A curated presentation of selected works from the Lights Out Listening Group archives. Presented as part of the ‘Chocolate Box of Aural Delights’ programme, Hearsay Festival, Kilfinane, 2017.
1) Lin Li
Title: Unvoiced – voiced
Synopsis: In 2011, in fear of calls for a ‘jasmine revolution’ in China, the sale of jasmine flowers was temporarily banned by some local officials. In the sound piece “Unvoiced-voiced”, Lin sings, with her face immersed in water, a popular Chinese song ‘Jasmine Flower’, as a response to the suppression of free speech in China. On a personal level, this is also part of her own exploration of how to attain a free voice.
Biography: Originally from Hong Kong, Lin Li now lives in Scotland. She has been making sound pieces since 2011. Being a choral singer, she is particularly interested in the human voice and the diverse sonic and affective experiences and ideas generated or communicated through speech, singing and other creative use of the voice.
Title: El Cuco
Synopsis: What does it mean when you hear a cuckoo?
Biography: Monica is a freelance radio reporter and producer and works in community media. She also finds it strange writing about herself in the third person.
3) Sarah Kenchington
Title: Pump and Parp
Synopsis: This piece was recorded on the Isle of Eigg using an adapted tenor horn, partly submerged in the tank of a hydram pump. On Eigg the main spring St Columbas well is lower than many of the crofts and they use hydram pumps to get the water up the hill. These are amazing mechanical devices that are powered by the gravity of falling water. The water falls through valves that intermittently open and close with an audible pulse. The principle that governs this behaviour is very similar to the conditions that create sound. It is a to and fro of equally opposing forces a steady but not stagnant state. The water pushes a valve open then the valve pushes back over and over. It is the same thing you can see happening when you play a horn with a balloon membrane the air pushes past the balloon then the balloon snaps shut, the resulting vibration is what you hear as sound.
Biography: Sarah Kenchington lives on a farm in the Campsies, she studied sculpture and has been building and adapting musical instruments for the past 10 years. All of her instruments are human powered, mechanically assisted, acoustic devises. Some are designed to be played in a conventional sense, like her pedal powered double ended hurdy gurdy/banjo. Others are designed to compose the music, like the Bell Tower a pyramid structure that distributes balls in a mathematical pattern. Her Flutterbox, a mechanical sequencer, generates rhythmic loops, or colour coded musical notation. In her performances Kenchington plays a semi-mechanical, pedal and pump powered orchestra, involving many of her instruments at the same time. She has performed internationally at experimental music festivals including, Suoni Per Il Popolo, Montreal 2012, and Tectonics Glasgow 2014 and also as part of theatre, radio and film projects.
4) Duncan Herd
Title: Daily Intake
Synopsis: Simulating the routine of taking daily multi-vitamins through a sonic assembly of voiced micro-nutrients complete with glitches from a CPU in overload. Are these products essential, excessive or a superstition of sorts?
Biography: 2017 graduate of Contemporary Art Practice at Duncan of Jordanstone,
Dundee. Interested in the themes of artificiality, human behaviours and
5) Tian Miller
Synopsis: A mix created from recordings of ‘Tobias’ – a Pekingese dog. Originally presented as a sound installation in the black box at Trøndelag Senter for Samtidskunst, Trondheim in 2012.
Biography: Tian Miller is an artist based in Norway. She mainly works with mediums such as textile and drawing but has more recently gained an interest in making use of sound in her practice.
6) Sylvia Law
Synopsis: The piece looks at human resonance and how our presence can be
amplified through space. Using my voice, I connect the internal walls of my
body with the external walls of the site I resonate within. In this moment, we
exchange, embodying each other through our existence; becoming one body.
Recorded at the Hamilton Mausoleum, South Lanarkshire Scotland.
Biography: Sylvia Law is a graduate from the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. As an artist, she seeks to explore the invisible relationship between internal and external space. Her work uses the mediums of performance, sound, space and sculpture.
7) Catherine Street
Title: I cast my own shadow over it
Synopsis: Work-in-progress – I repeatedly attempt to narrate the same series of loosely connected thoughts, then layer up the separate recordings so that words and phrases merge with sounds from the environment.
Biography: Catherine Street is a visual artist whose work tends to consist of layers of experience: her own body is often incorporated within an installation setting that has video, audio, drawn, sculptural, and written elements. The atmosphere is usually unnerving, tense, sensual, comical.
Title: Fearful Symmetry
Synopsis: This soundscape is a reference to the poem “The Tyger” by William Blake:
“Tyger! Tyger! burning bright — In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye — Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”
Biography: French underground artist, I fell in love with music at an early age by discovering my brother’s drum kit. After experiencing many instruments (trumpet, bugle, cavalry trumpet, guitar, bass guitar…) and playing in several bands, I decided to find and craft my own sound. Through years, I expanded the concept of ‘instrument’ to the whole physical world, and began to use all kinds of noise sources (animals, people, objects…) to create songs.
9) Jonathan Prior
Title: The last brewery in Alloa
Synopsis: Alloa, Clackmannanshire, has a rich brewing industry, but today only one brewery remains. This three minute sound piece, composed of untreated field recordings taken from within the brewery and the adjacent bottling plant, sonically traces the various stages of brewing.
Biography: Now based in Cardiff, Wales I am sound recordist working on the production of soundwalks, sound maps, and other field recording projects.
10) Zoe Irvine
Title: The Last Afternoon in Antwerp
Synopsis: An instalment from the Priscilla Tapes by Zoë Irvine. Featuring improvised
music from a live session by Sacha Chikmakov (guitar), Zoë Irvine (computer) and
Denis Kolokol (Electronics).
Duration: 5 minutes 20
Biography: Zoë Irvine is an artist working with sound. She is especially interested in
working with voice and has a penchant for found cassette tape. Zoë lives and works in
11) Nichola Scrutton
Title: Word of Mouth
Synopsis: Word of Mouth is fixed medium work that uses the human voice as
the only sound source, with the guiding inspiration being gestural phonetic
onsets and the emergence of non-linguistic vocal sounds on the breath.
Duration: 5 minutes 39
Biography: Nichola Scrutton is a sound artist and composer, with a particular
interest in using the voice as communicative and sonorous material in live
performance and acousmatic compositions; interdisciplinary collaboration; and
sound as a vehicle to explore creativity in the broadest sense.
12) Cassia Dodman
Title: Clean Sink
Synopsis: A composition of sounds describing the ritualistic process of cleaning a bathroom.
Biography: Contemporary Art Practice graduate from DJCAD. Sculptural and
sensory assemblages derived from aspects of everyday living.
13) Sarah Boulton
Title: An Echo Looped
Synopsis: I had wanted to keep an echo, so I found one that lasted for eighteen seconds, recorded it an set it to always play on loop.
The above text was sent out to one person in the body of email accompanied by an attached eighteen second echo MP3 file set to loop. The email was printed out immediately and hung in the [degree show] space with the name of the person I sent it out to scrubbed out. The print out was an echo of an echo. It was sort of like an internet performance. The viewer in the space did not need to hear the sound for the work to exist, although it exists – on loop – on my website under the link: www.echo-looped.com
Biography: Sarah Boulton was born in 1989 in Herefordshire. She studied MA Fine Art at Edinburgh University, specialising in Intermedia and looks forward to continue exploring her practice at the Slade School of Fine Art in September 2013.
14) Steve Urquhart
Title: ‘The End’
Synopsis: A riotous mash-up of endings, goodbyes and farewells… that refuses to be silenced. Produced for ‘Soundproof’, ABC Radio National.
Biography: Radio producer and sound artist Steve Urquhart creates short-form and long-form features for the BBC, the ABC, as well as KCRW’s Unfictional, In The Dark (UK) and others. He’s worked in prison radio, produces soundscapes about homelessness… and in his spare time he tells you what’s coming up next on BBC One and BBC Two Scotland.
Web: www.listentosteve.com @listentosteve