Chris Watson and Iain Pate

Chris Watson and Iain Pate planned to investigate a multi‐channel sound installation to be created from recording the remarkable and seldom heard conversations of ravens returning to their roost en masse. During the research and development stage Watson and Pate engaged Ecologists and Wildlife experts at Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland to scope their sound installation which utilises recordings of roosting ravens from the forest.

Visitors to the exhibition at Jerwood Space, London, were immersed in the soundscape of a Raven roost through their surround sound installation which explored the raven’s role in storytelling and the idea of the forest as a habitat.

Across three evenings in late October, Watson and Pate produced a multi-channel, spatialised, sound installation featuring the remarkable, and seldom witnessed, conversations of ravens returning to roost. Hrafn; Conversations with Odin took place in Kielder Water & Forest Park in Northumberland, with one performance each evening over the three days. Watson’s composition immersed audiences in sound over an hour and a half in the twilight, starting with the calls of distant ravens and concluding with a full raven roost overhead. The work anticipates and celebrates the return of these powerful voices to the forest, making a connection back to Norse mythology.

Iain Pate is a freelance curator and producer of arts projects, including temporary, site-specific, moving image and live performance works. In 2012 he was Producer for AV Festival, managing newly commissioned live events and large-scale installations located across the North East. Recent projects include touring The Art Lending Library by Walker & Bromwich and Market Gallery, and producing the Serpentine Gallery’s Park Nights and Curatorial Marathons, 2013 and 2014. Iain is Art Curator for Information Age, Science Museum, London.

Chris Watson is a sound recordist for film, TV & radio. He specialises in natural history and documentary location sound together with sound design in post-production. His television work includes many programmes in the David Attenborough Life series including The Life of Birds which won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ in 1996, and as the location sound recordist on the BBC’s series Frozen Planet which also won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’, 2012. Within the past decade Watson has developed his practice in visual arts contexts, finding new ways to work with and present sound in site-specific installations.