Noise Orchestra is a collective led by myself, Vicky Clarke and David Birchall. We use electronics, lights and turntables to turn images and objects into sounds. We are artists in residence at the National Media Museum with our project ‘Play The Collections’. I’ll be updating the blog with our findings and experiments, here is our Gallery interpretation video
Here is our press release/info about the residency…
What would Museum objects sound like if they were turned into music? This is the question Vicky Clarke and David Birchall, collectively known as Noise Orchestra will be answering as artists in residence at the National Media Museum.
From 11 September – 1 November Noise Orchestra: Play the Collections brings an experimental sound laboratory inspired by 1920s Russian avant-garde artists to the Museum, as part of its Light Fantastic: Adventures in the Science of Light exhibition.
In the laboratory David and Vicky will be making paper stencils based on shapes found in iconic objects from the Museum’s National Collections of Photography, Television and Cinematography, then running them through beams of light to create sounds using photosensitive theremins.
Over the course of the seven-week residency these sounds will build into a unique electronic symphony, culminating in a spectacular light and sound show on Saturday 31 October when the duo ‘play the collections’ before a live audience.
After 11 September, visitors will be able to see Noise Orchestra at work in the gallery every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and will also be able to make and play their own paper shapes at weekend workshops (daily during October half term).
The project draws on pioneering work by Russian sound artists Arseny Avraamov, Evgeny Sholpo and Nikolai Voinov, who were experimenting with ‘graphical sounds’ nearly a century ago. Noise Orchestra were inspired by the book Sound in Z written by Andrey Smirnov, Professor of the Theremin Centre at Moscow State Conservatory, which charts the history of early experiments in Russian electronic music.
David and Vicky visited Professor Smirnov in Moscow as part of their research, recorded sounds from the city that will feature in their residency, and located many instruments and objects related to early Russian electronica.
Vicky said: “The chance to visit Moscow to see Avraamov’s original graphical scores from the 1920s and play the noise machines was thrilling, we will be sampling these sonic fragments and weaving them into our soundscapes and visuals during the residency.”
David added: “Getting to see and understand how amazing pieces of Soviet era technology like the ANS synth functioned was great. The metro, trams and buses all run off electricity in Moscow so we made some amazing recordings of the hidden world of electromagnetism.”