Broadcast: Events

Hanna Tuulikki’s 'Away with the Birds' screening and Artist talk

Friday 31 January 17:00 until 18:00
Jane Attenborough Studio, ACCA

Artist, composer and performer, Hanna Tuulikki will talk about her project Air falbh leis na h-eòin | Away with the Birds, a body of work exploring the mimesis of birds in Scottish Gaelic song. 

Hannah’s talk will be preceded by a film screening of a performance of Away With the Birds

Hanna Tuulikki's Air falbh leis na h-eòin | Away with the Birds is a body of work exploring the mimesis of birds in Scottish Gaelic song. At its heart is a vocal composition performed by a female vocal ensemble. Composed from fragments of songs and poems that imitate the sound and movement of birds, an extended soundscape emerges across five movements, each one a different habitat.  

The music responds to the island’s topography, the co-existence of tradition and innovation, and the delicate equilibrium of Hebridean life. Over five movements, it guides us through communities of waders, seabirds, wildfowl and corvids, evoking sea, shoreline, cliffs, moor and woodland. The ensemble sing the sea and the winds. They sing the motion of birds – wading on the shoreline, swooping before the cliffs, and beating skeins. As the music ebbs and flows, they call to mind the eco-tones where species meet. Listening to this musical portrait of the inter- relationship between bird and human, we recognise a lineage that stretches back to early hunter-gatherer cultures for whom bird-calls and animal cries had magico-religious symbolism – like the splay-toed fowlers who scaled the cliffs of St Kilda.

Enchanting, beautiful and completely original” Mark Cocker, author of ‘Birds and People’ 


Hanna Tuulikki is an artist, composer and performer, specialising in working with voice and gesture to re-imagine resonant stories of contemporary relevance. In research-led, multi-disciplinary projects, she investigates the ways in which the body communicates beyond and before words. With a particular interest in the practice of ‘mimesis’ within musical and movement traditions across cultures, her work explores the place of folk narratives, memory, ritual and technology within specific environments. Informed by contemporary understandings of ‘naturecultures’ and ‘gender performance’, she gravitates towards the spaces ‘in-between’, be it human-and-more-than-human, male-and-female, or ancient-and-contemporary, considering the ‘sounding body’ as a meeting point between self and the world.

Tuulikki’s practice spans live performance, music, moving image and multi-channel audio-visual installation, blending together textural tapestries of extended vocal composition, gestural choreography, iconic costume and original visual score drawings. Her critically acclaimed work has been commissioned and presented by organisations across visual, musical and performing arts in the UK, Europe, USA, India and Australia including: BBC Radio; Kochi-Muziris Biennale; Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh; Marseille Expos; Edinburgh Art Festival; Glasgow 2014’s Cultural Programme; Glasgow International; RMIT, Melbourne; ATLAS Arts; BALTIC, Gateshead; Galleri Format, Malmo, Sweden; CCA, Glasgow; Travelling Gallery for GENERATION; Tramway, Glasgow; The Space; Tectonics festival; Dovecot, Edinburgh; Cape Farewell; Red Note Ensemble; and Cappella Nova.

She was Magnetic North Theatre's artist attachment recipient 2017-2019 and is currently shortlisted for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women.


Posted on behalf of: School of Media, Film and Music
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Last updated: Thursday, 16 January 2020