Sound of a Room Breathing [2019]

Multichannel performance and installation

Commissioned by East Street Arts, exhibited at Convention House, Leeds, UK

Sound of a Room Breathing emerged from a residency at East Street Arts’ Convention House, a new gallery and studio space in central Leeds. The work is an acoustic housewarming for the building, examining its acoustic characteristics, its emplacement within the city, and the sounding dynamics of human engagement with it. An improvisation drawing on a body of ambisonic field recordings was later left in situ as a multichannel loudspeaker installation. The first phase of the improvisation is an interpretation of Yoko Ono’s Tape Piece II: following her instruction to ‘take the sound of a room breathing’, it presents ambient recordings of the rooms throughout convention house; in this auditory tour of the building the monotonous York road may be heard to articulate the unique acoustic voice of each room. The second phase brings local acoustic environments inside the space, and the final phase of the improvisation presents the sounds from a series of Spatial Listening workshops conducted in the building during the residency. In these recordings, East Street Arts’ staff and studio holders may be heard sounding and listening in relation to the acoustic properties of its spaces.

images by Jules Lister

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