Saturday, 19 July 2014

Press & Journal

Glen Nevis treehouse to broadcast ‘Sound of Lochaber’

By Sue Restan
A new project involving local people is to be broadcast from a treehouse in the shadow of Ben Nevis. The controversial artist’s studio – called Outlandia and perched high in a tree in Glen Nevis – was built by London-based multi-media company London Fieldworks. The company, run by multimedia artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson, has now teamed up with the world’s first art radio station, Resonance104.4fm, for the project called Remote Performances, which aims to capture the sound of Lochaber. And they are appealing for local people to contact them to suggest sounds that could be included in the project.
The architect-designed structure, which is less than 12ft square and about 20ft off the ground, is reached via a quarter of a mile of boardwalk. It has spectacular views of Britain’s highest mountain and was created to give artists the opportunity to work in a remote and inspiring environment. And, from Monday August 4 to Saturday August 9, 20 specially commissioned artist performances and programmes created with local residents will be broadcast live from Outlandia.
The company’s initial proposal for three treehouses further up the glen attracted criticism from local people who feared it would blight the natural scenic beauty of the upper reaches of the glen and do little to enhance the local economy. However, it was successful with its application for one tree-house nearer to Cow Hill in Fort William and Outlandia opened in 2010.
Mr Gilchrist said the studio, which sways when the wind blows, had been used regularly by a wide range of artists. He said: “We’ve had 25 residencies since the launch. The artists who’ve stayed there said it was very inspirational and encouraged them to try things they wouldn’t normally have done. “We now want to get the local community more involved in the project.” He explained, that as well as suggesting sounds, such as music, poems or environmental noises, that remind them of the area, they will also be given the opportunity to get involved in the broadcasting.
The project is being supported by the Nevis Landscape Partnership, the Arts Council England, Oxford Brookes University, Live Art Development Agency and Edinburgh Arts Festival.
Anyone wanting to suggest sounds for the project should e-mail their ideas to