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An evening of performance-lectures celebrating the 10th year anniversary of Sound Diaries – a project that records everyday life in sound. 

FRI 15/03


Old Fire Station / 40 George St, OX1 2AQ

PWYD (Pay What You Decide)

In 2008 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 satisifed to have identified what you already know – what you have 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.

"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
novelist, filmmaker and essayist

KNITSONIK: Sound Diaries in Knit + Sound

In this performance lecture, artist and author Felicity Ford will describe her current KNITSONIK practice and how her work with field recordings and sound diaries continues to inform her creative knitting projects today. Exploring daily life as a source of inspiration, she will discuss her interest in elevating and celebrating the everyday, and the joys of using knitted fabric and audio recordings as media for documenting and sharing the textures of our lives. She will describe the feminist underpinnings to her practice and the use of amplification as both a sonic and political action.

Felicity (Felix) Ford’s KNITSONIK practice celebrates the everyday in knitting and sound. In recent years she has self-published several knitting books, each of which demystifies the creative process and explores daily life as a rich source of wearable inspiration. Felix’s approach to knitwear design grows out of her socially-engaged sound art practice. Her past commissions have explored such themes as the labour behind the production of different textiles; the soundscapes of the early NHS and maternity movement; and how sonic praxis might reclaim the voices of women who have been silenced and erased from history. knitsonik.com

Bad Metropoles

Three first world global megacities from three corners of the globe. What can we learn about ourselves through listening to their variegated soundscapes? An experimental advocation for isolationism and expanded consumer conglomerates.

Neil Luck is a composer, performer, and director based in London. His practice is grounded in his classical music training, but incorporates elements from other disciplines and practices; theatre, performance, film, fine art etc. His works take a number of forms from staged music theatre works, to small scale performances, radio shows, curated festivals and recorded releases. He founded the experimental music theatre group ARCO in 2008, and co-founded the artist cooperative and netlabel squib-box in 2011. neilluck.com

Get Rid!

Get Rid! is a field recording project investigating the everyday sounding cultures of grassroots football. When Paul embarked on the project he wasn't absolutely certain what he would find. He determined to listen whenever and wherever he had the chance and to let the sound of both the presence and absence of the game - football happening and football not happening - suggest its own pattern, structure and form. Since the project began he has listened to grassroots football in Oxfordshire, Berskhire, Westmorland and Aquitaine.

To listen to the sound of grassroots football matches on parish recreation grounds, playing fields and village greens is to listen to the fleeting traces of a rich sounding culture. The iterative ritual of marking out the pitch, cutting the grass, fixing nets to goalposts with cable ties and driving corner flags into the earth. Then the distinctive practices of on-pitch communication; the whistle; the sound of football boot on ball, of the ball as it lands; the struck crack of the crossbar; studs compressing the soil, brushing the grass, slicing through the turf. Grassroots football is a game of noise, silence, presence, absence, activity, inactivity. The sounding comes in waves — building, receding. Pitches stand empty for days then startle into exuberant sound-making action.

(Paul Whitty; Get Rid!; May 2018)

Paul Whitty is a composer and sound researcher. He is co-founder of the Sonic Art Research Unit (SARU) at Oxford Brookes University. He spends a lot of time marking out white lines on football pitches and coaches at Crowmarsh Youth Football Club and Wallingford Town AFC. sound-diaries.co.uk

audiograft is curated by the SARU (Sonic Arts Research Unit) at Oxford Brookes University and co-promoted by OCM.