Hannah Fredsgaard-Jones

Subway Soundings 

“Stay away from the subway at night!” warned my parents. Growing up near Ryparken station in Copenhagen, the underpass provided a convenient route home. Shattered glass, a hint of urine, and dim lighting characterised the path. Now, it’s been replaced by an overground footbridge and the subway turned cloudburst basin to mitigate flooding. As I delve into Sound Diaries, I’ll explore the underpasses I frequent around Oxford and the few remaining Copenhagen subways from my childhood. With the rejection of subways due to safety concerns, these passages may soon vanish from our landscape. Amidst the familiar sounds of hurried footsteps and bike bells, I wonder what deeper societal insights lie within.

During a recent trip to Brighton on a residency at The Rose Hill, I went on a trip down to the sea front. Under normal circumstances it would have been the sight of the waves that would have made my day. On this occasion however, it was the sight of the pedestrian tunnel leading to the beach that made me rip out the recording device from my backpack.

As I started walking, I realised that there was too much wind coming through on the recording. Walking backward seemed to do the trick, perhaps with the back of my ears breaking the wind before the sound reached the microphones. Listen on headphones if you want to experience the full effect of the binaural recording. Most importantly though, listen out for the passer-by telling me:“Don’t go back too much cause’ it’s the sea!”

Hannah Fredsgaard-Jones is a Danish composer, songwriter, performer, and sound artist living in Oxford. Her practice is rooted in collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to sound making. She composes, creates audio pieces, writes, and performs indie-folk music as Hannah Lou Larsen. Hannah has exhibited her works in London (Tate Exchange, The Barbican Centre, and IKLECTIK), New York (Duck Creek Arts Center), Salento (Convitto Palmieri, Italy), and Glasgow (Radiophrenia Festival). Her music has been featured on Danish National Radio and BBC (6 Music, Radio 2, and Radio 3).

Recent works include choir music for ‘Voices of Exmoor’ as part of the Adopt a Music Creator Scheme, a site-specific sound walk about Ash Trees supported by Oxford Contemporary Music, and an early years sound piece ‘Fill Your Boots’ for the Tiny Ideas Festival. She leads workshops for Pegasus, Ark-T, Music at Oxford, YWMP and she is a member of the UKNA Creative Thinktank.


Anna Jane Houghton

When thinking on Georges Perec’s instruction of exhausting a subject, to listen, and to keep listening, long after it would probably have been more sensible to stop – the humble hairdryer comes to mind. In many ways Perec’s instruction is unconsciously fulfilled by many, multiple times a week. The act of drying one’s hair involves an almost ritualistic sound bathing, as the appliance is manually moved around the head generating an everyday ambisonic listening experience of sorts. I am intrigued by the containment of the chaotic movement of air particles, random fluctuations in the pressure field and how this is partnered with an almost equal intensity of distribution over the audible spectrum – no ups and downs. The act of listening to the hairdryer at work, conjures images of a tree mirrored by its roots- the hairdryer held to the ear, chamber into chamber.

Initial recordings have toyed with the hairdryer being held out into space, through walls, and augmented by the movement of the body, the recordings were altered live using reverb and delay pedals to convey the gradual descent into inner monologue that being enveloped in such white noise induces. Experimenting with the appliances blowing onto multiple vocal recording microphones from stands at varying heights; highlighting the hair dryer as performer, as art object, as machine and listening to this simple machine, in an era when more complex machines are perpetually and relentlessly listening to us. 

Anna Jane Houghton is a researcher and artist working with sound, film and print media, investigating prepared listening spheres in the context of the poetics of materials, the fabric of memory and the sensitivity of space. Her work centres around hyper-memory-installation in an exploration of the psychological and sculptural dimensions of sound, in response to the architecture and history of the spaces in which they are installed; bringing to our attention the auditory presence of place to evoke collective memory and a plural sense of being.

Anna’s work has been exhibited internationally in Greece, Santander and Texas and nationally as part of Liverpool Biennial’s The Stomach and The Port (2021), TATE Liverpool’s An Imagined Museum (2016) and can be found in Selfridge’s&Co and LA’s Slow Down Studio.



Open Call 2024

Kathryn Tovey

Post Walk Eating

Extract from Walking with another (below) featured in Recording Life In Sound (SARU 2019).

Kathryn Tovey grew up in the North East of England, now living and working in Lancaster where she graduated from Lancaster University in BA Fine Art. She has also studied and exhibited in Bendigo, Australia and is currently working on interactive performances with arts organisation GRAFT. Her work brings together site specific performance, video documentation and installation in layered works that invite the audience to reflect on human relationships with the natural world. She is often found working outdoors with her cocreator Caleela.

James Green

Bridge Over Leyton Station
Coronation Gardens
Downsell School
Drapers Field
The New Testament Assembly

Extract from Sounding 24h (below) featured in Recording Life In Sound (SARU 2019).

James Green is a sound artist whose practise includes performance, installation and composition with a focus on themes such as duration, time and hidden sounds. To spotlight these themes, urban soundscapes play a major role in his work. James has performed and had his work showcased at Goldsmiths University, the LCM 50th Anniversary Concert, and The LCM Theatre as part of the In Surround Series. He is currently based in London, and is a recent graduate of Goldsmiths University.

Aisling Davis

Water West Yorkshire
Train Approaching
Water West
The Saga
Creature Coming In For A Look
Big Waves
Alien Fight On A Radio

Extract from Uisce (below) featured in Recording Life In Sound (SARU 2019).

Aisling Davis is a multi-instrumentalist, artist, sculptor, and writer from West Yorkshire. Her work navigates history, topography, and anthrozoology. With bands ‘Inland Taipan’ and ‘The Capoeira Band’, she has recorded at Abbey Road, composed for film, and written for orchestra. As of May 2019 she became managing director of Braille Pottery Ltd, a company dedicated to the production of ceramics for the visually impaired. Past exhibitions include: Ice-Cream for Crow, Captain Beefheart exhibition, 2017. Soundtrack: The Acting Class, winner of Best UK Feature at the Labour Film Festival, 2017. Psychedelic Adventures of Clean machine, Fabric District International, 2018. The Resurrection of Geoffrey Firming: Bluecoat Gallery Liverpool, 2018. TURF: Scale Gallery, 2019.

Hannah Dargavel-Leafe

Descending landscape
Rolling bass

Extract from Conduit (below) featured in Recording Life In Sound (SARU 2019).

Hannah Dargavel-Leafe is an artist working in sound, sculpture and drawing who has exhibited both in the UK and Internationally. She has performed at Whitechapel Gallery and Iklectik, London, exhibited at CAVE Gallery in Leeds and released sounds on a limited edition vinyl through Calling Cards Publishing and a tape through Sacred Tapes. In 2018 she was a research associate in sound at The Slade School of Fine Art. From June 2019 she will be publishing sound mixes through British Earways. www.hannahdargavel-leafe.co.uk

Recording Life In Sound

Make an effort to exhaust the subject, even if that seems grotesque, or pointless, or stupid. You still haven’t looked at anything, you’ve merely picked out what you’ve long ago picked out.

(Georges Perec; Species of Spaces; 1974)

On a rainy day in Oxford more than ten years ago Felicity Ford and Paul Whitty set up a project with the aim of recording everyday life in sound – to resist the overwhelming tide of visual images of the everyday and to meet it with the abundant soundings of vending machines, luggage carousels, toasters, escalators, boilers, garden sheds, wheeled luggage. We followed the writer Georges Perec’s instruction to exhaust the subject, not to be satisfied with a cursory glance, not to be satisfied to have identified what we already knew – what we had already heard – but to look again or in our case to listen, to keep listening, to listen long after it would probably have been more sensible to stop. That project was Sound Diaries.

This project celebrates ten years of Sound Diaries with contributions from twelve artists who responded to our open call;

We are interested in everyday sounds and sounding contexts from cutlery drawers to bus stops to self- service checkouts. Projects can take many forms but should focus on documentary recording of everyday sound.

Sound Diaries expands awareness of the roles of sound and listening in daily life. The project explores the cultural and communal significance of sounds and forms a research base for projects executed both locally and Internationally, in Beijing, Brussels, Tallinn, Cumbria and rural Oxfordshire.

We have invited twelve artists to create new projects and you can hear the artists present their work on July 13th 2019 at The Jam Factory in Oxford. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Here’s the programme:

11:00 – 11:20 Richard Bentley Sweep

11.25  – 11.45 Hannah Dargavel-Leafe Conduit

11.50 – 12:10 Kathryn Tovey Walking with another

12.45- 13.05 Aisling Davis Uisce

13.10 -13.30 Jacek Smolicki Inaudible Cities

14:10 – 14:30 Atilio Doreste Muffled Sounds

14.35 – 14.55 Beth Shearsby

15.00 -15.20 Lucía Hinojosa Forgetting 1993

15.45- 16.05 Fi.Ona SoundStamps

16.10 – 16.30 James Green Sounding 24h

16.35 – 16.55 Marlo De Lara aural investigation of everyday britain

Open Call Artists Announced

We had an amazing response to our Open Call with many fantastic and innovative project proposals – thanks to everyone who responded. The successful artists are:

Richard Bentley
Hannah Dargavel-Leafe
Aisling Davis
Atilio Doreste
James Green
Lucía Hinojosa Gaxiola
Sena Karahan
Marlo De Lara
Fiona AR Patten
Kathryn Tovey
Beth Shearsby
Jacek Smolicki

The successful Artists visited audiograft festival in March to introduce and discuss their projects and we are looking forward to welcoming them back in July to present their work and to launch the SARU publication celebrating ten years of the Sound Diaries project.

Watch this space for more information about our event in July and the publication!