Ross Whyte is a Glasgow-based composer, sound artist, and arranger. In 2012 he completed a practice-based PhD in Musical Composition at the University of Aberdeen where his field of research was concerned with impermanence in audio-visual intermedia and headphone-specific composition.
His compositional output often includes collaborations with artists of disciplines different from his own, including dance, theatre, film, and the digital arts.
Since early 2016 he has worked as one half of the Gaelic ambient electronica duo, WHɎTE with singer-songwriter Alasdair Whyte. WHɎTE perform new arrangements of rarely-heard traditional Gaelic songs, original instrumental pieces and original Gaelic songs. Their acclaimed debut album, Fairich, was released in 2016 and has received positive reviews and regular national and international radio airplay. Their audio-visual stage show, Fairich: Live was selected as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017. WHɎTE released their follow-up album, Tairm, in May 2019 which has gone on to receive similarly positive acclaim. The duo was awarded the Arts and Culture trophy at the 2019 Scottish Gaelic Awards. Their third album MAIM was described as “one of the most affecting pieces of music you will hear this year” by Folk Radio UK, and “ominous, with a kind of melancholic eloquence” by The Scotsman. The album was a collaboration between Theatre Gu Leòr and WHYTE and dovetailed with the theatre production which Ross composed the music for.
Ross also composes and arranges music for mixed choir. In 2016 he received a commission from the Gaelic choir Bùrach to write a new arrangement of the 19th-century song ‘Leis A’ Bhàta Dhubh Dharaich’. The choir performed the arrangement at the Royal National Mòd 2017 and were awarded the Sheriff MacMaster Campbell Memorial Quaich. In 2018 he was commissioned by Art Walk Porty to create a new work for Portobello Community Choir which featured as part of a digital app titled The Bandstand Project.
Ross most recent project sees him working on his second solo album which will feature 14 folk, piano-based tracks that are rooted in Gaelic. They are a series of variations based on melodies transcribed in Colm O’Baoill’s book, ‘Eachann Bacach and Other Maclean Poets’.
The album will be titled Provenance and will be themed around origins and lineage and what is lost and gained when music, and anything else goes through a filtering process. This theme will be present in the music but also in the artwork and promotional efforts.
This show will feature a range of these tracks, some older ones and a Q&A with Ross.