PVA MediaLab at the
2010 Whitstable Biennale


audioLab 10.2:
The Language of Place
sound walks + sound symposium
Sunday 19 June [10am - 6pm]

Studio 4 + Performance Space
Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre Whitstable CT51AF

Listen to Whitstable 10am – 12.30pm
Artist-led sound walk around Whitstable
with an emphasis on hearing the environment.

The Language of Place 2pm – 6pm
More and more artists are working with sound and environment and we offer a full programme of talks, recordings and listening opportunities that focus on this unique, creative exploration of the world we inhabit.

Peter Cusack is an internationally respected sound artist, musician and field recordist with
a special interest in environmental sound and acoustic ecology. His presentation will reference the Favourite Sounds Project, Sounds from Dangerous Places, the Positive Soundscape Project and Future Soundscape commission by Chris Watson and Yannick Dauby.

Marcus Leadley is intrigued by the relationship between environmental sound and language. He will be talking about his installation, the Sounding Shore, which is also part of the biennale satellite programme.

Jennie Savage has a research-based practice which explores the place between public spaces, town planning, constructed landscapes and the human story: the lived lives and personal narratives connected to those sites.
She will talk broadly about her work including
A Guide to Getting Lost, which is being presented at the biennale.

Duncan Whitley will explore his working practice as an artist and sound recordist in relation to his investigation of the Saeta Flamenca, the religious song of Andalusia.


Introduction: Marcus Leadley

Peter Cusack

Listening session 1: vintage soundscapes – listening to the past

1. Etudes Aux Chemins de Fer (2’48”)
Pierre Schaeffer (1948)

2. Williams Mix (3’ 10” edit)
John Cage (1952)

3. Bridgehampton Road Races (3’35”)
Sports Car club of America (1957)

4. Present Time Exercise (2’33”)
William S. Burroughs (1971)

Jennie Savage www.jenniesavage.co.uk

Marcus Leadley www.marcusleadley.com

Listening session 2: listening to the present

1. Impressions of Whitstable #1 (5’46)
Marcus Leadley (2010

2. Bridport-West Bay Soundwalks
Allan Upton (5’17”), Adam Baker (5’15”) and Adrian Newton (5’34”) (2010)

Duncan Whitley www.shotgunsounds.com

Q&A/discussion (lead by David Rogers)

Listening session 3: Future Soundscapes

York 2030 (10’30”)
Chris Watson 2009

coast to coast
Saturday 19 [2.30 - 6pm]
and Sunday 20 June [10am - 12.30pm]

Studio 4
Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre Whitstable CT51AF

Marc Yeats www.marc-yeats.co.uk
Chant involves the response by a choir to a soloist’s verse. Originally this would have taken the form of a response by the congregation to the leader or cantor. In the 9th century, it became an elaborate musical form demanding trained soloists and choir. The Gradual, Alleluia, and (for a time) the Offertory of the Mass were responsorial chants.

These ‘responsoria’ became a vehicle for polyphonic settings, the polyphony being reserved for the soloists’ portions of the chant. The body of the chapel, the body of a prepared guitar, resonate. Voice, floors and doors are also sounded in response to architecture, history and ambience.

St. Catherine’s Chapel, Abbotsbury, Dorset.

‘SWITCHES’ - Matrixmix and Turbomix
ivon oates www.ivonoates.co.uk
Rampisham Transmission Station in Dorset transmits digital, short and medium wave radio from broadcasting stations internationally.

These sketches are recordings taken internally through the building, the switching control rooms and transmitter halls where incoming signals are processed and routed to external high frequency aerial curtain arrays.

Externally a matrix of aluminium ducted cable feeds with hydraulically operated switches connect when transmissions are broadcast. Below them elusive residues of sound, seeming to switch arbitrarily, can be heard.

Rob Mullender silentlight.blogspot.com
The audio is a mix comprising two types of material – acoustic, and ‘photophonic’, or light generated. Both are generated by a long-string instrument, constructed over the week at the PVA MediaLab studio.

The sounds you hear are a kind of string mediated feedback loop. The photophonic sound was generated by shining lasers across the strings and onto photodiodes. The laser-light generated is then amplified and recorded. This piece was constructed for the purposes of testing a mechanism – the ‘work’ is the audio (and video) which resulted from running this mechanism and documenting it. It is conditioned by the environment in which it is constructed, which is both a source of frustration and comfort, and is a primary attribute of many types of artworks that produce sound.

Pali Meursault www.palimeursault.net
The piece “gate(s)” was composed in residency at PVA MediaLab using location recordings from different places in Dorset: West Bay, Abbotsbury, Portland and the radio station of Rampisham. It is a continuation of research towards composition in interaction with the environment, in which predetermined walks are giving structure to the resulting piece.

The domesticated and fragmented landscape of Dorset eventually shaped this work into four fragments, between which the sound of gates keeps coming back, as a motif along the footpath.

Sound Walk - Field Recordings
Sunday 7 March 2010 - Three artist-led, participatory sound walks from Bridport to West Bay led by:

ivon oates: ‘a light touch with sonic waves...’
explores a visual interpretation of sound using marks and words to trace where and what is heard, overlapping them into a delicate, multi -layered ‘sound score’.

David Rogers: ‘human intervention’
exploring the intervention we make within nature. The natural environment accompanied by man-made sound. www.electricbackroom.org.uk

Joe Stevens: ‘everyday sounds’
everyday recorded sounds that often go by unnoticed, the location’s ambience and underlying rhythms are experienced. www.51degreesnorth.net/joe

Additional material from the sound walks by:
Adrian Newton - Marcus Leadley - Allan Upton and Adam Baker
Compositional works from recorded sounds in nature.

Participants response to Listen to Whitstable:




©images by Mandy Rathbone and Eva Bensasson