Commission Counterflows 2021

Counterflows Community Interventions

The idea of community is surely about getting together in some way. How can people get together for a festival in our currents circumstances? We can’t but we can try something different. We consulted Belfast composer extraordinaire Brian Irvine to lay down a couple of challenges, things to get us thinking and doing. The Counterflows’ Community Interventions are the results.

It has been hard for us all over the last year. Cooped up inside, watching too much television, so we decided to look at ways that we can all take part in something together. There are always ways to make music, make noise, shout out, whether that is in the house or outside next to your favourite tree. For the Community Interventions we have asked various community groups and artists to think of how to make music in different and unusual ways.

Below are a wide range of ways that participants have taken part. One thing to note is that you can and should at different points play more than one of the files at a time. Especially the wonderful Alternative C contributions. If you press a selection of these at once you will create a wonderful cacophony of sound.



Horn and Deodorant

Cornet and Human Noises
Cornet and Pillow

Duet for ring modulated bamboo flute and dog (biscuits) with squeaky brussel sprout

Tuba and water bottle

Cornet and Sea Shanty
Cornet and microwave
Trombone and Clocks
Trombone and The News
Paper cups and straws
Gwendolyn Brooks and Harmonica

Voice and swing in C
duet with monkey
duet with cat
under a table in C
In a doorway in C
duet with flushing toilet
C on tree swing
Duet dancing and soundtrack
I love Trees in C
Duet with Panda
hanging upside down C
hanging C
water and singing
Popcorn and drums
xylophone and rain
popcorn and drum 2
Not in C either
in C
voice and kettle
voice and kettle 2
blackbird and drum

Harmonica in C

voice and light switch

Ukelele on C

violin in C

Violin in C 2

voice and organ ccc

dipping and dripping


in C 2

In C 1

Glass in C

Next door's hoover in C


2 trombones in C
Cornet in C
Trombone in C
Trombone in C
Cornet in C
Cornet in C
Trombone in C

C with Coffee Machine


Tuba in C

Tuba in C 2

Tuba in C 3

Tuba in C 4

Trombone in C

guitar and bird song

Two challenges were laid down for participants:

Counterflows’ Duets (Duet noun, a performance by two singers, instrumentalists, or dancers).

Well maybe not. We would like you to think of how you can create a duet with something else, around your house, out on your daily walk or in an outside space. Maybe you could perform with your cat or dog, or maybe with a car alarm going off. Maybe you could play your instrument with the sound of the kettle boiling…anything can work. And when you do this, if you can use your phone to record the performance that would be great. It could be a video or a sound recording. And keep them short.

The Alternative Note of C

What we’d like you to do is to use whatever it is you play and to play and record yourself performing the note of C. It would also be really interesting to do this in an unusual place. Maybe in a cupboard or in your bed under the covers, or outside in the bus shelter or just out in the bushes somewhere. You can play your C in many different ways. It’s up to you. A long note. Short sharp repeated Cs. Quietly or loudly… everything works.

Groups and artists that have taken part or will take part are: Gorbals Youth Brass Band, Glad Drumming Group, Glad Community Choir, Glad Guitar Group, Richard Youngs, Joe McPhee, Angharad Davies, Steve Beresford and Tim Parkinson and Ashley Paul.