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.
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.
In his solo work, Ross has most recently been focusing on the musicality of language. In June 2018, he participated in a month-long arts residency at Arteles Creative Centre in Finland where he developed a methodology for analysing and transcribing the spoken word of different languages. His most recent project, Canto, is a dance theatre work which combines Polari with various cant languages and Scottish Gaelic.
Ross is currently working on a new solo album.
Photo by Calum McCready