Dawn Chorus 7th May 2017 South Walney Nature Reserve

Dawn Chorus on South Walney Nature Reserve from Linda O Keeffe on Vimeo.

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.

Performing in Walney

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As part of world Dawn Chorus Day myself and the composer Tony Doyle created a day long workshop for attendees of the Sound Camp at South Walney Nature Reserve, organised by Octopus Collective.

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.

HIDDEN Performance 2017

HIDDEN

HIDDEN

 

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.

 

 

Concert in Madrid – 12 January 2017

Cibelo Concert Space

Cibelo Concert Space

Reef (Arrecife) is a series of concerts, a monthly meeting which invites various groups or researchers of Madrid to present their careers within the field of experimental sound in their different facets: contemporary music, experimental electronics, alternative music and sound art. Each of these researchers, in turn, creates a concert by selecting a person who supports their practice and research. Arrecife lays the foundations for a broad, and heterodoxical process of research to germinate through critical listening experiences.

On the 11th of January 2017 the artist and performer Linda O Keeffe was selected by the artist and researcher Maria Andueza to develop and perform a new body of work which would be performed at CentroCentro Cibeles de Cultura y Ciudadanía Plaza de Cibeles in Madrid. Select link for info.

Arrecife_Flyer

Info translation

Linda O’Keeffe presents Score for her and My voice is still lost. Currently residing in Lancaster (UK), she is an artist and teacher of sound art. Performs installations, performances and studies on the sound landscape. Founder of Women in Sound Women on Sound, publisher of the publication Interference and president of the Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association.

María Andueza Olmedo (https://mariaandueza.org) is an artist and researcher. She works at the intersection of public art and sound creation. Olmeda has a PhD from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, she is a university professor and part of the RRS Radio team at the Reina Sofía Museum. Since 2013 he coordinates the Augmented Spatiality project.

 

Hidden Theatre project 2016

 

Explaining the key structure for composition

Explaining the key structure for composition

Currently working as the sound designer for the Hidden production with directors Annette Megs and Tom Bowtell. We are developing a production in collaboration with the 42nd Street Youth arts centre in Manchester alongside the project LiveShout.  This week we were working with young carers exploring themes, sounds, senses, sets etc., as inspiration for our final production at the end of January 2017. So far it’s been a lot of exploratory and fun work. Some documentation above of my end working with the teens to develop skills in graphic composition using iOS applications in performance. It is a tool that has worked well for me in the past when working with young people. But these teens have really adapted to the idea of turning language into sound through visual metaphors. Some nice images below of the sounding processes.  The final production will be shaped by all their input.

 

 

12 hour cycle composition keynotes

12 hour cycle composition keynotes

Sounding their score

Sounding their score

Performing with Borderlands

Performing with Borderlands

me in a hard hat

me in a hard hat

 

 

 

Writing Through and About Sound

Jesse Seay; Knitted VU Meter; 2014; Image courtesy of the artist.

Jesse Seay; Knitted VU Meter; 2014; Image courtesy of the artist.

 

I am delighted to present the fifth issue of the Interference Journal, an issue for which I was the lead editor. This was quite an intensive experience taking the lead on a special issue, since 2009 I have worked as an editor, which comes with its own responsibilities but being in charge of the shape of an entire issue is a whole other ball game. Really enjoyed the experience though, and will definitely be up for doing it again in the future.

This issue of Interference asked authors to consider sound as the means to which we can explain the sonic. Contributions to the study of sound, apart from practice-based works, are often disseminated through language and text. This is the case for most analysis or research into sensory based and phenomenological studies. There is of course a strong case to be made for text; it is the universal way in which contemporary knowledge is transmitted. But perhaps there is an argument to be made for new ways to not only explore sound but to disseminate ideas around the sonic. For example, in what way can ‘sonic papers’ represent ideas about the experience of space and place, local and community knowledge? How can emerging technologies engage with both the everyday soundscape and how we ‘curate this experience’? What is the potential of listening methods as a tool to engage community with ‘soundscape preservation’ and as a tool to critique and challenge urban planning projects? Please click here for the journal.

My Voice is still Lost (Exhibition Ormston Gallery 2016)

 

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As part of Ev&A, Ireland’s Biennale, Christine Eyene was commissioned to curate an exhibition at the Ormston Gallery in Limerick Ireland. She selected me to create a responsive work to a text, The Murder Machine by Patrick Pearse, an Irish philosopher, thinker, educator and writer and one of the leaders of the 1916 uprising in Ireland.  I found this text fascinating and appended another to it, the 1916 Irish Proclamation of Independence.  Both documents were completely unfamiliar to me, and I found it fascinating that very little of these early events in Irish history, or writings relating to them, were taught to me in school.  Responding to these texts meant thinking about what it means to be a colonised nation, and then to examine post colonial concepts. What emerged from my research was an idea around different types of colonisation.  In Ireland post civil war and independence the catholic church began to play its role of domination over Irish culture, politics, education, gender, sexuality and even thought control. This new form of social control engendered further suppression within society, and for women in particular, meant a colonisation of the body and equality.

This is a quad piece, spatially mixed using spectral synthesis applications on an IPad.

(To listen to stereo version of the work go to the RTE broadcast here, at 1hr:33min. in the presenter starts to discuss the work and then plays the total piece)

The work involved me talking to different women and asking them if they remembered learning these texts or what they knew about the rising, most said they knew very little, that it had little or no impact on their daily lives and that they felt that perhaps they should have known, like it was a blank spot in their history. To me, the further suppression of the equal rights and freedoms of women that occurred after the civil war and independence from Britain has in fact meant that we remained a colonised group whose identity was shaped by those who had no interest in our needs or rights. Though a lot has changed in the past twenty years there is still a great need for more change and for more women’s voices in the fight for equality within Irish society. This only occurs through accessing knowledge and understanding that the fight for our rights is not a new concept.

I would like to thank all of the people who contributed their voices and thoughts to the making of this work. Sheena Barrett, Fionnuala Conway, Jennie Guy, Brona Martin, Susanne Smith, Sarah O Keeffe-Nolan, Harry Moore, Scot McLaughlin, Mick O Shea, Andrew Quick, Charlie Geer, Ian Heywood, Gerald Davies and Tony Doyle. Finally a thank you to Christine Eyene for inviting me to create a work responding to the text by O Casey, it has been a wonderful learning experience.

Composing the Singapore Soundscape at NUS

I was invited by Prof Mark Joyce, a great teacher from my undergrad of many years ago, to work with a collection of amazing students for the Urban Studies Conference at NUS Yale University Singapore. Over three days we explored listening to the urban, acoustic ecology, class and gender in sound, recording, composing and performing the soundscape of place and creating a combination graphic score and sound map. The workshop culminated in their performing a graphic score, through voice, then bringing their voices into a granular synthesis application on an iPad and improvising together. So chuffed at what they accomplished over such a short period. I have a sample of their performance and images below for listening. If your browser won’t access the Soundcloud file just link directly to Soundcloud from the window below.

 

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WISWOS 2016 educating girls in sound

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The next wiswos event is happening and I am very excited about it. This time we hope to generate real ideas concerning women’s visibility in sound technology and sound studies. If anybody is interested in having a look at what it is about this time and who will be there then go to the website here, I am so glad I started this organisation and that a whole bunch of vastly interesting people came on board to help, it has been so rewarding.

LISTENING TO ECOLOGICAL INTERFERENCE: RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES AND THEIR SOUNDSCAPE

Article published in Dark Mountain Blog

Wind Turbines Spain Wind Turbines Spain

The sounds of modernity are increasingly moving into natural habitats. With an influx of technologies designed to utilise and extract material from nature, the natural soundscape is becoming masked by the mechanical and technological. This article addresses an experience of listening and recording which took place in the summer of 2015, within two different natural landscapes: the southern region of Iceland and the north eastern region of Spain. The field trip exposed a significant keynote sound within each space; a sound produced by renewable technologies. The sounds produced by these technologies, wind farms and hydroelectric power stations were significantly louder than had been expected. This lead to a personal critique of how to determine if certain sounds within a natural environment can be critiqued, even if they are noisy, because their impact on the landscape is less harmful than other types of energy technologies. To read the rest click here.