real star of the show was Harding, whose brilliant score and setting made this one of the finest immersive performances I have ever had the pleasure of seeing – and I’ve seen some great ones over the years” Extract from review of Melting, Shifting, Liquid World - Miles Hedley, Greenwich Visitor (click for full article)

Audience feedback:

"…a unique, inspirational and unforgettable performance"

"…a masterpiece"

"A fantastic piece and a fantastic performance! Compelling and provocative."

"…a beautiful, poignant and thought provoking piece; a great use of space; it will haunt my imagination for a long time to come."

"Mesmerising, beautiful and truly immersive….”

"…extraordinary immersive experience."


Registered as a National Maritime Museum, Caird Library user Explored their substantial and amazing Online Collections.

Recording Session with poet Maura Dooley Still Life with Sea Pinks at High Tide.

World Ocean's Day at the National Maritime Museum Met some extremely interesting scientists and artists including Jo Atherton, Anne Baker (exxpedition) and Susie Grant (British Antarctic Survey)

Getting to grips with MATLAB I never thought that my GCSE in statistics would ever be useful to a PhD in Composition...but as it turns out it is! Now...to turn this data into harmonic material...

Gathering Climate Change data from NASA NASA have a huge amount of open access climate change data on their Global Climate Change website, including graphs and (luckily for me!) access to the numerical data behind them, time-series images and information.

Playing around with Max / MSP I've been trying out a few different ways of converting climate change data into sine tones using Max / MSP with some encouraging results!

Neither Nor, Either Or Artist Residency, Ytre Arna Taking some time out to work on my PhD commentary and to think about the artistic thread of the piece including working out the spatial plan, and narrative thread.

Plastic Pollution in our Oceans I've been doing some research into plastic pollution. The majority of plastic debris in the ocean ends up one of six gyres, which are a large systems of circulating ocean currents. The largest of patch of debris is situated between two of these oceanic gyres and is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is the worlds largest collection of ocean rubbish, situated halfway between Hawaii and California and is now over 600,000 square miles in size. Our rubbish ends up in these gyres as natural ocean currents which regulate climate control, also function as conveyor belts for our waste and pollution. Find out more here.

Recording Session with Nic Pendlebury - Just after Christmas and before Nic flew off to Taiwan for work, we met to make a high quality recording of some extracts of the piece and sounds to be used as a part of the pre-recorded audio. Here he is in action with sound engineer Jean-Marc Gowans.

Costume Research and Development - Images from the Costume R and D day in January.

First Workshop in the Space On the 10th October I had my first exploratory workshop in the Great Map Space working with Trinity Laban String Ensemble and soloist/director Nic Pendlebury. It is such a privilege to be making a site-specific piece in this iconic space, around themes of climate change and ocean pollution. The session focussed on us trying out ideas in the unique acoustic of the venue, and testing practicalities such as cueing over distance and moving and playing.

Costume Design - Meet the extremely talented costume design team (left to right) Florence Meredith, Estera Parker, Rosie Whiting and Sophie Donaldson. The team will be working to produce 22 bespoke costumes for the soloist and ensemble to wear during the performance. The costumes will incorporate handmade textiles created using household plastic waste. This photograph is from their Research and Development day in January, where they explored some different textile ideas, colour combinations and chair dressing (See other images below and left).

Costume Research and Development - Images from the Costume R and D day in January.

Costume Research and Development - Images from the Costume R and D day in January.

Trinity Laban commissioned a short film to be made about the project using footage from the first workshop at the National Maritime Museum in October, featuring interviews with myself, soloist Nic Pendlebury and Hans Biorn-Lian, Digital Programmes Producer at the National Maritime Museum.

Second Workshop - on the 23rd January I had my second workshop with Trinity Laban String Ensemble and Nic Pendlebury. The score for the ensemble is now fully in place, and over the next month I will be working to further develop the electronic processing of the Electric Viola and the electroacoustic pre-recorded material to be delivered to the audience via the bone-conduction head sets.

Second Workshop - another action photograph from the second workshop on the 23rd January 2019, showing the ensemble practicing one of their movements.

Production The Aftershokz Sportz Titanium headsets have arrived and have had their first full charge. These remarkable headphones have bee generously provided for the project by the company, free of charge. Here they are filling up my dining table!…

Trinity Laban String Ensemble this lovely lot are a delight to be working with!

Programme Books Designed by Louis Buck The programme books have arrived and I’m really delighted with the fantastic design work by Louis Buck and by the quality of the printing and recycled paper.

Hollie Harding is supported by PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music

This project is generously supported by:

Production supported by the Gemma Classical Music Trust Registered Charity No. 1121090 Gemma Classical Music Trust. http://gemmatrust.com/