New “Soundings” series launched in St Andrews

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The University is to launch a new experimental series of events called ‘Soundings’ in which renowned musicians and writers will come together for an ‘in conversation’ style event.

The series will be launched on 4 November in the town’s Byre Theatre, with the first event featuring two time Mercury Prize winner PJ Harvey and Pulitzer Prize for Poetry recipient Paul Muldoon.

The series has been created by Reif Larsen, the University’s new international writer in residence, and Professor of English, Don Paterson. Mr Larsen explained that ‘Soundings’ aims to breathe new life into the stale state of ‘in conversation’ style events. He said: “I approach other disciplines with a great degree of awe and a bit of suspicion. I sometimes get tired of the same little loops of conversation that can happen when you bring two artists of the same discipline together. But when you pair two people from different disciplines together, suddenly anything can happen.

“We’re hoping to capture a little lightning in a bottle with these events.”

Another characteristic of the series is that not all the participants will be expected to know one another.

As Mr Larsen added: “Writers aren’t necessarily used to talking to musicians and vice versa, so this slight discomfort can become a real path to discovery.”

Mr Larsen concluded: “I’d like Fife to become synonymous with artistic experimentation and for St Andrews to be seen as a retreat for contemporary writers and musicians to work on new forms and to present cutting-edge material.”


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