Monday, 17 November 2008

Matt Sansom

For those of you unfamiliar with Matt's work I strongly suggest you take a good trawl through his website (click here) which has a good collection of location recordings & extracts from several of his installations. He is also currently running one of the UK's only 'soundscape' courses - at Surrey University.

With many 'sound artists' now making use of field recordings (most with limited success & often a distinct sense of them jumping on whatever bandwagon they can to bloster thier lack of creativity & originality) the best of Matt's work captures something of his individual approach to his inspirations.

One such example is his piece 'heardhere' (for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2007):

'The sounds we hear around us are dynamic. They signify our engagement with the environment and continually change as we move through and interact with our surroundings. The contexts created by these activities determine what and how we hear as much as the sounds themselves. Similarly, hearing and listening are shaped by the contexts generated our inner world of memory, intuition, emotion, desire, will, belief, and so on. As Douglas Pocock writes, 'something is happening for sound to exist ... it signifies existence, generates a sense of life, and is a special key to interiority.'

heardhere is a sound installation and collection of site-specific audio treatments for mp3-player. Strongly connected with the auditory culture of Huddersfield, the installation makes exclusive use of location recordings of the town centre and the audio treatments, although incorporating a broader range of sources, are designed as responses to specific town locations. Together, they raise questions about the status of what we listen to and the ways in which we listen. On one level it reasserts the idea of the musical value of everyday sounds, and on another it invites a response to the deeper significance of sound and of our connection with it.
The installation, using elements of repetition, reduction , and stillness, is an inwardly focused exploration of the elemental and essential qualities of the urban soundscape. In contrast, the site-specific treatments take listeners back into the environment for modified listening experiences of 'live' auditory space. The work as a whole is born of a desire to listen to sounds, their relationships, contexts and meanings in order to reflect on what they reveal and say beyond themselves' (from Matt's website)

audio extracts can be found here

Matt is also about to unveil a new work for the HCMF - a set of metal dishes permanently installed in the Colne Valley, accompanied by a sound walk - details here

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