Maria Fusco: Master Rock

Ben Cruachan: a mountain that shares its name with a Celtic battle cry. Excavated by explosive experts known as the tunnel tigers in the 1960s, a hydro-electric power station was built deep inside.

Art Exhibition previously on at Artangel in City of London, United Kingdom.
From Saturday 17 October 2015 to Monday 19 October 2015

Maria Fusco: Master Rock image

Published by anonymous on Sunday 11 October 2015.
Contact the publisher.

Recorded live inside a power station deep within a mountain, Master Rock premieres on BBC Radio 4 at 22:15, 17 October, and repeated at 14:15, 19 October 2015.

Ben Cruachan is one of the highest peaks on the west coast of Scotland. In the early 1960s the ‘tunnel tigers’ blasted their way through the 450 million-year-old granite to hollow out a vast chamber for a new power station. Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in October 1965, Cruachan Power Station was a triumph of brute force and state-of-the-art technology. Storing, and then regenerating at times of high demand, excess energy from the national grid by pumping water up to a reservoir 1000 feet up the mountain into Loch Awe. It remains an important part of the national grid today.

Maria Fusco conceived Master Rock for three voices and live sound from the mountain, composed on site by Olivier Pasquet. Fusco’s narrative gives voice to the ancient granite itself, and to two figures closely involved in the story of Cruachan: John Mulholland, one of the few surviving tunnel tigers, and Elizabeth Falconer, the artist who made a vast mural inside the turbine hall to celebrate the opening of the new power station in such an ancient landscape.