Traces of Play

Ambrose Seddon

Traces of Play

  • Ambrose Seddon
  • Year of composition: 2016-17
  • Duration: 11:08
  • Instrumentation: 4-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T3026470606

To my mother and father, Veronica and Peter, who were inspirational creative practitioners and parents, and who were always so encouraging and supportive of my work.

This work was inspired by the kinds of games that I have played with my young son during his early years, using everyday objects as well as his toys. I was drawn to the kinds of play that he engaged with and the resulting sonic outcomes and processes — repeating the same thing, exploring further potentials, or trying something once and then moving on to the next interesting activity. I wanted to capture the sounds of the kinds of objects that we regularly played with, and to try to adopt my son’s spirit of play in my musical explorations; to pursue the development of some ideas whilst leaving others less developed, open to a possible return but not necessarily bound to it. Many of the source sounds are significantly transformed, yet I hope that traces of the musical play underpinning the work remain tangible from time to time.


Traces of Play was realized in 2016-17 at the EMS (Stockholm, Sweden) and at the composer’s studio and premiered on June 2, 2017 during the Klang! Festival of Electroacoustic Music in Montpellier (France). Thanks to everyone at EMS for their help and support while I was in residence. Traces of Play was awarded the 2nd prize at the 6th Klang! International Electroacoustic Composition Competition (Montpellier, France, 2019), 2nd prize in the 11th Destellos Electroacoustic Composition Competition (Mar del Plata, Argentina, 2018), and was a finalist at the Métamorphoses Acousmatic Music Competition (Brussels, Belgium, 2018). Traces of Play was selected to represent the British Electroacoustic Network’s submission to the International Confederation of Electroacoustic Music (CIME) Annual General Meeting (Beijing, China, 2018).



  • June 2, 2017, Klang! électroacoustique 2017: Concert 3, Salle Molière — Opéra Comédie, Montpellier (Hérault, France)