“…Rooney empathises and charms us into feeling the subjectivity of his protagonists. Who else but him could achieve such deep pathos with such down-to-earth subjects, methods and materials?” Robert Clark (The Guardian).
“…sound art at its least routine, imagination performing a ventriloquist’s act, speaking out of the haunted past in a borrowed voice.” Julian Cowley (The Wire magazine).
March-October 2022 and March-October 2023. Song (After Nature) sound installation for Lindisfarne Castle and The National Trust.
‘Seal laments’ and other natural sounds of the Holy Island landscape – recorded by legendary Frozen Planet sound recordist Chris Watson – will be transcribed into a richly layered cello composition created with renowned cellist Gyda Valtysdottir. This immersive sound piece will be installed within the Lindisfarne Castle music room with accompanying objects, and a projected text that will aim to ‘translate’ the seal song as a playful yet grave warning of climate catastrophe. A vinyl record will also be available in 2023.
September-November 2022. A Million Darkened Kitchens sound installation for Colne Valley Museum.
A six speaker sound piece inspired by the domestic kitchen as a site of infinite histories and meanings, installed in Colne Valley Museum’s 1840s weaver’s cottage kitchen space. Women’s voices, amongst them Susan Whitwam and folk singer Frankie Armstrong, emerge from around the stone-floored kitchen. The work aims to allow the amplified grain and texture of the voices (the sung words, intakes of breath, scrap of speech, all chopped and sliced in an echo of the repetitive tasks of kitchen work) to create a space within which a listener can contemplate for themselves the unimaginably numerous stories and experiences that make up the past.
2022-2023 Surface Industries I and II. New albums out on Owd Scrat Records.
Two albums of electronic, piano and voice led pieces themed around service industry jobs, and the transient relationships that customer facing jobs (and their associated communication technologies) generate. Surface Industries I, released in 2021, focusses on the distanced and fragile interactions of a taxi company phone operator, call centre advisors, and archived internet chat room logs, all using interviews or texts from the workers or users themselves. Surface Industries II, featuring songs of hotel maids and retail staff, is out spring 2023.