Architects of Rosslyn – Natural Rites

Smugglers Cove on the River Dyfi (Photo by Gav Weaver)

Back in the summer of 2020, we commissioned 5 sound artists to respond sonically to our Tracks, Traces and Trails project themes: migration, climate, the nocturnal and the subterranean. The TTT project aims to make the invisible visible, and hopes to foster a multisensory appreciation of the natural world, to encourage us to care more for nature and our environment. This week, we’re delighted to share the results of the soundscape commissions with you! This diverse range of new works incorporates recordings of our natural and urban environments, birds, and animals, as well as sounds that cannot be discerned. The result is an exciting week of soundscapes, which will transport you underground to hear the sounds of roots growing and glaciers melting, through night time adventures of nocturnal creatures, off shore to explore how creatures in the ocean understand our land, and along the journey of a migratory path. We recommend using high quality headphones to best appreciate these works – so sit back, relax, and enjoy our beautiful planet through this sonic journey. Check back on the website for a new piece each night this week –from 16th to the 20th of November!

Natural Rites – by Architects of Rosslyn

Natural Rites is a data encoded triptych featuring endangered UK animal species and polyphonic melodies, transcribed for instruments from relevant available data.

1. A Greater Sense of Purpose

An osprey’s southerly migration from the UK across Europe to Africa. In this piece, you’ll hear our bird’s interactions with endangered species en route as well some human musical exchanges.


Logging chords (growth, mortality and harvest 1952-2016)- bittern

PercussionTwite, Lesser spotted woodpecker, Savi’s warbler, Lammergeier, Corncrake, White-tailed eagle, Marsh tit, Shag, Scaup, Linet, Hedgehog

Backing- FX Snipe, Bumblebee-hoverfly, Waterphone

Glacier contribution to sea level 1960-2015- Bittern/synth

2. The State of Nature

The threats to nature caused by climate change are manifest in this sometimes intimate, sometimes overwhelming movement, where further endangered bird species compete for our attention as data is revealed through various instruments, voice and other sonics.


Glacier contribution to sea level 1960-2015- synth

Heatwave exposure 1986-2005- Contra Bass Clarinet, Double bass, Bass guitar

Logging chords (growth, mortality and harvest 1952-2016)- synth

Global temperature 1980-2015- Bass Clarinet, glockenspiel

VocalSeaming To

PercussionLesser-spotted woodpecker, Hedgehog, Black-tailed godwit, Corncrake, Savi’s warbler, Scaup, Shag, Marsh tit, Lammergeier, Black redstart, Common scoter, Bittern, Snipe, Nightingale, Turtle dove, Capercaille, Black grouse, Merlin

3. Let Nature Rule

A meditation on what we must do to restore nature’s abundance, featuring the words of Wildlife Trust CEO, Craig Bennett, from his Birdfest online talk, amid a subtle nest of sounds, some familiar, some not so…


Words– Excerpts from Craig Bennett’s ’Why the 2020s need to be the decade for nature’s recovery’

Percussion– Bittern, Hedgehog, White-tailed eagle, Corncrake

Chorus– Balearic shearwaters

Murmuration– Starlings

Backing– Pondlife, FX Snipe, Waterphone

Let Nature Rule (Instrumental Version)

Natural Rites Triptych Seque

Acknowledgements and Credits

All instruments and production by Mandy Wigby and Howard Jacobs. Additional mixing and mastering by Lorien Edwards. Photography by Gav Weaver. Thanks to Craig Bennett of the Wildlife Trust for allowing us to use his inspiring words and thanks also to the brilliant Xeno Canto archive.

Recordists credits:

Benedict Heaney Bumblebee-hoverfly

Simon Elliot Osprey, Shag

Mats Rellmar Snipe

Leif Arvidsson Bittern

Andrew Spencer Greater Scaup 

Lars Edenius Lapwing, Curlew, Linnet, Lesser-spotted woodpecker, Merlin

Jarek Matusiak Black-tailed godwit, corn crake

White-tailed eagle, Slylark, Nightingale, Twite 

Domagoj Tomicic Marsh tit 

Stanislas Wroza Savi’s warbler

David Nayer Black redstart

Eloisa Matheu Balearic shearwater

About the Artists: Architects Of Rosslyn 

The Architects Of Rosslyn are Mandy Wigby (Sisters Of Transistors, Lionrock) and  Howard Jacobs (Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, Homelife, 808State, Badly Drawn Boy,  Toolshed, Orquesta Timbala) both of whom are professional musicians, music  facilitators and producers in their own right. The breadth of experience through their careers encompasses journeys from orchestral musician and studio tape operative, to session musician and film composer. They began working together due to a shared interest in using music and sound in collaboration with other media and art forms. Combining their skills in instrumental playing, sound and music production,  and composition across many genres, Mandy and Howard have been able to develop their music and creative responses in a variety of situations, from film and  installations, to theatre, dance and circus.  


Music/sound design for a short film/exhibition commission to commemorate 125 years of TowerBridge by artist and director Di Mainstone Jan 2020. A longer film version has been completed for film festivals and has already won numerous awards.

Live drums and keyboards for Phil France (Ex Cinematic Orchestra) 2018 onwards.  Shows have included the Roundhouse London, YES Manchester, Spectaculare  Festival Prague and Divadlo Archa Bruges.  

Phil France single “Bells” 

Founder members and music/sound designers for the interactive multisensory Sound Pit installation by Di Mainstone. The Soundpit was commissioned by the  European City of Science and Manchester Science festival, May – October 2016. It  was later developed for the ‘Supersenses’ exhibition at Bradford Science and Media  Museum 2017 and has been in residency at the Southbank Centre London from Feb  – June 2019, due to it’s success it has now returned in 2020 and is still in situ. 

Soundpit at the Bradford Science and Media Museum

April – Sept 2018. Music and sound design for the Wonderloopers installation on the  Northern Spire Bridge in Sunderland, by artist Di Mainstone. The Wonderloopers were unique bridge playing instruments, giving a voice to the  different communities dreams and hopes for the future. Commissioned by  Sunderland Culture. 


July 2015 – date. Commissioned by Delia Derbyshire Day 2015. We created a live  electronic and acoustic soundtrack called “The Waking Sleep” to 6 short films by  artist Di Mainstone inspired by the Delia Derbyshire archive based in Manchester.  We performed the piece at Home cinemas in Manchester, Leeds College of Music,  Festival No 6, Bluedot, BOTW, and more recently DD Day at the British Library 30th Nov 2019. 

Short AoR Delia Derbyshire Day Promo Film

Aug – Nov 2016. Sound design and original music with Afrodeutsche for the play  ‘Fallout’ at the Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester. 

Aug 2016. Music for Augmented Reality App created for the pioneering London  based magazine Design Exchange.

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