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Lunchtime talk write-up
Posted on Tue 12 Dec 2017


Introducing our Artist in Residence duos: NOISE Orchestra

This October 2017 we’ve had not one, but two Artist in Residence duos join us in the Studio, both of whom will continue to develop their projects until February 2018. At this extra special Lunchtime Talk, both Action Hero…

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Sookie Greene

Sookie was the Studio Assistant from 2017 - 2018.

This October 2017 we’ve had not one, but two Artist in Residence duos join us in the Studio, both of whom will continue to develop their projects until February 2018. At this extra special Lunchtime Talk, both Action Hero and NOISE Orchestra shared with us their projects and ambitions for the future.

Five Things I Learned: NOISE Orchestra

1. Vicky Clarke and David Birchall are sound artists based in Manchester who’ve been working together over the past two years creating sound installations. Taking the concept of the Theremin (an electronic musical instrument you play without physical contact) they began building light reactive Theremins, turning light into sound. These ‘noise machines’ can map out changes in light to create changes in sound or pitch. 

2. NOISE Orchestra were selected to take part in an arts and technology accelerator programme led by Madlab to develop noise machines that change the modulation of sound. They are largely inspired by Russian Avant-Garde graphical sound artists, which explore how can you ‘hear’ patterns and images. They have been working for a year to develop these machines and are now looking to test them out in live settings. How can noise machines be used with performers and dancers? Through workshops and focus groups they found improvisation was popular with the noise machines. 

3. At the studio their project ‘Swarm’ (working title) will utilize ten to twenty DIY noise machines taken through the city resulting in a ‘swarm noise walk’ inspired by Arseny Avraamov's Symphony Of Factory Sirens, a public event staged in Baku in 1922. Commissioned by Manchester-based Curated Place for Enlighten Bury Festival of Light and Sound, Noise Orchestra have been exploring the framing of the sound walks conceptually, considering the message and narrative. Vicky and David are keen to explore the displacement of artists as a result of gentrification in Manchester and peoples responses and ideas about noise in the city. How can noise and protests react to changing cites? How will the architecture and structure of the buildings change the sounds? 

4. NOISE Orchestra will be taking Swarm to three light festivals including SPECTRA, Rome Media Art Festival  and Article Biennial in 2018. In the meantime, they will be experimenting with interaction with audience and experience and the methodology behind location choices. Vicky and David have been testing the machines in Bristol, thinking about how the time of the day, how places are lit, political historical and public spaces will affect the experience. Places can be more interesting sonically, these are all these NOISE Orchestra have to consider when choosing a location. Found a few locations they found interesting in Bristol including Bear Pit. 

5. Vicky and David use a small sampler to record a small sample of noise and a noise generator play it back out. NOISE Orchestra have been developing a 3D print sculpture to house the electronics and the speaker, and in their next phase of development, they will be looking for participants to test out sound walks with them.