Audiograft 2011 Sound Diaries

01 – The sound of the corridors in the Richard Hamilton Building, where a performance of George Brecht’s piece, Polishing, was taking place. The performers – Sarah Hughes and Patrick Farmer – were polishing a violin and a double-bass, respectively. Chatter, doors, folks passing by, and the exhibition launch event were also happening and sounding in the same space.

02 – The launch event of Audiograft 2011, during which Paul Whitty inserted an EBow into the piano on the top floor of the foyer, in a performance. This caused the strings inside the piano to resonate. People talking, neighbouring works and people traversing the stairs and corridors in the building may also be heard.

03 – The wind outside the Richard Hamilton Building and the slow approach to Shirley Pegna’s work, Ground Sound, which was stationed on the lawn outside the building. You can hear people’s reactions to the work and the distant murmur of traffic on the road beside the campus.

04 – Max Eastley’s talk about wind. Features wind-lore, the sound of Eastley’s Aeolian device being activated by a strong breeze, and the birdsong of early spring.

05 – Max Eastley’s Aeolian Device being activated by the wind, the wind itself, Eastley’s discussion of different forces of wind, and people shuffling around in their coats, listening to the wind, to Max, and to the Aeolian Device.

06 – Max Eastley demonstrating the sound of a very early Aeolian Device, people taking photos, some kind of maintenance vehicle traversing the car-park, traffic, birdsong, and Eastley articulating the idea that our first musical instruments were Aeolian devices, and may have been discovered through the creation and use of spears.

07 – The very end of Ray Lee’s piece, Murmur, which was playing in the Drama Studio throughout the festival. You can hear the whole piece here, but in this recording, you hear also the silence when the piece draws to its close; the buzzing, clattery sound of the electric lights in the Drama Studio being switched on; the dead atmosphere of the Drama Studio Building and the audience’s appreciative laughter as Lee explains that for the duration of his talk, the piece will not be activated as he has placed his hat over the sensor.

08 – Backstage at the Holywell Concert Hall. This recording features white noise, the sounds of folks moving about in the creaky building, foosteps, and the sound of a lone piano note.

09 – Before the Concept as Score concert at the Holywell. Creaks, rustles of music sheets, performers discussing works, and the formation of a plan re: who will get the pre-event pizzas.

10 – A description amongst performers concerning Benjamin Patterson’s “Paper Piece“. In the recording you can hear voices, questions, answers, the tearing of paper, and pieces of paper echoing in the Holywell Music Room as they are manipulated.

11 – A performer attempting to crack a nut as per the score “Orange Event Number 24” by Bengt af Klintberg. Also in the recording are the acoustics of the Holywell Music Room, the shuffly sounds of an expectant audience, and the sound of someone coughing.

12 – Patrick Farmer realising “For a Drummer, Fluxversion 2” by George Brecht, in which a pillow filled with feathers is cut open and drummed so that its contents leak. As well as the rhythmic sound of drumming on a feather pillow, this recording contains the sounds of coughs, the incidental sounds of the drumsticks clicking together, and the beep of a camera somewhere in the audience.

13 – A performance of Benjamin Patterson’s “Paper Piece” at the Concept as Score concert in the Holywell Music Room. In the recording you can hear different textures of paper being manipulated in the large, resonant acoustics of the building.

14 – Stefan Thut’s “Many 1-4” score is being performed in this recording, and some of the sustained tones which feature in the performers’ realisation of that score can be heard, along with the sounds of people leaving the concert, and a karaoke session taking place in a venue outside the Holywell.

15 – Catherine Laws reading from an Alvin Lucier score, and demonstrating how EBows use electromagnetic waves to excite the strings inside a Grand piano. The recording contains the sounds and text of reading from a book, touching piano strings, talking about the use of EBows inside Grand pianos, and using an EBow. You can also hear some very slight traces of handling as the microphone recording the sounds is moved around the piano.

16 – Shirley Pegna and Felicity Ford discussing some of the apparatus involved in Pegna’s installation,”Listening through walls”, some of the sounds which may be heard through the wall using that apparatus, and the ambient sounds around the Student Union building at Oxford Brookes University.

17 – Listening through a wall using a pint glass, to some ambient, recorded sounds which are playing through small speakers on the other side of that wall.

18 – People taking photographs and chattering during the interval, and the beginning of the second half of the evening’s Electroacoustic Diffusion Concert in the Jacqueline du Pré building in Oxford.

19 – Mark Stanley operates Mike Blow’s “Shower Piece” while Felicity Ford the sounds. You can hear microphone handling and directionality, Mike’s speakers blasting out the recorded sounds of a bathroom shower, and the hum of vending machines in the foyer above the ground floor where “Shower Piece” was installed.

20 – Efthymios Chatzigiannis’s work, “Observing Density through Standing Waves“. In the recording we hear standing waves travelling through shampoo, oil, air and water, as Felicity Ford moves around the room where the work was installed, pointing a microphone in the direction of each of the tubes in which standing waves were moving through different substances.

21 – Mike Blow’s installation, “Ceremony“. You can also hear the sound of manmade fabric rustling as Felicity Ford and Mark Stanley walk around the installation space, listening to and looking at the piece; and the sound of an Audio Technica BP4029 picking up even the slightest of hand movements through its pistol grip.

22 – “Sh*t! I Can DJ” featuring Lisa Busby and James Kelly, playing in the café area at Modern Art Oxford during Audiograft 2011. If you listen hard, you can also detect the acoustics of the space, the slight clink of plates being moved, and the sounds of someone walking across the floor.

23 – Rhodri Davies talking about his experience of quietness and focus amongst the audience the “Concept as Score” Concert in the Holywell Music Room earlier in the festival programme. Rhodri Davies and Max Eastley were preparing for their performance at Modern Art Oxford that evening, and Felicity Ford was interviewing them about that when Davies offered this insight into that Concert. While Davies and Eastley talk, the sounds of the experimental DJ performance – “Sh*T! I can DJ” taking place upstairs at Modern Art Oxford can be heard from the floor above.

24 – James Kelly introduces his set at Modern Art Oxford while the audience settle to a hush and someone puts a glass down.

25 – Paul Whitty and Stephen Cornford performing “it pays my way and it corrodes my soul” at Modern Art Oxford during Audiograft 2011. You can hear the audience and the acoustics of the space very faintly in the background, underneath the amplified sounds which filled the room.

26 – The end of Paul Whitty and Stephen Cornford’s performance of “it pays my way and it corrodes my soul” at Modern Art Oxford during Audiograft 2011 and the applause that followed.

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