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.
Had our first meeting with the guys from Stoke Damerel today. Hugh and I are teamed up with a couple of year 10 music students. There weren’t a lot of ideas flying around but it was really just a meet and greet meeting to be fair. We’re gonna be taking a field trip to the Prince William Yard in a few weeks to have a look around and get some inspiration for a bit of brainstorming.