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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, 7.30pm

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 I started I wasn't absolutely certain what I would find. I determined to listen whenever and wherever I 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. I have listened to grassroots football in Oxfordshire, Berskhire, Westmorland and Aquitaine. I paused to listen to the sounding evidence of football seeping out across fields and lanes and then meeting with the calls of treetop rooks; the thud of the bird-scarer; the sounds of agricultural industry and running water; of children playing; of the shimmering white noise of tyres on asphalt. What I did know when I began was that grassroots football has a distinctive series of linguistic codes that determine how players, coaches, substitutes, match officials and spectators communicate. And I knew that the material culture of these parish recreation grounds, playing fields and village greens - their dugouts, benches, pitch side barriers, scoreboards, corner flags, goalposts and tea kiosks - articulate an ensemble of sound-making actions.

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

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: Sound Diaries are looking for participants to document the sounds of everyday life. We are interested in everyday sounds and sounding contexts from cutlery drawers to bus stops to self-service checkouts. Is that you? Apply here. Deadline 28 February.

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