Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Lee Patterson & Luke Fowler

North West from Chester Hill, Composition – 10 (1960)

Luke Fowler is a Glaswegian artist-filmmaker who has made a clutch of super interesting films which investigate counterculture or slightly maverick figures both in the arts and in (and outside) society in general: from radical composer Cornelius Cardew to Bogman Palmjaguar, a resident of Sutherland, “essentially maladjusted to people” and so withdrawn, through distrust, into nature.  Here’s a nice quote about him (Luke, not Mr. Palmjaguar,) from the eminent film scholar Michael Zyrd, “(Luke’s films present)… a complex and highly varied surface of image and sound that points implicitly to a deeper and ordered structure underneath”.

Lee Patterson is Mancunian musician and sound artist, who is really quite obsessed with the minute sounds in nature, and with sound itself as it travels through mediums other that air: through water, through metal fencing, concrete bridges and such.  We once described his work, in it’s transforming of minute vibrations into real, understandable, and crucially, musical works of art as alchemy.

They’ll perform a new live audio visual performance inspired by La Monte Young’s 1960 instruction score “Draw a straight line and follow it.”  Fowler and Patterson’s response to the score was to find a straight road in Dundee and follow it, documenting the experience in film and sound - collecting manmade and natural objects along the way.  The hidden potential of these objects as “sound objects” will become evident as part of the live performance.


Because like many of the other things we’re interested in at this fest, it approaches sound and image equitably and together, not separately; in this case both responding to a central score, the documenting of the same walk. It’s narrative (every straight line has a beginning, middle and end) and representational and so a good counter-point to more abstract work, and it opens up the world around us to new, poetic and detailed ways of looking and hearing. Luke won’t have heard Lee’s recordings in advance. Lee won’t have seen Luke’s film.  Each has documented their own psychological response to the walk: what interested them here, ignoring what didn’t there.  Tying things up, here’s good old John Cage who, asked for a different definition of art, suggested “paying attention to the world around us, and to the life that we are so excellently living.” 

  • Audio

    Credits / license
    • Copyright © 2008

  • Lee Patterson & Luke Fowler

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0