It was the Sonic Arts Network Expo this weekend. A free festival of experimental music and sound art from around the UK plus some exhibits by local artists. I was the muscle Friday lugging speakers around Tinside in the morning and then back onto the truck in the evening. Sunday was the Sonic Picnic which was to be held at Devil’s Point but due to the weather it all got moved to the New Cooperage Building in the Royal William Yard. Considering the last minute move, I thought it all went really smoothly. I was glad it got moved coz it then gave me a chance to have a good look around.
My favourite was the School of Fish Ebait which was put together by some PCAD students and Lee Nutbeam. Essentially it was a tank of water with 4 flat fish projected into it. Beside it was a pressure pad which when stood on sent vibrations into the tank that “fed” the fish. What was also nice about it was the at the other end was another vibration device that was networked to a real feeding device in a tank at the National Aquarium so that when the real fish were fed, so were the projected ones. Pretty damn cool. I also liked the Sonic Marble Run by Jon Pigott which was a big marble run that was connected to various speakers round the room. As the marble went down the rails, the sound made was amplified thru the speakers.
Of the local artists work, I liked Darwin’s Walk which used soundbeam technology and played the sounds of evolution as you got closer. And of course I liked the Digital Hot Dogs installation which Jamie worked on with Plymouth Music Zone. A hot dog stand that mixed sampled sounds recorded earlier of Janners. The uni was there as well in the shape of Chris Speed with the Silence of the Lands project. If you visit the website, you can even listen to a recording of the Digital Hot Dog stand.
This was a cracking event and it was nice to see something like it in Plymouth.
…whatever will be will be
We’re going to Wem-ber-lee
Que sera sera
…we’ll keep the green flag flying high
Set a course for Wem-ber-lee
We’ll keep the green flag flying high
…we’re the famous Plymouth Argyle and we’re going to Wem-ber-lee
Along with Jamie, Steve, Becky and Justin, I did another v-mob workshop today which was the second one as part of the Respect Festival. We were tucked away up on a balcony in the Guildhall but despite that, it still went really well. I did have a couple of problems with a kid throwing himself down the stairs and another forgetting that he had asthma when asked if he would take part in some fitness tests, and then collapsing whilst having a bit of an attack but I guess I just bring that sort of thing out in people. I didn’t really get to see much of the stuff going on but people who did the workshop seemed to have good things to say about it so I guess it was a success. But, the highlight of the day has got to be seeing Romain Larrieu, Lilian Nalis and Anthony Barness. They were sat on the stairs behind us watching the videos from the Efford workshop. After getting over the initial shock of seeing them, I was gonna ask them if they would like to take part in the workshop but we got a bit busy. Fortunately, Tom was there at the time with his mate doing a workshop with us so he went up and asked for their autographs.
Anyways, I think the videos will be put on the v-mob mini site but you might need to give it a couple of days for them to be loaded up. Below is some footage of the opening procession I managed to shoot before we got underway.
Oh yeah, and Argyle drew with Sheffield United.
Since moving back to Plymouth, I’ve
takne taken a bit more of an interest in its history than I ever did when I was growing up. I always knew that the city had a hard time during the war as my parents grew up during it in Devonport and used to tell me stories of what it was like. So it was interesting to read in the Herald of a how someone surrived a direct hit on an airraid shelter in Portland Square. I must have walked past the building maybe at least once a day and never knew anything about the history of that area. I didn’t even know that there’s a bench with a plaque on it in remembrance but eventually managed to track it down. It doesn’t seem much of a way to remember the killing of 76 ordinary people. Surely the city (or maybe the university) can do better than that.