The idea behind this particular story was to find a way to describe an arts project that involved an artist, an informatics specialist and a man with a liking for music. The man in question had a learning disability, a sight impairment and physical disability, which meant he was reliant on others choosing what he listened to. He listened to Radio Forth a lot. So artist Steve Hollingsworth began creating a sound system which could operate with one simple hand movement, enabling the man to select, for the first time, what he felt like listening to from an extensive library of sounds. The playlist included the man’s mother telling stories, his brother playing cello, the sound of a music box he liked and personalised jingles made for him by Radio Forth.
Together, the artist and the informatics specialist adapted an mp3 player. The sound equipment was installed in the man’s bedroom. It’s his, it’s private and he can listen to whatever he wants, at the touch of his hand.
So how do you write about a project like this? We asked writer Nicola White to write a short story, a fiction from the point of view of the man. What happened to the story is a real testament to the skill of the writer. She turned a short story about a sound project into a sound work itself, creating an inspiring work from an equally inspiring project.
About the Author
Nicola White grew up in Dublin and New York. She worked as a contemporary art curator and as a television and radio producer before concentrating on writing. Nicola has had several pieces of short fiction published in addition to features for newspapers and magazines. She received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2008 and is currently working on her first novel, a piece of catholic noir set in Ireland.
Credits for Audio Production
Written and Produced by Nicola White
Read by Callum Cuthbertson
Music by Stephen Adam
Sound Production by Caroline Barbour