News from the Sonic Arts Network

01 September 2020

Agents of Impurity

Sonic Arts Network and Resonance FM present “The Agents of Impurity” - a Night of Sound, Poetry and Sound Poetry

Sonic Arts Network invites you to The Agents of Impurity, a special broadcast benefit event for Resonance FM at The Museum of Garden History, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7LB on Sunday 17 October 7.30pm. This event is free but donations for the radio-art station are much needed.

Featuring exclusive performances from:

Henri Chopin
SAN is honoured to present a tireless explorer of the grain of the voice since the 50s. Chopin’s work opens new ways of listening beyond the separation between music and language.

Kenneth Goldsmith
Mastermind of the epochal, Goldsmith’s writing has been described as the most “exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry” by Publishers Weekly.

Caroline Bergvall
Bergvall’s sound poetry represents the disintegration of speech in spoken performance. A meeting point between various languages; physical and verbal, French and English, live voice and ventriloquised technology.

Sue Tompkins
From the page to the voice, from speech to song, from song to signal, from signal to sound. A process of writing and a process of thought revealed in poetic performance.

Frank Cougar
The London debut of Birmingham’s Frank Cougar, inhabitants of a surreal and enigmatic world between music and the spoken word, cabaret and a half remembered Raymond Chandler novel, darkness and the void.

SAN will also be launching “The Agents of Impurity” CD/book pack at the event. The CD, curated by Kenneth Goldsmith, traces a history of sound and concrete poetry from the justified and ancient to recent and morally reprehensible. It features a wealth of mind expanding material including audio and visual work from Artaud, Beckett, Eduardo Paolozzi, Vito Acconci, Jaap Blonk and Ergo Phizmiz.

Sonic Postcards Workshop Leader Mentor Training

SAN is looking for sound artists with an interest in workshop leading to take part in Sonic Postcards. This training programme is aimed at postgraduates, students or those with little workshop experience to develop leadership and artistic skills to gain technology based education project experience and to be trained as potential workshop leaders. You will be working closely alongside the workshop leaders on Sonic Postcards projects taking place throughout the UK. You will also have the opportunity to take part in a 5-day residential training programme as part of the training scheme in order to enhance experience gained in the field. Successful applicants will participate in workshops, receive feedback and support from Sonic Arts Network and gain an accreditation.

For further information and details of how to apply please contact Becca Laurence, Sonic Postcards Project Manager at or call the SAN office on 020 7928 7337.

Sonic Postcards is supported by NESTA.


Wednesday 1 September
BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Peter Howell
Hull School of Media Technologies, Hull

A staff composer at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop for over twentyfive years, and responsible for thousands of pieces of music for BBC TVand Radio, notably the second incarnation of the Doctor Who signaturetune, and latterly Michael Palin's 'Full Circle' series, he has lecturedextensively on composition for film and TV and the history of theRadiophonic Workshop.

CURRENTS: A new series of lectures presented by Hull Time Based Arts,Currents provides a theoretical approach to social and historical contextsand themes. Cultural commentators and writers will speak on a range oftopics from the underground to the mainstream accompanied by diverseaudiovisual supporting materials.

Thursday 2 September
Rrum: Open Perceived
Macondo, Hoxton Square, London

Live music by: Manyas (multi-laptop electronic music) feat. Le Hub (multi-laptop visual improvisation), Sonicity (London-based electroacoustic music) feat. Ian Stewart, Eric Pessel, Ambrose Seddon.

Short experimental films & music videos by: D-fuse, Jonny Voss (RCA), Ron908 (Berlin), Yuko Ichimura (Independent Cyclist Collective), Max Hattler (RCA). Video performance art by Monica Alcazar (Mexico/New York)
For further information email:

Saturday 4 September
Digitonal + Support
Spitz, London

Fresh from playing in one of the headline slots at The Big Chill, Digitonal return to London for a live show in anticipation of the release of their new EP "The Centre Cannot Hold" in September, featuring singer Kirsty Hawkshaw - famous for providing the vocals on Orbital's seminal "Halcyon & On & On"

Support comes from the Rephlex camp with a live performance from Aleksi Perala (also known as Astrobotnia, and Ovuca) and the Rephlex DJ's, plus live electro & breaks Kansas City Prophets, from Keith Tenniswood's Control Tower imprint.

Wednesday 8 September
Charterhouse Bar, London

Sprawl, the experimental audio club, is back in action in London this September after a small summer break, at a new venue. Presenting another selection of oddbeats, soundscapes & eclectic sounds - it's a packed night of groundbreaking guests again, the un/usual sprawl sonic art buffet.

Live: Same Actor (UK), Lance Martins (UK), JAMES III (UK), Doudou Malicious (Fr) and resident djs/curators si-cut.db and Iris Garrelfs

Friday 17 September
Oxford House, London

An evening of magic and music with the Bolt and special guest duo Mark Wastell and Clive Bell playing nepalese bowls, tam tam & shakuhachi Be witness to moments of inspiration, light and sound.

Saturday 18 September
Sonic Arts Discussion Meeting
Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds

An informal discussion forum for composers/sonic artists creating electroacoustic music. Present your own music or simply come along to listen and discuss ideas. Everyone welcome, regardless of background or level of experience.

A range of equipment is available - including a small diffusion system – it may be possible to provide other equipment on prior request. Some details as to equipment can be found on our new website along with pictures from the last event, location map etc.

If you are interested in presenting your work or taking part in discussions, please contact before September 1st as we need to know numbers.

18 September - 6 November
Radio 101 by Zoe Irvine
(Sound Installation and Performance)
BCA Gallery, Bedford
Visitors are being invited to embark on a sonic journey and revisit history through an art installation created by sound artist Zoe Irvine for the Radio 101 exhibition opening at BCA Gallery on Saturday 18 September. Radio 101 is an extraordinary exhibition that retraces the stories surrounding the R101 airship and its fatal voyage to Karachi through a sequence of sound recordings.

Irvine is a sound artist and audio producer whose work often responds to a particular historic episode. Like the events she has explored in previous work, the R101 serves as a real and imaginative trigger for her sonic archaeology, a story for her to unravel with various strands to explore.

To commemorate the anniversary of the R101 crash BCA Gallery will be hosting a live radio broadcast as part of the Radio 101 exhibition. Radio 101 FM will air from 6.24pm the precise time that the R101 left Cardington and end at 2.04am the same time that the airship crashed. Visitors are invited to attend the broadcast at BCA Gallery or contribute their thoughts and memories via a live phone in.

Prior to the broadcast visitors to the exhibition will be able to get involved with the various audio work in preparation for the broadcast.

Thursday 23 September
Assembly Point Present Pole
The Spitz, London

Pole (aka Stefan Betke) returns to London for the first in a series of nights presented by the long runningInternet radio show Assembly Point.

Live Sets: Pole, Si-cut.db (highpointlowlife). DJ sets: Leo Avanti (Kosmische Club),Martin Brown (Sound Hause Glasgow),Marc Sethi (Assembly Point), Paul Sethi (Cargo, Living Room).

23-25 September
Amsterdam, Holland

The information arts are the theme of the tenth SonicActs festival. The festival consists of a two-day conference, three consecutive nights of live performances, a film programme, and an exhibition.

Many new art forms have emerged in recent years (from computer art to neo-conceptualism and from business art to genomic art) which in formand content are rooted in the information society: the information arts. These information arts defy several paradigms on which traditional art forms are based. The two-day conference, which takes place on friday and saturday afternoon, brings together a few exponents of these information arts. A mix of presentations, interviews and lectures will give a caleidoscopic view on these information arts and the consequences of there emergence on the arts in general.

On the programme: interviews with musician and artist CarlMichael von Hausswolff (Raster-Noton) and with Jon Wozencroft (TOUCH); presentations of Driessens & Verstappen, Scha & Elsenaar and Tom Betts & Joe Gilmore; lectures of Casey Reas, Rutger Wolfson, André Platteel and Canadian renegade theorist tobias c. van Veen. Moderation:Jan-Hiddink.

Also during Sonic Acts: André Platteel [NL], Battery Operated [UK/FR], Benjamin Gaulon [FR], BJ Nilsen [SE], Byetone [DE], Carl Michael von Hausswolff [SE], Casey Reas [US], Chris Watson [UK], Codespace [CH], COH [RU], Dextro [AT],Driessens & Verstappen [NL], Dyad [US/CH], Fennesz [AT], GAS [JP], Geert Mul [NL], Jan Jelinek+ Karl Kliem [DE], JODI [NL/BE], Jon Wozencroft [UK], Komet [DE], Lia [AT], M.I.M.E.O. (feat. Christian Fennesz, Cor Fuhler, Gert-JanPrins, Jerome Noetinger, Kaffe Matthews, Marcus Schmickler, PeterRehberg, Phil Durrant en Rafael Toral) [VAR], Meta [US], mise-en-trôpes [BE], Noizbleed [NL/NS], Optical Machines [NL], Philip Jeck [UK], Pure + DeKam [AT/US], Radian + Jade [AT], rand()% [UK], Remko Scha & Arthur Elsenaar [NL], Rutger Wolfson [NL], Skoltz Kolgen [CA], Speedy J [NL], Tobiasvan Veen [CA], Tomato [UK], visomat inc. + Errorsmith[DE].

Haliburton Soundscape Retreat 8-11 October 2004
Produced by the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology (CASE)

The Canadian Association for Sound Ecology invites you to participate in its 2nd Haliburton Soundscape Retreat.

The weekend long retreat will take place at the Haliburton Wildlife Reserve on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, October 8-11 2004, and will include two day-time workshops, show-and-tell times for participants, and the opportunity to propose and discuss possible soundscape projects small and large that can take place in the various regions of Canada in the years ahead.

Day one: Exploring the ecology in sound ecology will include ear cleaning exercises and soundwalks around the Haliburton site by R. Murray Schafer and discussion sessions moderated by a group of researchers from the University of Concordia Communications department. In short, this will be a search for more clear ties between the study of acoustic environments and the study of ecology and will strive to provide participants with concrete tools for improving the acoustic environments in their communities.

Day two: The design of acoustic environments in public spaces Led by Australian guest Nigel Frayne, President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. Nigel will present a number of project examples from his work as an acoustic designer that integrate the discipline of acoustic design first formulated by the World Soundscape Project in the 1970's with the design of museums, zoo's, and large public architectural projects.

Registrations should be submitted to The Canadian Association for Sound Ecology, c/o Musicworks, 401 Richmond Street West #358, Toronto, ON, M5V 3A8, Canada. Registration fees for the retreat are $195 (CDN) for CASE/WFAE members and $225 for non-CASE/WFAE members.

Payment can be made by cheque, money order or visa. Please make cheques and money orders payable to the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology. The registration fee covers meals and accommodation for the retreat. The non-CASE/WFAE rate provides the participant with membership in CASE or WFAE for one year. To register, please fill out the back of this form and include it with your cheque.

For further information email

2005 Club Transmediale 4-12 Febuary 2005
Deadline: 15 September 2020

Club Transmediale is the media art festivals independent platform for new forms of digital music and media art in the context of sound- and club culture. Its aim is to present outstanding productions in digital music, audiovisual performance and installation, as well as to discuss recent artistic and technical developments. Club Transmediale presents productions that explore performative concepts  and the interaction between different media formats - especially image and sound - in an experimental manner. It encourages the crossover of institutional, academic and subcultural contexts. club transmediale reflects on the role of contemporary music culture as a changing agent for the present society.

Club Transmediale invites the submission of works and projects in the fields of electronic and digital music, audio-visual performance, soundart, installation, video-performance/VJ-ing, club design, music-video-clips.

The Public Building West Bromwich
Deadline: 29 October 2020

The Public building, happening in West Bromwich in late 2005, will be the largest community arts development in Europe. Designed by Alsop Architects, the building will house an innovative new gallery which takes the form of a spiralling walkway descending through the building with attached pod-like exhibiting spaces. The gallery aims to offer each visitor a sense of the creative process through active engagement using interactive and digital artworks. 

Submissions are invited for the following:

The Drawers – a wall of curiosity - a flexible structure housing various interface and display devices in a number of different sizes. 

The Wunderkammern – a beautiful, intriguing or playful non-technological exhibit that will reflect the ethos of the experience within a unique display structure.

The Sound Corridor – a 20m long, 3D digital sound environment for visitors to walk through and interact with.

All commissions are open to individuals or groups. The Sound Corridor is an exclusive opportunity for artists and musicians working within the West Midlands.

The deadline for receipt of submissions is 29 October 2004.  For a brief and more information, please contact Jo Ford: Email: Tel: 0121 525 6861.

Arm - Open Reminder

Arm are Arne Borgan, Are Mokkelbost and Alexander Rishaug, a Norwegian improvising electroacoustic trio from Oslo who are rather good. The album’s source material is culled from live performances given by the group at various locations across Northern Europe, including concert halls, a train station, a musty basement and the bottom of a ship. On five out of the twelve tracks featured, the trio is augmented by various other Nordic luminaries such as John Hegre on guitar and Tony Kluften on bass and “accessories”. The instrumental contributions of these collaborators are always subtle, skilful and sonically sympathetic. The album, thankfully, avoids the rather amateur impression left by many releases that throw in token mixed instrument-and-electronics pieces without concern for curatorial integrity, sonic continuity or stylistic flow. The aural equivalent of finding a large dead fly at the bottom of your cup of tea perhaps?

There is a beautiful handling of musical pace and the flow of time in all of the tracks on this album. The listener is given the option to focus on any one of the simultaneous layers of the music, with each strand moving within its own timeframe and trajectory. Like a child filling in a colouring book, the listener has to interact to have the full experience. Participation through active listening and negotiation of a personal path through the layers of material are the expected strategies here. Despite the multilateral nature of much of the musical discourse, overall coherence is never sacrificed simply for the sake of a self-serving complexity, and the musical argument is never allowed to descend into onanism. Indeed there is much that could be described in terms of traditional instrumental gesture within the music. Pitch, rhythm, noise and the random are all players within a soundworld that, in tracks like the rapid-fire Sniper’s Delight, bears more than a passing resemblance the more abstract end of the playful post-dancefloor experiments to be found on the 19-t and Adaadat labels. During more linear and subdued tracks, such as Vitamin or Walk Away (the whistler), a classy electro-melancholy emerges, like listening to Steve Hillage’s Rainbow Dome Musick playing back quietly on seven deeply screwed up CD players. Dambuster, the penultimate track, sets out with soprano sax in tow for Francois Bayle’s Toupie dans le Ceil, and gets there, and beyond, via a tiny intermittent wind tunnel.

The album ticks all the boxes on my wish list for a great avant-electronic release; depth, immediacy, variety, humour, great sound, technical mastery, skilful use of stereo space and wonderful packaging designed by Mokkelbost all contribute to a satisfying and highly recommended product for the ear-minded. A high level of musicianship is displayed both in the delivery of the source material, and the handling of the studio edits and track and album duration are both well judged; only two tracks weigh in at over five minutes and none cross the eight minute mark. So, impress your friends, and yourself, with this great release from a group few in Blighty will have had the pleasure of hearing yet. You may well be sick of being told this by now but Norway, indeed, rocks. Hear it. Know it.

Reviewed by Richard Whitelaw
Richard is a member of BEAST in Birmingham and is the Programme Director of Sonic Arts Network.

Phantom Orchard - Ikue Mori & Zeena Parkins
Mego 071

Both Zeena Parkins and Ikue Mori are no strangers to the manifold universe of sonic investigations, so a collaborative work promised much electrifying excitement. Lets enter then the Phantom Orchard and taste the fruit it has to offer.

The journey starts pleasant enough. Cascades of ghostly harp sounds meet clusters of 50's SiFi movie soundtrack, heralding an album of tortured fragments, snapshots of conditions of sound, orchestrated into a very dramatic, and for me very visual experience.

As the trip continues, it feels a little eerie in places, phantoms appearing out of the mist, vanishing without imparting a sense of belonging. Analogue sounds are juxtaposed with machine aspects, never interlocking into completeness. They are weaving around each other without ever daring to touch. Amongst cluttered activity the orchard remains uninspiringly static.

Further down the track(s) oriental influences emerge until they are being replaced by birdsong and arcade sounds, washes of synth phrases and disjoined percussive traits that never settle into a rhythmic flow. The vista opens to incorporate oceanic swells, seaweed here, and an amorphous bubble there.

Within this visual if not sonic richness, the orchard is not one in bloom. It stands on the verge of autumnal decay, stretching its many branches into the frosty reaches of winter. Its fruit are not of a current crop but its textures take me back to tried and trusted flavours.

As we depart, sweet melodies with ominous undertones bid a melancholic farewell to the album. Potential dispersing into the mist. As the tension builds I remain unsatisfied. Despite high Ars Electronica laurels, getting to grips with Phantom Orchard has been a disappointing experience.

Reviewed by Iris Garrelfs
Iris is a London based sonic artist. She is known for her emotive, improvised glitch-tech performances based around electronically manipulated and digitally warped voice sounds.