Sound Report I - The Comfort of Strangers


SoundReportCD artwork


Sound Report: The Comfort of Strangers is the first CD publication from SoundNetwork. It documents the exhibition The Comfort of Strangers which has been devised for SoundNetwork’s Autonomous Village installation at the Contact theatre during the Futuresonic Festival, 3-4 May 2008.

All the work was made by collectives, groups and other collaborations in response to the theme of the festival, ‘The Social’. It highlights the vital role of collaboration in the creation of sound art and experimental music. Access to the work is through the audio outlets integrated into the furniture in the café space of the AutonomousVillage, a unique social and creative space where artists and audience mingle to meet, create and experience sound art. And, of course, drink coffee and eat cake……

The Sound Report CD will be available for free at SoundNetwork events throughout 2008.

Please read on for further details of the tracks and artists from both the exhibition and the CD:


Kammermusik # 001

Mariella Greil & Werner Moebius

Kammermusik # 001 (engl.:chamber music) was the first public sound performance of an open dialogue between Mariella Greil (reed organ) and Werner Moebius (computer & devices). The sound performance (2005) was situated in the outline of a cube within the concert space in New York. The analogue aerophonic sounds and the computer-generated frequencies melt into interfacial oscillation elapsed into synthesis. The elongated feedback filaments meet planar acoustics of clusters and drones.

Mariella Greil lives and works in Vienna/ A and Chester/ UK: performances, tableaux vivantes, installations as well as collaborations with artists of differing media. Since 2006 lecturing at the Department of Performing Arts / Dance at the University of Chester and active in the board of directors for the festival moves: movement on screen in Manchester.

Werner Moebius works with sounds, beats and files in the context of audio culture and (sonic) art in between conceptualisms, contemporary composition, electroacoustic improvisation, electronica and pop. Generating sounds provides him the basis to develop complex compositions as well as transitive, synaesthetic and audiovisual concepts in collaborations with artists of differing media.



u n c l e j i m & Kyoko Mae

ping-pong consists of field recordings set against a composed (digital) musical backdrop.

The track is a collaboration between u n c l e j i m and a Japanese studentof the arts called Kyoko Mae. The work focuses on language and communication and utilises apparently random phrases spoken in English and Japanese. Kyoko collected these phrases over a period of time as examples of common English idioms that were, to her, intriguing but baffling.

In this piece the meaning of the phrases becomes incidental – the emphasis is placed on the experience of the words as part of an overall sound. Thus commonplace expressions are given a fresh poetic status.

u n c l e j i m is just over two years old but its members, Rob Robinson and David Goard, have worked together on art installations for more than a decade.

A shared love of music, combined with a mutual awareness of creative technology, has resulted in a working partnership that now has a single-minded focus – the production of sound in a variety offormats ranging from podcasts, soundtracks & net radio broadcasts. Rob & David come together as u n c l e j i m to create digitised music with “a fat dab of humanity”.



Simon Whetham & Matt Davies

A study of the soundsmade by swing bridges in Bristol when in operation, prompted by both artistsparticipation in the 'Atmospheres' field recording workshop, headed by ChrisWatson in October 2007, which involved capturing sounds around Westminster Bridge. Simon Whetham and Matt Davies have been invited to perform as part of'Atmospheres 2' in May 2008, supporting Fennesz. The subject matter was chosen to represent a sonic phenomenon characteristic of Bristol, where both artists are currently based.

Matt Davies graduated from Fine Art at Falmouth College ofArts in 2006. Projects include a series of audio sittings for ‘Live Art Falmouth 2007’, a sound residency researching spatial recording techniques in rural Dorset, and an audio survey of the renovation of a lido in Cheltenham. Matt also has a split 12" with Machinefabriek due to be released.

Simon Whetham recently returned from participating in the Mamori Sound Project, a residential field recording workshop based in theAmazon Rainforest region of Brazil and run by Francisco Lopez. The resultant work has been performed at Sightsonic, Sprawl and Unmeasured, featured in installations in Bristol, Luton and York and can be heard at Atmospheres 2,Venn and Faster Than Sound.


Zero Fun Biscuits

Dealing the Hand

Zero Fun Biscuits responds to and explores the personal, intimate experience that is created through sitting on a comfy chair and taking some time out. The work incorporates sounds that havebeen recorded in and around sites of social interaction and stranger association, alongside the artists ever expanding sound palette. Curl-up, make your self comfy, and listen to a chapter with an open beginning and no end.

Dealing the Hand (Daniel Barrett and Tullis Rennie) explore, (re)interpret and respond to places and spaces, memory and created experiences, and objects that enter their personal days. Day trips and night walks form a key part of their creative approach, with recordings in the field being a happy pastime that generates new sonic material for their compositions and interventions. They have a love for the sonic world that embraces their everyday and a wide eared approach to the creation of new sound worlds that can be delicate and distorted, joyous and jarred, fantastical and familiar.


Spirit Possession

Packer / Sirk / Watson / Gill / murmurists

Spirit Possession was created by five musicians with experience in wildly divergent musical practice, separated by geography, using internet file sharing technologies, in a project conceived specifically for this event. Four musicians were asked to respond creatively to an improvisation performed by the fifth; no other direction was given as to what strategies and techniques should be employed. The result is a meta-musical fusion of extended instrumental and performance technique. Thephrase ‘intuitive transfer protocol’ springs to mind.

Adurg Sirk is a session musician, guitar instructor, free improviser, sound experimenter and developing new music composer.

Ian Watson records experimental audio projects under the moniker Phantomhead Recordings and performs as a part of S>A>A>B playing alongside Richard Bowers, Jon Ruddick and Nicholas Finch.

Lewis Gill has performed as a member of Cheeky Atom,Lifebox, Psychiatric Challenge and Vivahead. He is currently composing materialfor a new collaboration.

murmurists: we are you dragging halo.

Neil Packer is an improvising musician and sound artist.


Singing Sand, Somewhere Close To Us

BirkBeck & Duffy

The Sand Project is an ongoing artistic investigation by the artists Birkbeck & Duffy into phenomen aassociated with Singing Sand. Singing Sand, Somewhere Close to Us is the first in a series of collaborative exhibitions concerned with the visual and aural re-imagining of ‘dune song’, the sound emitted by sand during avalanches.

“Somewhere, close to us, in an undefined direction, a drum was beating, the mysterious drum of the dunes; it was beating distinctly, sometimes more vibrating, sometimes weakened, stopping, then taking again its fantasticbearing." 
Guy de Maupassant (1883)

Using the language of the writer and explorer as a starting point, the works created examine this enduring phenomenon that has captivated travellers for thousands of years with its seemingly supernatural song and has sincebecome an ongoing controversial area of scientific study.

The observation of the controlled scientific experiments into the natural phenomena of singing sand, whilst undertaking a residency at the Morphodynamic Lab Paris University 7 have allowed the artists to merge thequalitative with the quantitative, shifting and intertwining the aural and visual focus in order to reveal resonances and echoes of sublime qualities ingranular friction.

Eimer Birkbeck - Manchester based Sound Artist working as a practising artist and educator. My practise shifts between sound, video and film, exchanging processes and methodologies of recording and composition. I realise works for temporal site-specific installation or for single screen. I have undertaken international residencies, where I have composed soundscapes for CD publication and radio broadcast. My works have explored sound as recourse to memory, the body as a whole, and the architecture of the immediate space in order to sculpt the air in negative, providing a boundary for thephysical proprieties of sound to resonate, build, and slip away.

Joe Duffy - Filmmaker, editor and educator working and living in Manchester, UK. My practice involves video, film and photography, with current process centred around artist moving image based works. Previous works have explored cultural automata, architectural space and narrativity. My workhas been exhibited nationally and internationally in the context of film and media art festivals as well as gallery spaces.

07 and 11

Moving a pile of bricks three feet to the left and back again. (extract – brick #20)

Carphology Collective

Recording of firebricks arranged in two layers of fifteen rows by four columns 13x91x171cm.

First Movement: Top layer removed and stacked in sequence at temporary location prior to reassembly. Bottom layer transferred directly to new positions three feet to the left of original position. Top layer moved from temporary storage position to complete manoever, being replaced in exact replica sequence and three feet to the left of their original position.

Second Movement: First Movement in reverse, returning the piece to its exact original position.

Carphology Collective is a morphing collective of artists sporadically brought together for occasional and specific projects. All members’ contributions are considered equally important, regardless of traditional roledemarcations.

For the ‘bricks’ project the collective is:

• Graham Bowers (mastering) - musician, composer, designer, artist and engineer. Works include ‘Trangressions’ and ‘Pilgrim’ -

• Dominic Chennell(concept) - founding-member of ‘Real Institute’ and ‘Piano Magic’ -

• Karine Décorne (performance) - dance specialist and curator of ‘Migrations’, sometime performer with the ‘Sonic Catering Tribute Band’ –

• Chlöe Needham(diagrams) - visual artist working primarily in traditional 2D media.


Beyond Borders


Our recent project, Beyond Borders, involves both composers using shared synthesised and recorded source materials. The process consists of both artists swapping previously recorded and developed samples. This interaction results in a continuous exchange of the work, which in turn develops the overall structure of thepiece.

Though we are using a common catalogue of sounds, as composers we both approach thecomposition process very differently. In this project we have endeavoured to explore this dynamic in new andmeaningful way. The main goal of this piece is to show the audience that from the same foundation or centre an individuals’ self expression can emerge.

Collectively and individually Kate Delaney and Hilary Mullaney look at the crossover between electronic and electroacoustic music, creatively exploring concepts of tone, pulse,duration and pitch within a sonic space. 


Proposition 6A: ceci n'est pas une machine de guerre (refrain)


Whoever uses machines does all his work like a machine. He who does his work like a machine grows a heart like a machine, and he who carries the heart of a machine in his breast loses his simplicity. He who has lost his simplicity becomes unsure in the strivings of his soul. Uncertainty in the strivings of the soul is something which does not agree with honest sense. It is not that I do not know of such things; I am ashamed to use them.

-Unknown gardener in conversation with Tzu-Gung,

Heisenberg, The Physicist’s Conception of Nature (1958), 20—21

“The [zygote] is not regressive; on the contrary, it is perfectly contemporary, you always carry it with you as your own milieu ofexperimentation, your associated milieu. The [zygote] is the milieu of pure intensity, spatium not extension, Zero intensity as principle of production.” [zygote] is Antti Sakari Saario and Martin Iddon.


La Varenne's Massive Central

Caro Snatch

A collage of a vocal workshop and jam “on instruments we can’t play” carried out and recorded at Beatabet 2007, an international arts collaboration project where artists thatdon’t know each other get together for 10 days to create new work on a farm in Massif Central in France. I, caro snatch, went out there alone and created in the comfort of creative strangers, delivered the vocal workshop and compiled the collage using only samples of the recordings and ensuring everyone’s voice is heard both as individuals and as a collective.

The performers range from bass players to vocalists through film directors, from drummers through brass players to machine drummers, from philosophers to animators and a lot of creative tendencies in between. Please see website and


Apply Yourself To Hearing

Michael Bates & The Fourteen

The piece has been created using only sound files created from objects inside the bedroom of the producer and these files have been processed and arranged using only instructions provided by users of Facebook.

Users joined a group and then selected a series of numbers without any knowledge of what these numbers represented. The numbers they selected determined the sound file to be processed, the processing methods used and the placement of the processed file in the arrangement. If you have a Facebook account you can view the group used to gather the control numbers here:

Michael Bates is a producer who twists the sound of everyday objects using heavy digital processing to reveal the hidden side of the noise we live in.

The users providing the parameters used to create the piece are users of Facebook, some friends / family, some friends of friends and some unknown to the producer. The participants were Nick Steer, Rosalind Bates,Helen Stevens, Paul Bates, Victoria Hamel-Cooke, Tom Stevens, Dane Grant, JoBates, Clare Burroughs, Amy Foulds, Yannik Eilers, Kat Pattison, Tom Mulley and Ben Crouch. 


Other tracks exhibited at the Autonomous Village but not featured on the Sound Report CD:


ESP: Enclosed Sonic Performance

area - Sean Hovendick & John Wesley Mannion

There are a substantial number of abandoned industrial sites in contemporary society. The remains of these spaces have been either forgotten or ignored by the general public. ESP:Enclosed Sonic Performance explores a pair of empty, liquid storage tanks on the grounds of an industrial facility, abandoned since the mid 80's. The facility, centrally located in a populated community, is surrounded by farmland and a major water table. On numerous occasions, sounds were created from inside the tanks with found objects. This compilation aims to bring attention to the current social phenomenon of consumption, waste and urban pollution.

Sean Hovendick - emerging digital media artist from Syracuse, NY (USA), is an

Assistant Professor of Computer Art at Syracuse University. His interactive, procedural and time-based works explore the hidden forces of power, identity and social order within the mediated psyche. Sean’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.

John Wesley Mannion - Through abroad range of photographic approaches John Wesley Mannion uncovers the ubiquitous psychological affect of space. He’s the Digital Imaging Manager atLight Work/Community Darkrooms in Syracuse, NY (USA) and teaches digital photography at Syracuse University. John has an MFA in photography and has exhibited both nationally and internationally.


Johnny on the Radio

Peter Sant

Johnny on the Radio is a web based project that uses a ‘weblog’ (or blog) as a device to build an interactive and collectively constructed narrative. In order to achieve this I began by placing one paragraph from an existing blog into it’s own blog space that I developed specifically for the project ( The following stage was inviting users to make their own contributions and additions to the text by continuing from where the previous user left off. The process contained only one restriction - that is that as the final piece was to be realised as a monologue for radio they were asked to remain in first person.The process was to continue until the text reached the 4000 word count, at which stage the existing content was to be used as source material for the finalscript.

Peter Sant is currently studying fine art, working primarily in the area of sound and 16mm moving image installations. Broadly speaking, my practice deals with the socio-political issues surrounding the current era of globalization, constantly questioning the role of borders within modernity.



The Puppetmasters

We are interested in the spontaneous creation of new audio pieces. To this end we set ourselves some rules: choose someone randomly who lives close by, interview themfor one hour about their likes dislikes, roots and culture, and then in a setperiod of time produce a sound collage to sum up that person as succinctly aspossible through sound. We’ve been doing this now for several years and our audio portraits have been commissioned many times.

One of us is a public artist known for large scale interactive works in many locations in various countries. The other looks good naked and has begun a career in the gallery world with sound works being shown in Geneva and Italy in the last few months.


Lost Paradise

OTO Collective

LOST PARADISE is an extract from an installation performance (originally in 7.1 surround) from OTO,a collective of electroacoustic composers from France.

The installation was originally designed as “an acousmatic forest”.

LOST PARADISE is referring to a sound space of an unreal nature, a sensible forest populated with imaginary animals. A Strangespace, crepuscular at the fall of night which reveals a nocturnal vision, a transient state and a space of disparition. The passage through the forest of sounds is, like in the universe of tales, an initiatic trip for the one who gets in, the doorstep of metamorphosis, the symbolic cross over of the unconscious and its quests.

OTO Collective

Nicolas losson - Composer. Several collaborations with contemporary dance troups and theatre. Produces and isolates elementary and inexhaustible sound materials, decompose them and recomposes according to a theory and a technic which resources are offered to musical invention.

Floy Krouchi - Bassplayer,sound artist and composer.

Born in paris 1971. Composes and performs, since 1994, through solos and collective projects musical and sound pieces for all kind of supports: DVDs, CDs; Vynils, web, installations and performances, experimental videos and films.



Mix 46

theybreakinpieces & Jon Aveyard

Mix 46 was composed in 2006 from recordings captured on in-ear microphones worn by the interdisciplinary improvisation group theybreakinpieces. Objects were used to make, mask and transform sounds in a series of recorded improvisations from which Jon Aveyard selected 46 extracts of between 30 and 90 seconds to be mixed together without processing or further editing. The start and end times of each extract are unclear there by blurring the distinction between the performative decisions in the recording studio and the compositional decisions in the editing studio.

Jon Aveyard is a composer, audio artist and performer whosework includes acousmatic composition, interdisciplinary improvisation and soundwalking, often making use of in-ear microphones. He is a Lecturer in Music and Audio Art at the University ofCentral Lancashire.

theybreakinpieces are three UK-based artists (Mona McCarthy, Paul Stapleton and Nick Williams) who are involved in multiple forms of cross-disciplinary collaboration. They are currently investigating a range of environmental interactions conducted through the media of conversation, improvised performance, and audio-visual recording technologies.



Eighteen Kisses Blown On Skin

Scott F. Hall & Laura D. Koning


The work submitted by Scott F. Hall and Laura D.Koning entitled "Eighteen Kisses Blown on Skin" is their most intimate collaboration to date. Formerly, the pair has created field recordings in which no physical contact between them occurs. This new piece presented for the first time here was produced in the opposite way: through the production of nine sounds each created by direct contact of the lips with each others' skin. The eighteen unique "lip reed" sounds which resulted were then implemented as discreet notes in the final 3 minute and 26 second multitrack composition.


Scott F. Hall is intermedia artist (Associate Professor of Art) at the University of Central Florida. His B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees were taken in Sculpture at the University of Florida and at Washington University following long career experience as a professional musician.

Laura D. Koning is an artist (B.A. Sculpture 2004, U.C.F.) and intern currently pursuing the M.S. degree in Mental Health Counseling at Stetson University.

Hall's creative research combines sound, sculpture, photography, and graphic design into an integrated practice called "Scultura Sana". Koning has collaborated with Hall on three CD releases: Scultura Sana 3, 4, and 5.