SLEEPSTATES.NET: networked dream-intermissions throughout lockdown  Remote Residency, Manchester International Festival 2020

ABOUT_ SLEEPSTATES.NET is a work-in-progress browser based artwork where the user enters a virtual environment and navigates between different sleep states; a series of audio-visual moments capturing cyclical feelings of inertia, anxiety and online perpetuity experienced under lockdown. These networked dream-intermissions depict our quietly incremental machine addiction, these late night silent boundaries of questionable consent where algorithmic agents threaten to encroach on our states of sleep; our final autonomous, un-trackable human slumber space.

The sleep states will be realised using newly acquired ‘isolation skills’, learnt via online tutorials of HTML, Three.js and JavaScript programming languages; creatively exploring my theoretical and technical research into neural networks, machine learning and the ethics of training datasets. The sleep state art-work will develop in content, narrative and complexity relative to the developmental acquisition of creative coding skills during the remote residency. The work will be available in your browser at some point … in the near future ………………………………………………………

Opening screen featuring Pink Moon April 2020 visualisation_ generated by Machine Learning StyleGAN trained on 480 found internet images of April pink moon uploads.



Life on lockdown has disbanded all regular structures, routines and sense of time. We’re living in free_fall, whether working from home, the melding of weekdays and weekends, clocks going forward or simple concepts like bed_time. Our view of the future and the past has changed, this current condition seems hazy and perpetual with no end in sight; a cyclical recurring state where we are ‘on the cusp’ … of something. One thing is certain, our undeniable proximity to our computers and their hold over us.

Pink Moon explorations in latent space, machine learning experiments, April 2020 

Adding to our sense of inertia, we’re endlessly scrolling through the noise of social media, riding the rolling 24-hr apocalyptic news and witnessing daily governmental briefings where experts (yes they’re back) share data visualisations from outside reality. Sleep is so important to our sense of time, pace and regularity. It’s one of the structures we haven’t lost in this crisis, yet we’re struggling to sleep, sleeping too much, sleeping at unorthodox times or feeling inexplicable tiredness. Machines are systematically encroaching on our states of sleep, what can we do?

///// Dreams become days ///// Days become dreams ///// Zeros become onessssss…………

To try and make sense of this societal free_fall and as counter to the mass of data and statistics, SleepStates will document these changing emotions and mental states as we navigate through this intermission. will collate this audio-visual content in an interactive online artwork that recurs the grammar of early net art and occurs contemporary digital surveillance tactics, seeking to reflect on our feelings of being online and displaced, connected yet remote, subjects ‘with’ complicity and the state of being in-between time.


Neural Network Architecture for AURA_MACHINE c. 2020

SONAMB corp. is a speculative AI startup who (as it will become clear) is powering the SleepStates interface. Whilst the user innocently navigates the different SleepStates experiencing a variety of sonic emotions, Sonamb is quietly extracting the user’s cognitive particulates,  collating the sonic-spatial-spectral frequencies of your auditory dreams to submit to a vast SleepState dataset. Developers are at the ready to beta test a ‘brand new for 2020’ convnet for forthcoming AURA_MACHINE;  a deep learning algorithm that will compute, predict and broadcast live sonic dream intermissions direct to your auditory cortex, in multichannel, for f(r)ee …. whilst you’re sleeping.


For the project i’m learning HTML and CSS to create web content and styling for the different sleep states combined with P5.js and Three.js for interactive and 3D visual content. Sound design experiments and sketches will be shared to my soundcloud and combined with the navigable states as they develop. Cyclical narratives and interactivity will be completed before the site is hosted and available on the net.


BACKGROUND ML_RESEARCH is a real time work-in-progress methodology to creatively explore my current research in music and machine learning and pursuit to develop my technical and conceptual understanding of this field. In 2019, I participated in the ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Artificial Intelligence’ programme at CTM festival, Berlin followed by further research into Wekinator ML with Dr Rebecca Fiebrink as part of ‘Decoding DIY’ 2019 from Live Art Development Agency/HOME. This year in March 2020 I undertook a creative research trip to Moscow and St Petersburg as a selected artist for British Council’s UK-Russia Year of Music, meeting artists and technologists working in this field including Ilia Symphocat, Helena Nikonole and Nikita Prudnikov and supported by FutureEverything, I’m currently studying ‘Introduction to AI and Neural Networks’ course at the University of Karlsruhe within the KIM ‘Critical Artificial Intelligence’ research group, led by Professor Matteo Pasquinelli, focused on media philosophy, technical history and contemporary ethics around current AI practices and societal implications.

Screenshot 2020-06-17 at 21.15.13

SleepStates work in progress features at the end of a ArtistsDIY lockdown feature I did with FACTmag

Thank you to Manchester International Festival for supporting this remote residency. #MIFCreatives2020


AIDF PART 2: BERLIN 2019_ Art/Science. AI, Algae & Make Believe







Kapitel Zwei from my 2019 creative research trip to Berlin on the Artists International Development Fund. This year Germany celebrates 100 years of the BAUHAUS with a nationwide programme of events celebrating the radical art school that transformed design, architecture, photography and art-school practice. Back in January, my arrival chimed with the opening of 100 jahre bauhaus; the light, sound and motion exhibition at the Akademie der Künste seemed a befitting start to my research into transmedia programmes in the city. The Licht.Schatten.Spuren show featured kinetic, sculptural and sonic works by Lázsló Moholy-Nagy and contemporary artist-scientists exploring the interplay of light and shadow. An ensemble of original artworks, remodelled pieces (including my favourite ‘Light space modulator’) and new commissions from contemporary artists including Christian Boltanski and Tim Otto Roth. The exhibition traced the lineage and influence of the Bauhaus upon today’s interdisciplinary artworks, and how even in the era of technological advances in AR, VR and AI, this spirit of making work at the borders maintains the potential to produce the most visceral art that depicts the culture of our times, the true meaning of zeitgeist.


A present day example of this critical dialogue at the borders of art and technological is STATE Studio in west Berlin. Occupying a new gallery space on Hauptstrasse, STATE is a ‘festival, gallery and agency for science, art and innovation who connect people with science in novel ways’. My first visit was for the opening of ‘Field Experiments’ an exhibition series showcasing provocative artistic works across the fields of science, art and society. The centerpiece of the exhibition was ‘Living Canvas’ an installation by artist and designer Faro Peluso. The piece is a giant living canvas-sized algae experiment (complete with water irrigation system), a piece of speculative design challenging the viewer to contemplate the importance of sustainable energy in cities and how algae could be harnessed in urban design to breathe air into our future cities. Faro collaborated with Solaga, a Berlin-based biotech firm to create the algae biofilm. A few days later I got hands on attended the ‘Algature Workshop’ learning how to grow your own algae biofilm and discussing Solaga’s bio-technology work making ‘living walls’; panels of microalgae biofilms that are low in energy and suitable for cleaning at low concentrations that offer potential for urban and biological air purification. Imagine a future city with giant architectural algae structures or hanging an algae picture in your front room to cleanse the air.

I met with STATE Director Christian Rauch, who is passionate about this approach to connecting artists, research and the public in critical dialogue around science and society, and is building a really dynamic programme at the space, exemplified by their new ‘Artist in Lab-Dualität’ an applied research programme where artists and designers link with Fraunhofer institutes to create and disseminate work. I kept returning to STATE during my trip for free talks and meet ups including the Disruption Network Lab and a CTM Music Makers Hacklab talk on cybernetics, I highly recommend checking out STATE Studio’s fascinating programme.




Conceptual Research Project: Programmed by CTM Festival, hosted by Art Laboratory Berlin 

Image from Helena Nikonole’s AI workshop

Led by curator Natalia Fuchs, media art historian and founder of Artypical, and new media artist Helena Nikonole who’s piece ‘dues X mchn’  explored networked surveillance cameras, IoT and sacred texts was currently on show as part of CTM Festival’s ‘Persisting realities’ exhibition, I was one of ten artists to take part in the programme, the criteria being to propose a project utilising AI. For me relatively new to this discipline it was a chance to learn about the history of AI within arts practice and gain an insight into the tools, contexts and contemporary perspectives surrounding the field.  My proposal was to create an AI performative sound sculpture that used concrete objects, sampled sound, live radio and machine learning to reflect on Walter Benjamin’s critique around the ‘cult of the original object’ in his essay ‘The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction’. 

The programme was fascinating, Natalia versed us in the role of the artist as interface and activist, using art to navigate and interrogate contemporary contexts and dynamics around AI including power and surveillance, data set bias, ecology,  control and manipulation. 










AI as an artistic field is growing so fast due to big data, computational power and ready access to machine learning tools. We discussed the aesthetics and growing field of the ‘AI artwork’ from a visual perspective and the ‘hype curve.’ In a rapidly evolving field where the technology is advancing so fast, a very real concern for artists is that of producing work which has the potential to date very quickly as the technology and critical discourse advances.  With this in mind, Natalia shared insight from a curatorial perspective where models for AI exhibitions such as ‘Open Codes’ at ZKM, and the ‘More than Human’ exhibition at the Barbican are addressing this by implementing innovative strategies for the exhibits and exhibition content to evolve over time to respond to these changes. This summer Natalia, Helena and Peter Kirn hosted Gamma_Lab AI bringing together musicians, coders, mathematicians and computer scientists with live outputs performed at St Petersburg’s Gamma Festival.

AI and music are hitting the headlines in 2019 with leading electronic musicians such as Actress and Holly Herndon exploring this field in their new live shows. I’m interested in continuing my learning from this AI course and the ‘Machine learning for sound artists’  course at Koma to develop my skills. One thing that stuck with me was the idea that artists can play a role in imagining future social purposes for AI – subverting the power hierarchies of tech companies and how AI could be a democratic source of power for the people.



Micro-dosing diaries, consciousness and collectivised communist role play in video games, just some of the topics and presentations at the ‘Cake and Conversation’ event at School of Machines, Making and Make Believe headquarters at ACUD, Prenzlauer Berg. Our host School of MA founder Rachel Uwa welcomed us to the studio space, an arts & tech den packed with equipment, books and sculptures including some giant fluffy heads from a previous augmented reality project! The attendees listened to fascinating presentations on the above subjects and discussed the themes over cake. Sounds like a simple concept, it was … and it was great. As Rachel said  “I hate small talk, let’s make time to talk about ideas and things that matter with strangers.”

A couple of weeks later I visited Rachel to find out more. School of MA has a stellar programme based around four week projects bringing creatives together over contemporary technological and societal issues, as it states on their website, ‘ Technology is fascinating but, more importantly, who are we and what do we care about?.’ Usually held in Berlin over the summer, themes have included experimental gaming, eco acoustics, data surveillance and future cities. 2019 sees the School of MA go international with their courses ‘Made in China’ in Shenzen in collaboration with SEEED Studios and ‘Future Landscapes’ at the National University of Ireland. Tutors are selected as world leaders in their field and the programme attracts participants from all over the world.

Rachel is interested in continuous learning, what we once called ‘life-long learning’ in the UK before (before our creative adult education provision was drastically cut.) Tired of one or two day courses where you learn a new skill, software platform or thematic area, Rachel devised the four week programme structure which enables the acquisition of practical skills in say coding, machine learning or AR/VR which is then applied practically through the realisation of a  creative project or collaboration – embedding what you have learnt. It also allows for a more in depth conceptual discussion and rigour with experts and fellow artists. Projects coming up include ‘Evidence’ introducing critical discourse around citizen forensics and ‘Waiting and Escaping’ on the fundamentals of spatial design. Above all you are encouraged to make believe.




I met up with my friend Rania aka musician and artist PortraitXO, who gave me a tour of Factory, a new space at Görlitzer park for creative tech startups and increasingly arts production. Described on their website as an international community of innovators – the brightest minds from tech, politics, art, and science together into one collaborative ecosystem’, the building is one of two large campuses in the city (main space in Mitte), reflecting Berlin’s reputation as startup capital of Europe. Named after Warhol’s New York Factory, this is coworking on heat with an elegant library, playground (including ball pool, sleeping pods and obligatory ping pong), exhibition spaces and I spotted people quaffing lattes sitting in dolled-up wheelie bins (true).  As members; organisations and individuals have access to network and pitching opportunities, training, skill-sharing and a whole host of social events made to aid collaboration. 

Rania is the first artist in residence at Factory and is keen to bring in creativity and art to the building in spades. When I went to meet her she was testing a new AR app on her phone made by one of the neighbouring startups, animating the environment. I first met her at Music Tech Fest Stockholm last year, listening to her talk as a music artist with synaesthesia between taste and sound. That week she was working on an audio-visual installation in the cafe and performance spaces based on this work and recently has collaborated with Dadabots on an AI/Vocal duet as PortraitXO. I’m interested to see how she continues to explore the dynamics of the communities, companies and start up technologies artistically in the space, and how the artistic and commercial innovation models play out. With interesting programming such as music tech event The Creative Code, talks such as ‘Consumed by the internet, an event on digital addiction’ plus recently launched artist open call with links to Sonar festival in Barca, things are looking sparky over at Factory. 


Here concludes my brief insight into the music tech and art-science scenes in Berlin 2019. I’ve loved the opportunity to spend a prolonged period of time in my favourite city, making music and meeting friends old and new. The streets, the humans, the machines the spirit of the place, it’s been an incredible experience I’ll never forget. 2019 also marks 100 years since the German revolution with a ‘100 jahre Revolution Berlin 18/19’, a city wide programme of events and exhibitions exploring democracy, freedom and protest.

Coming from Manchester another politically and culturally radical city, i’ve been thinking a lot about just what gives a place cultural significance and creative dynamism. I finished my trip with a visit to the British Council at no. 1 AlexanderPlatz, to share my findings and provide insight into the art scene of my home town, re-energised In the knowledge of the power of cultural exchange and understanding through art. Thank you Arts Council England and British Council for this Artists International Development Funding.

Berlin, Bis Später x 


AIDF PART 1: BERLIN 2019_Music Tech & Live Audio Visual








Driving down Prenzlauer Allee into Berlin Zentrum in the dark January winter, I felt the inexorable pull of the night city. Exhaustion was creeping in after the long autobahn drive from Manchester with a boot full of studio equipment. Sleep was beckoning but as my old friend the Fernsehturm came into view, one glimpse and I was revitalised…time to plug in to the electropolis.


I’m here on an artists international development trip funded by Arts Council England and British Council to collaborate with my host partner Hugo Esquinca from OQKO collective and research the live audio-visual, music technology and art-science scenes. As a sound artist working with DIY technologies and audio visual performance, I have always looked to the city as a beacon for advances in transmedia projects, live collaborations and new thinking.  I wanted to get lost in the Kiez for a bit and get to know the cultures and people around these electronic scenes.


20190130_192243First stop CTM ‘Festival for Adventurous Music and Art’; 10 days of performance, talks and exhibitions across multiple venues in the city. This year is the 20th edition with the theme of Persistence. For me CTM is the ultimate urban festival, championing the experimental, the underground in audio-visual art and exploring new ideas and technological horizons within the current state of music culture.  Kunsthaus Bethanien is the festival hub and home to the daytime talks series. The programme includes research networking for scholars and students and the discourse series takes the temperature of current topical perspectives within music linking to politics and society. Highlights for me were Pedro Oliveira’s fascinating talk discussing the growing industry around ‘Borders and biometric technologies’, Matt Dryhurst looked to the future of music consumption, interrogating algorithmic populism, playlists and platforms as a threat to independent music in his talk ‘ Duty, despair and decentralisation’ and Anja Schwanhäuser’s poetic talk ‘Persistence in Berlin’s subcultural scenes’ conjured up a past Berlin, “ a landscape has disappeared but in many people’s imagination this world still does exist.

With brain cells duly fed, it was time to lose a few and jump into the night time live programme.  Navigating the city, there’s a CTM tribal attitude, clocking fellow tote bag wearing festival goers on the U-bahn or braving the snowy misty streets, very much living up to the adage… ‘everyone wears black in Berlin’. From the cavernous depths of Berghain to the art nouveau splendour of Hebbel am Ufer, the venues are as much a part of the festival experience as the acts themselves. Stand out shows for me were the warped tones and live harp of Eartheater spiralling round Halle am Berghain, a visceral noise performance from Maria W Horn at Hau2 and an outer body experience at MONOM ( ‘the world’s most advanced spatial sound instrument’) the 4D soundspace – feeling sound move architecturally through the body.


I met up with Jan Rohlf, CTM Director to talk about the festival’s evolution from  ‘Club Transmediale’ the after event for Transmediale to highlight in the city’s cultural calendar. Our conversation covered spaces in the city, Berlin planning policy and citizen protests. The festival’s theme of Persistence being testament to the ability to adapt and a will to persist in championing the underground, subcultural, supporting diversity and difference and ‘embracing fluidity, uncertainty and flux’ in increasingly  polarised times. I discussed my experience as a participant of the Music Makers Hacklab for the ‘Fear Anger Love’ edition two years back, and how the MMHL closing event had been a highlight for me this year. The project led by Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn brings together 20 artists around a theme to create a new DIY performance in one week at HAU2.  This year was guest hosted by Indonesia’s Nuasonic collective. Audiences interacted in a networked phone performance and witnessed Oliva Jacks stunning visual live coding framework Hydra in action.  For me it epitomises what CTM is about, the coming together of people, communities and ideas through music technology. Jan concurred that although CTM it is known for its live acts, for him the festival is as much about the sparking of ideas, new collaborations and starting communities through shared experience of music cultures.




‘Everyone wears black in Berlin’. Vicky Clarke and Hugo Esquinca perform for ‘Presence at a Distance’ Radio Art Festival, Sounds About Gallery.

I worked with Hugo Esquinca aka DEKJ from OQKO collective developing a new live performance combining my work with materials, sculpture and DIY electronics with Hugo’s  algorithmic and textural signal processing systems within the Pure Data environment. I first met Hugo a couple of years back on a public sound art summer school at Universität der Kunst and we have followed each others art practice ever since. The live set was part of ‘Presence at a distance’ a radio art festival at Sounds About Gallery; a new space in west Berlin opened by UdK Sonic Studies department for students and events, these small independent test spaces are the lifeblood of the DIY experimental community in Berlin.


We created a generative system focused around a hacked radio, which was hit by a CV powered solenoid controlled by a pure data patch and expert sleepers module. This beat was amplified via contact mic and fed back into noise electronics and combined with the sequenced sounds of my newly soldered Koma Elektroniks Field Kit. The result was a mechanical, beat and noise based unfolding atmosphere focused around the objects, with ourselves as performers interacting at intervals with the materials – fenster shaking!




A mainstay of my trip was hanging out at KOMA Elektroniks. Famous for kickstarter sensation the ‘Field Kit: electroacoustic workstation.’ The team are based at Common Ground in Neukolln, their shop and DIY community space. Here you can peruse synths, hire a desk to build your own electronics projects and have a beer. They also have a new and superb public programme of workshops including such topics as introduction to video synthesis and machine learning for sound art. I was invited to lead a DIY Light Theremin session which ended up in a noise jam in the shop window! Evelyn Saylor who runs these programmes is creating a fantastic community here around accessible music technology sessions from both Berlin based and visiting international tutors such as electronics legend and author of ‘Handmade electronic music’ Nic Collins.


I’m interested in these models of small scale music tech start ups.  Often the people starting these companies are artists and technologists themselves who care passionately about music, knowledge sharing and open source (Koma make their synth schematics available online) . This emphasis on community is their strength and success, having a genuine passion and obsession with music tech and of course this also ultimately helps to sell your products. Another example of this is Kreuzberg based Dada Machines who create wonderful digital – mechanical interfaces such as the Automat to strike, play and syncopate physical objects.  I attended the DADAMACHINES Stammtisch, a new meetup organised by founder Johannes Lohbihler described as a ‘casual get together to talk about ideas, music technology related’.  Here I learned about plans for their just launched open platform for music hardware ‘Doppler’ and collaboration with Playtronica. Playtronica founder Sasha Pas told me the two companies were exploring educational potentials through collaboration and integration of their technologies. For me this partnership exemplifies what I love about the music technology cultural community; the ethos of DIY, openness, collaboration and knowledge-sharing rather than traditional competitive tech narratives of the must have, the latest and fetishisation of the new. It’s an ethos we embrace in Manchester with our Noise Orchestra project. Another key player is Schneidersladen at Kottbusser Tor, more than a synth shop with workshops and weekly performances that illustrate an open and experimental community spirit most  evident in their annual Superbooth festival in May. This place is an electronic synth palace where you get to play all the exhibits.


LIVE AUDIO-VISUAL EVENTS                        20190327_213430

KIEZSALON, Musikbrauerei   

I met with Michael Rosen founder of independent cultural agency Digital in Berlin, a go-to online guide for music and cultural activity in Berlin with features and recommendations. Michael is curator of Kiezsalon an event series that takes place at MusikBrauerei, the former 120 yr old Schneider Brewery in Prenzlauer Berg. I attended the first event of 2019 with Kelly Moran and People Like Us, Michael is interested in playing with the form of the usual tropes of the live electronic music experience, exploring a salon approach and atmosphere to experiencing live music with a more social dimension.  LETRA/TONE festival was another interesting concept for audio-visual programming; combining a graphic design exhibition and live music series where commissioned artists including Demdike Stare and JASSS performed live responses to graphical scores at RadialSystem on the banks of the Spree. As well as these larger events, some of my favourite gigs were at smaller neighbourhood venues such as Arkaoda, ACUD and an amazing venue called ‘West Germany’ within a housing estate at Kottbusser Tor, this space appeared to be a series of knocked through flats with cables hanging from the ceiling.




March the 8th, Independent Women’s Day is a public holiday in Germany, this year Berlin launched their ‘Frauenticket’ a 21% cheaper ticket for women highlighting the gender pay gap. Female Pressure the Berlin based international network promoting female electronic and digital artists, celebrated in the most appropriate way, with a Sunday rave, ‘Rituals’ at Suicide Circus, Friedrichshain. In Manchester I’m part of Brighter Sound’s BOTH SIDES NOW initiative, so I was keen to see what was happening in this field, The Amplify Series at ACUD hosts month long residencies for two emerging female electronic musicians who are mentored by more established artists. The outcome is a live event where both mentees and mentors perform on the same bill. I attended a couple of these events and felt this was a great model for creative artistic development. Something to look out for later in the year is the second conference and festival from the wonderful group behind DICE, I spent a lovely evening chatting to the producers, musicians and techhies at their meetup.



I’ve been refreshed by the spirit of experimentation and artistic collaboration I encountered in Berlin. The access to smaller spaces for testing out ideas, the evening meetup culture of learning ‘stuff’, and the sheer amount of music and AV events, parties at OHM & Griessmuehle all provided me with massive amounts of inspiration artistically that will help develop my sound work. Whilst there I made a heap of new music, undertook sound walks and exercises in getting lost; , working with these field recordings within new performance systems. I also learned new skills in Pure Data, machine learning and became obsessed with recording German radio station news broadcasts which in early 2019 were all about UK politics – making drones from our island’s political meltdown witnessed from abroad.

Berlin has a layered and evolving infrastructure of local and international artists,  tech startups, students, and this pace of change and cross pollination provides a dynamism (in a laid back Berlin style of course) for these scenes to flourish. Also evident are local political tensions via rising rent prices or ‘mieten wahnsinn ’ , I witnessed marches and initiatives to save the Kiez from airbnb and silicon valley-fication and increase local collectivisation of neighbourhoods. Berlin is testing approaches in an attempt to not become the next London or New York, let’s hope Berlin as a place of radical culture and ideas can do this.

In part 2 of my blog I share my experiences of the art & science scene through artificial intelligence and algae. I’ll leave you with some sounds and signals from the electropolis.



Artists International Development Fund: BERLIN

At the start of 2019 I headed to Berlin on the Artists International Development Fund, a creative research trip funded by the British Council and Arts Council England. During my time in the city I collaborated with KD EJ aka Hugo Esquinca from oqko and researched the live audio-visual, art-science and music tech scenes. Kicking off with CTM/Transmediale festivals I met up with artists, organisations and curators to learn and exchange about the cultural practices and artist communities producing groundbreaking work at the intersection of art and technology. Meeting CTM Festival, School of Machines, Making and Make Believe, STATE Studio,  KOMA Elektronic amongst others, I learned about AI, cybernetics and algae along the way as well as making connections and meeting friends old and new. Have a read below of my two blog posts. Part 1 focuses on music tech, DIY synth communities and the live AV, Part 2 uncovers the art-science scenes.

Berlin Bis Spater x

PART ONE: Berlin 2019 Music Tech, Live Audio-Visual

PART TWO: Berlin 2019 Art-Science scene. AI, Algae & Make Believe 


CTM Festival: Music Makers Hack lab

DSC_0006As part of CTM: Festival for Adventurous Music and Art. Music Makers Hacklab brought together 20 international sound artists, inventors, technologists, artists and musicians for one week to create new musical performances, instruments and concepts to be performed live at the end of the festival; ‘Emotional Invention’ at Hau2, Kreuzberg. The programme was led by Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music and hosted by Native Instruments.
DSC_0001The week was a mixture of fascinating talks on software building (Reaktor blocks), physical instrument design, graphical notation. For Noise Orchestra it was the first time we had tested the Noise Machines as collaborative instruments and within a live performance context. Vicky worked with two artists, Mateusz Radz (Poland) and Pyotr Modesti (US) to create a new composition reflecting the theme of the festival Fear, Anger, Love. I was interested in the concept of the human and the machine and keen to explore and collaborate with ways of getting human emotion into a machine and performing from within the circuitry.

DSC_0005My collaborators worked with turntables, live instruments, music production software and our final piece took raw tones known to induce certain emotional states such as 528Hz (love frequency). We created a series of sonic movements to take the audience on an emotional journey and worked with samples and found sounds and live improvisation in the final performance. It was a good test to work with electronics and other timbres/instruments/musicians in live performance to investigate mixing, eq and playability. Here’s a video about the project featuring Vicky and the machines.

Delia Derbyshire Archive: Waves Around Edges. Manchester After Hours performance

btsWaves Around Edges is a live response to the Delia Derbyshire archive housed at John Rylands Library. The piece was commissioned by Manchester After Hours as part of the live event ‘Breaking the Sound Barrier’. To develop the piece, I began research within the archive, I was interested in Delia’s ‘juvenile papers’ looking over the physics and geometry books featuring her first explorations into sound. It’s fantastic being able to see drawings of Delia’s sine waves and mathematical equations which had such a profound influence on her process for sound creation. Also in the archive are BBC Radiophonic letters and correspondence and to me most fascinating are the working notes of iconic pieces such as the ‘Inventions for Radio’ . The archive houses an extensive list of tapes which have been digitised. For the piece I wanted to reflect on Delia’s working methods, her technical processes and think about some of the sounds and objects she would have encountered in the Radiophonic workshop that informed her work. For this I want to explore the medium of tape itself, thinking about this as a material and dynamic sound source.

eveI visited Eve Studios in Stockport which has a wealth of ex-BBC Radiophonic workshop equipment and tape machines. Martin and Tom kindly let me contact mic record these working objects. I loved hearing the inner workings of the machines, the clicks and clunks of the buttons, the whirrs and spinning of the tape as it finishes the spool, all had a unique character.

tape deckThese samples formed a both a sequenced section of the performance and inspired the Tape Machine Sculpture I created for the show. The sculpture was a sonified object made of found materials, with heavy steel sections salvaged from a Salford building site. I selected the top piece due its look of a sine wave, the bow i used to play the sculpture had magnetic tape running along the length and I embedded a cassette head within the object for some rewind/fast forward action.

Vicky Clarke at John Rylands Library for Manchester After Hours by Ben Williams

ps1Other composed sounds within the set looked at sound as material including electromagnetic recordings , I wanted to get a sense of electricity, disorientating FM synthesis and also authoritarian educational BBC voices discussing the nature of sound, electricity and magnetic tape to reflect the male dominated world in which Delia worked at that time.

Here is a very short edit (live piece is 20 mins).

Thankyou Delia x


Z Sound wave Sculpture

Soundwave Alphabet jpgI created a soundwave Alphabet by recording my own voice speaking each letter of the alphabet and then recreating the wave fragments to form 3D individual soundwave sculptures . The pictures below are of the letter Z. I then started to think about  the sound of the sculpture so I used Audiopaint to convert the visuals back into sound to realise the new sonic shape and complete the circle.