ŠUMA – Zoë Irvine & Kuchke

A sound walk with radio transmission, singing and the sounds of the woodland

Image: Carol Smith

ŠUMA (pronounced sh-oo-ma) is the word or root of the word for forest in a number of Balkan languages.

The audience is invited to come into the forest for this sound walk.

This exciting and immersive sonic experience takes its inspiration from Balkan songs of trees and forests, which are explored, extended and re-composed. These distant tales, harmonies and rhythms from the other side of Europe then inhabit this forest and incorporate it’s soundscape as part of the piece.

ŠUMA is the first collaboration between sound artist Zoë Irvine and 9 voice, female Balkan choir Kuchke.

4pm and 9pm. Meet Dark Star Lounge

The piece involves walking and standing for approximately 30 mins, it takes place on flat land, but we will be leaving the paths.

Please bring:
Decent footwear,
Warm waterproof clothing
A portable radio
A torch for the 9pm performance

Zoë Irvine is a sound artist with a long-standing fascination with voice, transmission, soundscape and listening. Recent work includes Your Voice is You, an telephonic exploration of voice analysis (dial +44 (0)131 276 2766 to listen to the piece, Aug – Oct 2015) and Democratic Resonance, her collaborative sound work with composer Pippa Murphy is shown this year as part of the Festival of Politics in the Scottish Parliament. DIAL-A-DIVA is an example of earlier work, a 24hour telephonic singing event that spanned the globe as part of Stavanger’s European Cultural Capital events and had 36,000 listeners in 24hours. Irvine also works as a prolific sound designer/ composer for film and theatre. Work includes the score for Claire Cunningham’s Give Me a Reason to Live, which will be shown at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe as part of Made in Scotland. In 2014 Zoë created the multichannel sound track for Alice Nelson’s film installation War Letters, which was part of Grid Iron’s award winning promenade piece Letters Home.

Kuchke is nine female vocalists who create polyphonic (predominantly a capella) harmonies inspired by the Balkans. They have been singing together for 7 years. Festival performances include The Insider, Knockengorroch, Doon the Rabbit Hole, Linkey Lea and the Kelburn Garden Party. They sing regularly at Balkanarama (Edinburgh/Glasgow) and have also performed in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Mostar.



Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, simply known as a Biosphere, is a global designation awarded by UNESCO to areas of high environmental quality which are valued by local people. A successful Biosphere will be a test bed for innovation and an exemplar of sustainable development where communication with the worldwide network of Biosphere’s provides new opportunities to learn from and demonstrate to others. The Biosphere is for everyone and is an appropriate concept for the times and challenges in which we live. It brings no new regulations, so its aims are achieved by people wanting to work together. It is a place where cooperation between people from all walks of life will show that a sustainable way of living is not only possible but already happening.