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Listen: Trevor Wishart music

July 2014

Listen to excerpts of work by the pioneering UK electroacoustic composer and improvising vocalist, featured in an article by Andy Hamilton in The Wire 366

Trevor Wishart was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in 1946. After winning a scholarship to Oxford, he studied chemistry but soon switched to music. After gaining a PhD at York University, he stayed on as a freelance composer. His early experiments involved improvisation with found objects, performance art and installations. Then he began to focus on electroacoustic composition, while establishing himself as a pioneer of sonic art – a field defined by his writings in On Sonic Art (Routledge, 1996) and Audible Design (Orpheus The Pantomime, 1994).

Currently, Wishart is touring his eight channel surround sound composition Encounters In The Republic Of Heaven – consisting of voices recorded in North East England – around concert halls and more unusual venues of the UK, including old people’s homes. His latest ongoing composition, Supernova, transforms scientific data into sound, using the changing light spectra emitted from supernova explosions.

Extract from “Red Bird” made in Durham's analogue (pre-computers) studio between 1973 and 1977.

Extract from Trevor Wishart’s multitracked rendition of “Anticredos” (sounds are all made by the amplified voice – no electronics here).

Extract from “Imago”. All sounds generated from a single ¼-second source-sound taken from Jonty Harrison’s “Et ainsi de suite”.

Two extracts from Globalalia – using syllables from the world’s languages.

Second movement of “Two Women”

A sampler of moments in Acts 1 & 2 of the eight channel Encounters In The Republic Of Heaven.

Trevor Wishart performs Encounters In The Republic Of Heaven at the Tête à Tête festival at London’s Kings Place on 7–8 August. Wishart’s Red Bird/Anticredos and Voiceprints are released as a double CD by ICR



“Anticredos” and “Imago” are must-listens, and all tracks are completely bonkers on headphones.

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