Mark Fell’s Protomusic#1, Sage, Newcastle

Orchestration for Mark Fell’s piece PROTOMUSIC#1, at Gateshead Sage, Newcastle, UK.

The piece aims to recreate through orchestral, folk and traditional acoustic musical instruments a sonic portrait of the city. Commissioned to Mark Fell in occasion of the Great Exhibition Of The North, the work is built on a selection of field recordings submitted by members of the public through a mobile phone app. Over 60 instruments were recorded with 36 musicians from Northern Sinfonia, Program leaders, and participants from the Sage’s Folkworks, Silver and Adult Programmes, along with musicians from around the world.



Orchestration work involved spectral analysis-based written and video scores, along with aural representation and direct work with performers. Most of the recording sessions took place in Sage rooms from February to May 2018 by Mark and Sandro. Editing and post-production by Mark Fell and Rian Treanor.

The piece made use of 40 RCF HDL-6A speakers, provided and installed in Sage’s concourse space by Nitelites.

a Mark’s interview on the project for Wire Magazine




sandro mussida orchestrator
markus noisternig software developer
rian treanor production assistant
peter worth app developer


ann alexander, voice
anne ramsay, northumbrian pipes
bradley creswick, violin
chris gardiner, mandolin
clare salaman, hurdy gurdy, tromba marina, nyckelharpa
daniel hammersley, cello
dave gray, mellodian
david henery, acoustic guitar
david potts, ukulele, piccolo ukulele, taropatch
deb altman, clarinet
elisabeth coudoux, cello
jan hendrikse, moldavian kaval, fujara, arghoul, native american flute, pungi/been


joão dias, sixxen
karl d’silva, alto sax
lizzie lowe, steel pan
marion craig, trumpet
mark fell, cuica
miquel berna, sixxen
natalie reid, clogs
nigel cox, trombone
okkyung lee, cello
pedro oliveira, sixxen
peter francomb, french horn
rhodri davis, harp

rosh landa, harmonium, tumbi, tabla
ryan breen, tuba
sam partridge, bassoon, uillean pipes, whistles, irish flute, concertina
sandro mussida, piano
saulo giovannini, sixxen
sian hicks, contrabass
simon allen, prepared korean gayageum, bowed springs, sasara, kokiriko, navajo medicine rattles, hanging metal objects
steven hudson, oboe
stuart eminson, clarinet, bass clarinet
tom didlock, bodhrán, snare drum, cymbals
trevor wilkinson, tenor horn
vince taylor, contrabass
will guthrie, floor tom, cymbals, bells

thanks to
institut de recherche et coordination acoustique/musique (ircam)

paul modler at hochschule für gestaltung karlsruhe