In 2021 Counterflows Festival commissioned musicians and writers from across Scotland and Australia to explore the intersections between language, landscape and culture through music.
The resulting collaboration has brought about a publication, conceptual album, exhibition, two part podcast series and a residency at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australia. Throughout all the work produced by artists Cass Ezeji, Madeline Flynn and Tim Humphrey, Cass Lynch, Mei Swan Lim, Theresa Sainty and Josie Vallely we see themes of belonging, voice, land and home that we are excited to be sharing with you via our website where you can read, listen and see some of this work.
Ghost Tunes is a project that was conceived by Counterflows Director Alasdair Campbell and the artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey and has been supported by the British Council and Creative Scotland.
How is language tied to landscape? What does it mean to belong to the land? What does it mean to be on someone else’s country? In June 2023 Ghost Tunes brought musicians and writers from across Australia and Scotland together for the first time in Fremantle, Western Australia to discuss language, landscape and culture as part of an artistic residency. In this two part podcast series we follow the artists as they negotiate ideas around identity, ethnicity and contested histories ahead of a one-off live performance.
The Ghost Tunes Podcast – Episode 1 : Finding the words
What does it mean to reclaim a lost language? Language revitalisation has been a part of a process of decolonisation in both Scotland and Australia, but the history of a language can be complex and contested. In this first episode of the podcast we hear from four artists from Ghost Tunes who speak minority languages. […]
The Ghost Tunes Podcast – Episode 2 : Who Are You From?
Who are you from and where is your country? In June 2023 the artists from the Ghost Tunes project met face to face in Western Australia for the first time to discuss identity, race, country and the power of listening. In this second episode of the podcast we hear excerpts from a series of conversations […]
Cass Ezeji, Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey, Cass Lynch, Mei Swan Lim, Theresa Sainty, and Josie Vallely.
Theresa Sainty is a Pakana woman, from Lutruwita (Tasmania), and is part of a very large, well-known Tasmanian Aboriginal family. Theresa has worked extensively with Aboriginal Education Services, DoE where she co-developed and provided Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training, and produced curriculum resources focusing on Pakana culture; translated script and coached actors in the film The […]
Madeleine Flynn + Tim Humphrey
Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey are Australian artists who create unexpected situations for listening. Their work is driven by a curiosity and questioning about sound in human culture and seeks to evolve and engage with new processes and audiences, through public and participative interventions. Their practice intertwines local, national and international relationships. Their current areas […]
Cass Ezeji is a singer and performer of critically-acclaimed bands Laps and Golden Teacher. She is interested in Scotland’s role in colonialism and its erasure from our national psyche. Her essays and prose reinsert black and mixed-race narratives into the Scottish context and call for accountability. She is informed by her Nigerian, Irish & Scottish […]
Cass Lynch is a writer and researcher living in Boorloo/Perth, Western Australia. She has recently completed a creative writing PhD that explores deep memory features of the Noongar oral storytelling tradition; in particular stories that reference the last ice age and the rise in sea level that followed it. She is a descendant of the […]
Mei Swan Lim
Mei Swan Lim is a practicing sound designer and visual artist whose work centres on the environmental, emotional and spiritual importance of place, inter-cultural investigation and storytelling. She is also an electronic musician who has been performing and writing under the name Mei Saraswati since 2010.
Quinie, aka Josie Vallely, is based in Glasgow. She sings primarily in Scots, with a style inspired by the traditions of Scottish Traveller singers Lizzie Higgins (1929-1993) and her mother Jeannie Robertson (1908 –1975). Quinie’s experiments with composition and vocal techniques create a dialogue between pipe music and voice. Her work has a strong sense […]
Album and Publication
Through a series of mutual exchanges and learnings, the artists created works that became a full length album and publication that was launched as part of Counterflows 2022. Here you can listen to the album and read through different chapters of the zine including interviews, poetry and research that informed the tracks.
Ghost Tunes would not be able to happen without our partners. AC Projects sees collaboration as one of the most important aspects in delivering exciting and challenging cultural projects. We were delighted to work with our Australian partners – Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey, Bureau of Works, Kat Wilkinson, Fremantle Arts Centre and PS Art Space and in Scotland CCA, Glasgow and The Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW) in Lumsden, Aberdeenshire.
We acknowledge and appreciate the support of the British Council and were delighted to be part of their UK/AU 2021-22 Season and also the support of Creative Scotland through their Open Project Fund.