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Listen to My World: considering ‘story telling’ in sound art and music practice

Plenary Speaker
24 August 2023
16:15 - 17:00 hrs (GMT+7)

As artists we are often moved and compelled to use our practice to reflect on the challenges we, our fellow humans, critters and plants, our environment, face. How do we do this sensitively and inclusively? How do we tell stories we can only have a small understanding of in a meaningful way? I will consider these questions by looking at some of my recent work.


Listen to My World


Listen to my World is born out of an interest in listening to stories less often told, and the belief that these stories matter. The installation reflects on what it is that makes us feel included or excluded from a place or space, and proposes that listening to each other’s experiences of these spaces and places could afford us a way to be more empathetic and generous toward each other.


A Thousand Words for Weather


Jessica J. Lee and Claudia Molitor’s A Thousand Words for Weather is an audio experience that explores the connection between the environment, language, sound and silence. A group of UK-based poets of different mother tongues chose and defined ten weather words in Arabic, Bengali, English, German, French, Mandarin, Polish, Spanish, Turkish, and Urdu. These words where then translated to form a thousand-word multilingual ‘dictionary’, that proposes share language to describe our changing environment while exploring the nuance of meaning in translation. Recordings of these words became the starting point for a series of audio installations dotted around the Senate House Library in London and controlled by real-time data from the Met Office, enabling the sound to be determined by the weather outside.


“Above all, there is a soundscape. This is mesmerising and subtle. It hovers in personal headphones, tactfully contained, which are available on every floor of the library. It lingers in the stairwells like internal weather. At 1pm it emits through speakers everywhere: a sonic lunchtime each day.” Laura Cumming in The Guardian


You, Me and Everyone We Know


Over the course of a year, design studio Glithero invited friends, family, colleagues, neighbours and collaborators, into their studio’s photographic darkroom. They captured the silhouettes of their hands on vessels; an original process involving movement, light and careful timing. The result is a collective portrait, a snapshot of a community from this place and of our time. The traces captured on each of these vases carry a simple message… We Are Here.


The sound-work accompanying 100 ceramic pots takes the listener on a sonic journey through the process of creating You, Me and Everyone we Know, weaving together fragments of conversation from the darkroom, the tactile sounds of handling the vases, of moving around to expose the photosensitive surface to a fleeting light beam and music that reflects the intimacy of the experience of participating in the process.


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