As part of the Sounds Like Her exhibition at the New Art Exchange (NAE) in Nottingham I was commissioned to run a two-day workshop with 15 teenage girls from the Nottingham Girls Academy.
Over the two days the girls recorded the soundscape of Nottingham, created sound maps, learned about the social and cultural significance of sound, explored women’s contribution to music and sound art, learned how to create graphic scores for voice and electronics, performed live with voice and finally generated performances of their score using a granular synthesis application. It was a pretty busy two days, bit a fantastic experience for all. NAE were brilliant in supporting this event, providing a space and technology for all the activities and gorgeous tasty food for each day.
See below examples of the activities and work produced by the girls.
In October this year the Sounds Like Her show, curated by Christine Eyene, was launched at the New Art Exchange Gallery in Nottingham. I was one of the commissioned artists in this show which was looking to “broaden existing approaches to sound art, and contest Eurocentric and patriarchal frameworks to sound art” (Eyene 2017). My work, a four wall drawing and sound installation piece, see pics, explored the impact of renewable technologies on the social and natural soundscape.
Each wall drawing is both sound map and graphic score based on four different spaces I have explored over the past 4 years, Beijing, China, Walney in Barrow, UK, The Terra Alta Region in Spain and Iceland. The sound work a 5 .0 piece was spatialised by the composer Tony Doyle. The exhibition also featured works by Ain Bailey, Elsa M’bala, Sonia Boyce, Christine Sun Kim and others. It was a privilege to be part of such a far reaching and important exhibition. The work will continue to be exhibited till January 2018 and will then tour to other venues, those spaces TBA.
Sounds Like Her (2017), curated by Christine Eyene, produced by New Art Exchange. Photography: Bartosz Kali
Spain 15-16. One of 4 Graphic Scores/Sound maps, which will be placed on each wall in the gallery with a spatial surround sound work.
This October I will be exhibiting a new work at the New Art Exchange Gallery, Nottingham as part of the show Sounds Like Her, curated by Christine Eyene. This is the second exhibition in which Christine has curated my work and I am delighted to be part of it. In addition, I will be running a series of workshops for young girls as part of my Researching Women in Sound in a Box project for Women in Sound Women on Sound and hosting a Sound Walking and Deep Listening Day in Nottingham which will begin at the Gallery. Dates to be announced soon.
This work is based on three years researching the impact of renewable technologies on rural and natural sonic environments.
The research was triggered by an experience in Iceland in 2015 while recording the interior sounds of a hydroelectric power station. The sounds produced by this structure permeated both the interior and exterior spaces, including beneath the river, within the landscape and within my body. This embodied experience produced feelings of distress and physical nausea. In addition, this large scale structure seemed to employ few people to operate it offering no potential economic opportunities for locals within Iceland, a country now dependant on Hydro power.
This raised questions about the development of new technologies to tackle climate change, and which for a variety of reasons might not be examined for potential detrimental societal or environmental impacts. This is in part because they are seen to be better than oil, gas, coal etc.
That same year I began documenting the impact of the large wind farms of the Terra Alta Region of Northern Spain which continued into 2016. And this year I began to explore the societal impact of the wind farms in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Barrow in Furness in the UK.
Finally, this summer was spent in China exploring the soundscape of both the rural and urban Beijing Soundscape. The Chinese governments goal of being the largest producer of renewable energies on the planet lies in stark contrast to its over populated cities and high use of coal and oil in industry.
This art work represents the soundscapes of four different spaces, a combination of the sounds of renewable technologies, rural and natural soundscapes, the sounds of communities and urban noisescapes. The combined graphic score/sound map and sound work represent a composite of my time spent in each location. Although each wall is located within a different location, in total the work is an holistic representation of the non-linear way in which sound moves through a space and has an impact beyond its origin.
In January this year myself and Rebecca Collins were awarded the Research in a Box grant to develop the Researching Women in Sound in a Box on the new WISWOS website.
The Women in Sound Women on Sound organisation will be launching both the Research in a Box project funded by Lancaster University and our new website on September 7th 2017. The website was developed by WISWOS member Dr Tony Doyle in discussion with all of the contributors of the WISWOS core network and Research in a Box core team.
‘Research in a Box’ is a loanable kit aimed at GCSE or A-Level school students that fits in with the appropriate curriculum and at the same time showcases resources used by researchers. The aim is to inspire the next generation of researchers and to aid in the transition of pupils from school to University.
The RIB box developed by WISWOS is called Researching Women in Sound in a Box.
The loanable box contains a series of toolkits for would be noise makers to construct their own instrument, CD’s of women composers and publications by female academics on sound and music technology, as well as open access live coding software to install on most operating systems.
The online tutorials feature women makers and composers presenting tutorial videos on instrument building — learning how to construct the noise maker in the box, the history of women in music technology, sound engineering, and an introduction to Sonic Pi the live coding application in the box.
The online space also features interactive research spaces to explore the contribution of women authors to the fields of sound, music technology, audio arts, acoustics, music history, audio cultures, plus much more.
The physical boxes are available to rent from Lancaster University
This year I presented two papers and and an art work at the balance unbalance conference at Plymouth university. You can download the papers to read here and here.
This was an excellent if perhaps very overbooked conference, there were so many parallel sessions I feel I didn’t honestly get to see half of what was on, however, I was really impressed with some of the keynote presenters and the artworks were amazing. Plus we got to have dinner at the Eden Project in Plymouth, stunning. Met some wonderful new people and reconnected with lost of friends.
So we finally have a video reel of how the production Hidden was created at 42nd Street in Manchester, earlier this year. I don’t think the camera loves me, or at least I am not that comfortable in front of the camera, but hey there I am in my studio, woohoo. Also cool that you get to hear some of my sound designs throughout.
I’m delighted that the film maker used my music for the closing credits, the rock music that plays throughout was composed by Tony Doyle and was used for the ground floor scene.
We are all delighted that we are currently shortlisted for the Northern Soul Awards, its a really proud moment for us and all the teen carers who helped make this production happen.
SO great news for all the crew for the production in January of Hidden at The Horsefall at 42nd Street, we have been shortlisted for the Northern Soul Awards. We are listed under fringe productions here. I am so grateful to have worked with such a great bunch of creatives, and the cast were amazing both the kids and the professional actors. It was a great experience developing the sound design for a post semi-potential-apocalyptic society; building robots to take over our caring.
We also had two great reviews written about the production so if you want a read about the full interactive experience of this play check them out. (Right Click to view)
As part of International Dawn Chorus Day May 7th 2017 I began a series of recorded walks starting at 4:30 this morning, through the South Walney Nature Reserve in Barrow. There are several distinct nesting sites on South Walney which means you have very different bird sounds as the dawn progresses.
I am not an ornithologist so all I can say for certain is that I have the bird sounds of Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Greenshank, Redshank, Short-eared Owl, Eider duck, Canada Goose. The recordings were made in grassland, coastal and pond sites.
Eager ears with more knowledge than me will be able to name the other species.
In the evening we performed a new work generated by text performed by the attendees of the sound camp and collected objects.
After a brief introduction to acoustic ecology and listening methods each participant was given a listening meditation (meditation and composition). They brought this on their walks through the reserve. Later, we recorded their texts and a series of sound performances they created with materials they collected as part of the listening meditation and object collection. These were incorporated into a live coded and 3d graphic score performance, see image above.
This performance was broadcast online and performed at the London sound camp. We will have sound and images of the evenings performance to follow.
The HIDDEN immersive theatre performance launches this evening at The Horsefall in Manchester. The play written by Tom Bowtell and directed by Annette Mees explores the world of young carers.
I was hired as the sound designer for this production and found the whole process incredibly exciting. I worked with Tony Doyle to create a spatial audio mix for this performance.
You move through three floors of interactive engagement with sound, lighting and characters, experiencing worlds within worlds as you debate the potential of machines to replace carers in the future. This play asks a lot of questions about the ethics of caring and whose job it is to be responsible for disabled or mentally ill family members. A really exciting project.
Another interesting addition to this production is the use of the LiveShout application to broadcast one world of this play, the world of the carers as they monitor the journey of the audience. In this performance, it is their responsibility to ask what choices you made that concern their experience and commitment to caring. I spent several weeks working with the young carers exploring sound design and the use of applications for performance, an element of this is located online through LiveShout.
To listen in to this go to the Locus Sonus website and find the HIDDEN project at 7pm each evening in Manchester. The play runs from the 1st of February to the 11th, except Sundays. There you can earwitness this space with the teens.