Oor Scintilla are Louisa Love and Clive McLachlan Powell, an Edinburgh-based contemporary artist duo working experimentally in sound, music, performance and sculptural practices. They produce environmentally-responsive audio works ‘which seek to foreground the physical poetics of sound, place and the human voice’.
The team were particularly keen to record infrasonic frequencies occurring in nature, such as those found in wind and other elemental sounds, and closer sounds such as the depth of a cat's purr.
A solution was found with the exceptionally high output level and low noise offered by the MBC 603, KA100DK and KA1100K mic capsules from MBHO GmbH Mikrofonbau Haun. More commonly known as MB who Canford has been representing in the UK since 1989, the German manufacturer is known for its exceptionally high-quality microphones which remain largely (95%) handmade.
Available from Canford, the MB range includes both detachable and non-detachable capsule studio condenser microphones, ultra-linear ‘measurement’ microphones, plus boundary layer designs – all offering both excellent performance and value for money.
The MB MBC603 is suitable for the most demanding low level pickup applications, yet the maximum sound pressure level is more than 130dB. Equivalent noise levels of 12 to 16dBA SPL assure that the microphone will faithfully reproduce the quietest passages without contributing significantly to the noise in the recording – ideal for Oor Scintilla!
"I'm delighted with the MB Haun mics and thanks for all your help with the purchase. Canford are friendly and have helped us achieve the sound we are looking for. I definitely will come back to Canford in future!”
Clive McLachlan Powel, Oor Scintilla
Oor Scintilla are currently working as part of a community archaeology project and have recorded audio for a collection of sound pieces inspired by the archaeology and sensory experiences of the Whiteadder valley. Their process emphasises material directness alongside linguistic obscurity, “working improvisationally” with objects, environments, instruments, electronics, bodies and vocal performance with reference to ancient folk origins.
More information about MB microphones is available here.