“…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).


NEWS


Autumn 2022. Sound installation for a historical 1840s kitchen at Colne Valley Museum.

An eight-speaker sound piece inspired by the domestic kitchen as a site of infinite histories and meanings, installed in Colne Valley Museum’s 1840s era kitchen space. Women’s voices, amongst them folk singer Frankie Armstrong, will emerge around the stone-floored kitchen, singing and speaking a single fragmentary phrase: “a million darkened kitchens”. The work aims to shed light on the historically neglected space of the kitchen – and the millions of women’s lives spent mired in thankless, repetitive kitchen tasks – evoking the lost potential as well as the dignity of such forgotten sacrifice. But rather than illustrate these ideas through direct explanation in the manner of a conventional museum display, the piece will aim 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 histories and experiences that are implied.


Spring 2022. Sound installation for Lindisfarne Castle and The National Trust.

‘Seal laments’ and other natural sounds of the Holy Island landscape – recorded by legendary sound recordist Chris Watson – will be ‘translated’ 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 and throughout the building, with accompanying objects and text. An accompanying vinyl record will also be available.


September 2021. Surface Industries I. New album out on Owd Scrat Records.

The first of 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. This collection 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.


April 2021. Paul Rooney’s videos Bellevue and Dust are featured on Film and Video Umbrella’s Watch Player, accompanied by a new essay about them by Steven Bode.