In 2014 Nicola Woodham strapped a voice changer toy to her face and a contact microphone to her breast and pushed vocals and crashing sounds through a distortion pedal. Embodied sound and free vocal improvisation are still at the core of her compositions. A regular performer in the London and Ipswich experimental electronic music and noise scenes, she gravitates anywhere with a loud sound system. She is founder of record label GARG. Disabled people’s rights are threaded to her composing. As are her experiences of the governance of her own anxiety condition and mobility issues. She makes uncomfortable interruptions from her misappropriated physical symptoms. Coughs and hyperventilation become percussion and walls of sound, scaling up her physical presence.
In 2019 she joined the witchy network of eTextile makers and coders, learning to hand-make sensors and soft electronic circuits from conductive threads, wool and fabrics. These sensors are worn on her body and caressed, pulled, squashed, prodded, stretched in real time to trigger and effect her vocal sounds. They function as pleasurably haptic scores that direct her vocal improvisation. These movements mimic being over-assessed without consent, over-touched, prodded and ‘collected’, reduced to a body of metrics. A solo DIY act, she controls how audible or visible she is, as a way to seek compensation for constant cycles of violent surveillance/assessment.
Nicola will perform new works in progress, funded by Arts Council England, Develop Your Creative Practice.