Tuesday 22 August 2023, 7.30pm
Blanc Sceol – 'An Ear to the River’
Blanc Sceol's performance will draw from site-specific work with the Channelsea island and river in Stratford, a tributary of the River Lea. After the bend there’s a dead end, an ecotonal community alive with self-seeded inhabitants, effluent overflows, waste waters, mud, industrial detritus, people in search of rest, tidal flow. On the island birch, alder, bramble and buddleia make slow steady progress demolishing the former chemical works buildings, young holly and holm oak forecasting the evergreen future of the land. Light, wind and rain remember their way in.
With Blanc Sceol, Ross Adams will present new footage that he shot on and around Channelsea Island, mixed with visual elements of their live performance.
Unseen Voices of an Invert Internet
In spring and summer 2022, Lee Patterson stumbled upon then began to search for and record the strange, structure borne sounds of insects and larvae within meadowlands, boglands, and brownfield sites.
Using contact microphones carefully attached to plants both alive and dead, he was able to 'plug in' to the earth, eavesdropping upon the sonic activities of invertebrates that inhabit grass, annual herbaceous plants, their root systems and top soil, where it seems that they exploit resonant and conductive properties in order to communicate without attracting predators.
After encountering and recording a variety of calls from the mostly unseen creatures, he now considers the enmeshed and entangled material of the meadow - a habitat as rich as a rainforest - to perform as a kind of vegetal insect internet where a tantalising variety of communicative yet enigmatic sounds may be heard.
In a continuation of these explorations, Unseen Voices of an Invert Internet, is a progress report from the fields.
An Awful Energy
Multi-channel sound piece mixing pre-recorded material and live elements (2023).
The Oare Marshes Nature Reserve in Kent was once used to manufacture gunpowder for the first world war effort. On 02 April 1916 a series of massive gunpowder explosions took the lives of 108 people (including White’s Great Grandfather, Sydney Clubb) and injured many more. The blast left a crater 40 yards wide and 20 feet deep. The explosion was so huge it was reportedly felt in Norwich and heard in France.
Remnants of the site remain to this day among the rich ecosystem of birds, insects and non-native marsh frogs. An Awful Energy attempts to draw connections with the past and its present inhabitants/uses of the space; the tragic consequence of a singular event and the development of a very different ecology. Through site specific recordings and actions tracing fading lines in the landscape; a sonic demarcation or archeology can be felt.
Music and Other Living Creatures is a series at Cafe OTO (curated by OTO Projects) dedicated to music about, with, or by other living creatures. Birds, tigers, chickens, insects and many other living creatures are explored through sound-walks, listening sessions, commissioned performances, live responses and discussions.
EnCOUnTERs is a series of inter-disciplinary events that reside at the intersection between inter- and intra-species encounter and the sonic imagination. Events direct attention to curiosity, the speculative as well as the scientific, and to notions of multiplicity of being, experience and philosophy surveying creative and research-based practices that reference aspects of ecology, ethology and other creature-ologies, bioart and bioacoustics, sound/scape studies, zoömusicology, ethnobotany, critical plant studies, and related fields.
EnCOUnTERs is curated by Helen Frosi (SoundFjord).
Blanc Sceol's practice has emerged and expanded through years of working together across performance, composition, participatory actions, deep listening facilitation, and somatic gatherings. They create performances reflecting attempts to expand themselves, through listening and sound, beyond their physical limits and to extend this personal/performance practice into the collective. Their compositions, interventions and performances express their experience of place, anchored in what is found in a landscape but re-imagined into new territories.
Ross Adams makes music videos and live visuals using a blend of analogue and digital equipment and processes to bring synesthetic and psychedelic elements to audio. He has worked with labels such as Hands In The Dark, State 51 and Rocket Recordings.
Through using sound recording to train his ears, Patterson has developed a dual practice that includes live performance and fixed works. By exploiting chemical and mechanical synthesis, he has created a range of amplified devices and processes that produce or uncover complex sound in unexpected places.
From rock chalk to springs, from burning nuts to aquatic life and insect chants inside plants, he eavesdrops upon and makes a novelty of playing objects and situations otherwise considered mute.
His collaborators have included Mika Vainio, Jennifer Walshe, Vanessa Rossetto, David Toop, Rhodri Davies and John Butcher, Greg Pope, Benedict Drew, Luke Fowler, Lucio Capece, Rie Nakajima, Angharad Davies, Keith Rowe, John Tilbury, Xavier Charles and Tetsuya Umeda.
His works have featured on UK television, BBC Radios 3, 4 and 6, Resonance FM and on radio stations worldwide.
He lives and works in Prestwich, Manchester, UK.
Tom White is an artist focusing predominantly on sound-based practices such as live performance, installation, recordings, composition for dance and film. He is interested in the physicality and phenomena of sound; how it can be felt by the body and experienced in architectural space. Past projects include commissions and appearances for Radiophrenia, Glasgow (CCA); BRAUBLFF (KRAAK & De Player); Whitechapel Gallery, London & Colour out of Space Festival, Brighton. Recent collaborators include Surface Area Dance Theatre, Maya Dunietz, Ben Knight, Renato Grieco and Lia Mazzari. He has performed extensively across the UK and Europe, travelled to North America and Japan and had work published by labels such as Takuroku (Cafe OTO), Glistening Examples, Vitrine, Chocolate Monk, Calling Cards Publishing and South London Gallery. He won the British Composer Award in 2014 (Sonic Art) for Public Address, commissioned by South London Gallery.