Thursday 22 September 2016, 8pm
KATE CARR has been investigating the intersections between sound, place, and emotionality both as an artist and a curator since 2010. Her work has taken her from the Arctic circle to the borderlands of South Africa, with stops in rural Thailand, fishing villages in Iceland, and rainforests in Mexico, along with extensive explorations of western Europe, Ireland and the British Isles. Her music is an eerie symphony of cracking power lines, cries of water birds and the high pitched wine of nuclear towers, Carr’s recordings trace the temporary wetlands of Marnay-sur-Seine, situated alongside a large nuclear power plant, just after the flooding of the river. New album, ’I Had Myself A Nuclear Spring’ came to fruition last year, when Carr spent a month alone in Marnay, a small town of about 200 people in the champagne district of France, about 120 kilometres east of Paris. The surrounding woodlands provided an astonishing landscape to explore. Full of mud, water, rusting machinery, old boats, logs, and birds, it is a place Carr refers to as “spectacular, eerie and ugly”. In the spring, many of the roads into the town were closed, having been flooded with water up to about chest height and the many dirt tracks through the forest were transformed into fast flowing streams.
Determined to document each surrounding sound, Carr procured a rusty bike and spent time slipping, sliding, falling and wading through bogs, ponds, surging streams and flooded fields. “These muddy marshes filled with buzzing electrical towers, corroded machinery, shrieking birds and canals feeding a nuclear complex were like nothing I had ever seen,” she notes. “Water has inundated our language. There is a watery word which can adequately serve for almost every emotional state we can imagine. The happy tinkle of a mountain stream, the drama of stormy seas, murky depths, and turbulent rivers. Water is unknowable and uncontainable – it floods and overflows, forms whirlpools and eddies. It surges, and runs away. Water leaves us to drown, float, sink or swim. It cleanses and redeems; it stagnates and threatens.” ‘I Had Myself A Nuclear Spring’ is released on 26th August via Caught by the River’s Rivertones label. You can pre-order the album now here: https://caughtbytheriver.greedbag.com/
THE LONDON SOUND SURVEY collects the sounds of everyday public life throughout London and compiles past accounts to show how the sound environment has changed. The idea for the London Sound Survey formed while Ian Rawes was working as a storeman in the British Library Sound Archive. Older members of staff still referred to their workplace by its former title, the National Sound Archive, so the website's name was a hybrid of that and A Survey of London, the book written by John Stow in 1598. The historical aspects of sound can be as interesting as its present-day manifestations, sometimes more so. Ian made his first London recordings in April 2008 and the site went online just over a year later. Since then it's grown from about 200 recordings to 2,000 and progressed from a hobby almost to a full-time project. Alongside his own efforts he’s been pleased to feature work by Richard Beard, Andre Louis, Stuart Fisher, Felicity Ford, Jonathan Prior and others. Ian gives regular historical talks under the general title of London's Lost Worlds of Sound, presenting and discussing some of the archival recordings featured in the London Sound Survey, whilst certain recordings have also been featured on BBC Radio London, World Service, Resonance FM, and BBC1 London news. Sounds from the site have also been used on Radio 4 and in audiobooks released by BBC Worldwide.
DJ NICK LUSCOMBE is a British radio DJ, having presented various self-selected new music shows since 1999 for the likes of XFM, BBC 6 Music, Resonance FM and BBC World service. His hugely engaging Flowmotion radio show has been broadcast every week on FM radio since 2000. He has also presented BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction since 2010 too.