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With Tansy Davies and Michel Faber

Byre Theatre, 8pm, Wednesday 17 February 2016

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With Robert Macfarlane and Johnny Flynn

Byre Theatre, 7pm, Wednesday
27 April 2016

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Expect the Unexpected

Soundings is an experimental series of ‘in conversation’ style events, pairing leading musicians with writers at the University of St Andrews. The series continues in 2016 with composer Tansy Davies appearing alongside author Michel Faber on 17 February, and with poet Rob MacFarlane appearing with musician Johnny Flynn on 27 April, in intimate events at the Byre theatre.

Tansy Davies is a musician whose boundary-crossing curiosity makes her one of the most distinctive voices in British music today. In one strand of her work, Davies has found an accommodation between the worlds of the avant-garde and experimental rock, between - in the words of one critic - Xenakis and Prince. Filled with sounds of cracking, slapping, whipping and scraping, it is music that is utterly contemporary, inhabiting the same urban landscape as industrial techno and electronica.

Michel Faber has written eight books. In addition to the Whitbread-shortlisted Under the Skin, he is the author of the highly acclaimed The Crimson Petal and the White, The Fire Gospel and The Fahrenheit Twins. He has also written two novellas, The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps and The Courage Consort, and has won several short-story awards, including the Neil Gunn, Ian St James and Macallan. Born in Holland and brought up in Australia, Michel now lives in the Scottish Highlands.

Robert MacFarlane is the author of a number of prize-winning books including The Wild Places (2007), The Old Ways (2012) and Landmarks (2015). His first book Mountains of the Mind (2003) won The Guardian First Book Award, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and a Somerset Maugham Award, and was filmed for BBC4. His writing has been widely adapted for television, film and radio, and published around the world. He has collaborated with artists, musicians and film-makers including Stanley Donwood, Kurt Jackson and Grasscut. Robert is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Johnny Flynn’s love for telling stories has lead him to theatrical and film roles, and permeates his music. In 2015 alone Johnny starred alongside Anne Hathaway in the independent film Song One, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and he toured with Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Marika Hackman. Next year, Johnny will return with new material from his much-anticipated fourth album.

Writers aren't necessarily used to talking to musicians and vice versa, so this slight discomfort can become a real path to discovery. The best conversations/collisions are the ones that develop organically on the stage in front of the audience’s eyes. We’re expecting the unexpected.

Reif Larsen, University of St Andrews

8pm, Wednesday 17 February 2016

Tickets for Soundings: Tansy Davies and Michel Faber are available from the Byre box office by calling 01334 475000 or online.

Tickets are priced £15 (£10 students / under 25s).

Buy tickets

7pm, Wednesday 27 April 2016

Tickets for Soundings: Robert Macfarlane and Johnny Flynn are available from the Byre box office by calling 01334 475000 or online.

Tickets are priced £15 (£10 students / under 25s).

Buy tickets