The Deep Sea Light

A surround sound project from Nick Turner of Watercolour Music which aims to pull you down beneath the waves


Visit the New Site Development here

DSL poster

The Deep Sea Light is a multi-disciplinary celebration of Scotland’s underwater marine world, reconnecting audiences with a vital part of the environment that supports and surrounds them.

Arts and Science likewise work in partnership to foster a renewed understanding of this unique environment and the significant but mostly unrealised impact of humans on the underwater world.



The Deep Sea Light will place the listener beneath the waves, submerged into the world of Scotland’s marine mammals. It will be a surround sound audio experience combining convolved recording techniques, hydrophonic recordings, bio music, traditional composition, Gaelic song; supported with photography, moving image and landscape art. It will transport people’s imaginations to the edge and beyond of our marine world, providing a unique insight into the human relationship with the marine environment and our impact upon it.

The project will conclude with a live performance, and transportable fixed installations. There will also be an online presence to encourage further interaction with the marine environment, engaging new audiences in a unique and original way.

The project involves the following partners:

Nick Turner – Musician/Producer/Engineer
Mary Ann Kennedy - Musician
Dr. Ben Wilson – Marine Biologist,Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)
Capt. Phil Day- Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB)
Cathie Boyd – Theatre Cryptic
Anna Raven – Expressionist Artist

Phase One of the project involves close collaboration with the NLB  and SAMS to build a surround sound array for the convolved and ambient recording of Ardnamurchan Lighthouse along with a hydrophonic array for Sanna Bay. Collection of Marine and ambient recordings and creating the convolved reverbs for the sound design. All to be accompanied by video, drone-film and photography.

Phase Two is the recording of the seal/mermaid songs with Mary Ann Kennedy and the writing and production of the music and Bio-music along with the editing and recording of the Lighthouse Keepers spoken word. Once assimilated this body of work provides the inspiration for Anna Raven’s responses.
Phase Three will involve working with Cryptic to develop the material into its deliverable formats and to explore further performance possibilities

Scotland’s coastal and marine environments define her borders and much of her culture, but the sea remains for many people an unknown quantity, an unfixed, uncontrolled environment, often to be wary of and not to be engaged with. The Deep Sea Light aims to reconnect audiences with this fundamental and help them appreciate our impact on this unique environment.

The Lighthouse represents a portal - a way of looking at our marine world, not only in terms of heritage but also as an outlook to the future. Using sound as a universal medium we aim to create an emotional response in the audience, thereby encouraging further exploration of the world above and below the water-line.

Using a very sparse voiceover, the listener will be subtly directed towards the surround sound performances. These will be divided into four discrete experiences; Harbour Seal, Minke Whale, Harbour Porpoise and Sea Otter. Each lasting a little over fifteen minutes, they aim to convey the different aural environments that these splendid creatures inhabit.

From an artistic perspective, we aim to explore the exciting possibilities presented by bio music and convolved reverb in creating sound environments relevant to both subject and site in a way that stimulates audiences’ imaginations and helps make an emotional connection with a sense of place. We will encourage interaction with the project by e.g. creating specific convolved reverbs that will be made widely available through existing audio databases, allowing audiences to create their own ‘lighthouse world’. The performance will also be available in conventional stereo audio.

We also aim to interact with elements of traditional music and song rooted in the subject matter and environment, highlighting the contemporary relevance of songs composed by people with a deep understanding of the marine-coastal world and how to co-exist in harmony with it.