For 2019, the project has expanded to explore themes of celebration, change, illumination, hope with a larger-scale composition being commissioned by Cultural Collections for the opening of the Green Heart Festival at the University of Birmingham with the creation of a new work inspired by Ancestor I by Barbara Hepworth. The four movements of the composition respond to the physical form of the sculpture: head, torso, hips and legs.
The Ancestor I sound sculpture took two forms: a soundwalk and as a sound installation.
The soundwalk included previous sculptures and excerpts of the longer Ancestor I composition and the sound installation was the full length version of the piece playing on loop throughout the Green Heart Festival 2019. We had custom made speaker enclosures made that were installed underneath each of the benches in front of the sculpture and used each bundle of speakers as a left and right image.
Through members of the public engaging with the work via a variety of platforms this project has increased public engagement with the project and the University’s established Sculpture Trial. Whether this being as active participants on the soundwalk, indirect engagement through the sound installation or listening at home through Soundcloud this project has engaged with wider audiences and has encouraged active listening of electroacoustic works.
This project is a collaboration between sound artists Nikki Sheth & Emma Margetson, the Arts & Science Festival, the Cultural Collections team and the SOUNDwalker app.
Movements by Nikki Sheth:
Torso - This movement is a short, dense piece that explores the relationship between natural and unnatural sounds. Sounds have been carefully shaped and sculpted to grow organically from one and other, creating a natural flow and evolution to the piece that slowly increases in density through the layering of spectral space.
Legs - A minimalist movement created using samples of metallic sounds, each with their own individual pulse and timing, forming a complex rhythm with phasing and modulation combined with fragmented field recordings that get increasingly abstract and noisy. Cyclical in nature.