Acheulean Sounds

Robertson, Lisa

About the work

 This piece is based on the very ancient history of Devon, particularly the 350,000-year-old, Lower Palaeolithic Acheulean chert and flint handaxes from Broom, and marvels at the life that has existed within this landscape for so many millennia. It begins by imagining very early human music, including ‘prehistoric’ percussion instruments like bullroarers, sticks and stones, and the voice, perhaps, the first human instrument. Other instruments imitate the natural soundscape but then, in the order in which they were invented chronologically, each instrument joins in with the ‘human music’, as if we are moving forward through time as the music develops. However, the percussive rhythms continue throughout, conveying that, despite advancements in instruments, the essence of innate human musicality and behaviour, including the making and using of tools, remains. This continuity reflects that Devon’s landscape has remained a location for human activity throughout the passing of vast amounts of time 


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score & parts


Sample score



0m 00s




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