Reel to Reel

Reed-to-Reel was inspired by the ‘polarity’ between non-acousmatic sound and acousmatic sound, and how our perceptions of sonic stimulus evolve, and change based on visual association.

The sonic material used is a combination of orchestral samples, sine tones, sampled MIDI clarinet and accordion. The Accordion acts as a blending device, connecting with the electronic sounds through it’s pure and steady waveforms, with the clarinet through the amplified rustling, airlike, ‘reedy’ sounds. The clarinet moves between alien and unfamiliar sounds, to very familiar and idiomatic material, constantly undergoing imitation and overlapping with the electronic part.

The piece moves between many different methods of interaction. At times the elements blend and complement one another, at times the experience is like acrylic and watercolour, and that contrast in density produced this consumption of the clarinet that creates a sense of drama towards the end of the piece.


Clarinet: Fraser Langton


Tom is looking off-camera and laughing. He is wearing a checked winter jacket and a grey sweater.

Tom Macfadyen From Dunfermline, Fife; Tom started playing the guitar at the age of 8. He began his compositional journey writing cheesy instrumental rock anthems and desperately finding classmates to start a band with (all with equally terrible names, his personal favourite being one called ‘3 and half men’ he’ll let you guess who the half was…). He developed a voracious appetite for cool sounds, whether it be from playing in jazz bands to producing EDM tracks in his bedroom.

Tom was fortunate enough to work with some brilliant teachers, instrumentalists, and filmmakers who gave him a broad range of inspirations to draw from. And when everyone was at home, he was delighted to be a part of an ever-thriving community of artists and musicians who he continued to work with. In short, he’s just happy to be a part of it, and can’t wait for the pending artistic renaissance to sweep him off his feet.

Tom’s recent works have included collaborations with fellow RCS students like Jessica Paris on the work “Coloured” (2021) broadcast on a live zoom broadcast in February this year. He has also composed pieces for film, working alongside young film makers and attending film festivals. Tom is also passionate about visual arts, and current projects are looking at blending his love of sound and art together – resulting in various degrees of success thus far…