Ellen Southern – Main website
Ellen Southern – related projects:
Engaged Voice – a commission for Bristol City Council to create a site specific voice work in a disused Edwardian Cloakroom, November 2014
Creeping Buttercup – an evolving voice, sound and movement work in various historic churches
Wild Singing Collective – experimenting with voices in unusual spaces (archive)
BLOGS OF INTEREST
Sound Art Text – “All about sound art. And art with sound. And sound in art. And sometimes music, installation and film. And often Fluxus. Read articles, find out about events, discover artists, watch clips, listen to works, ask questions.”
Sounding Out – acoustics, aesthetics and sound art, since 2009
Ekho : Women in Sonic Art –“Celebrating the Work of Women within Sonic Art: an expanding archive promoting equality in the sonic field”.
Folklore Tapes: Blog “An open-ended research project exploring the vernacular arcana of Great Britain and beyond; traversing the myths, mysteries, magic and strange phenomena of the old counties via abstracted musical reinterpretation and experimental visuals.”
World Is Listening “A DIY podcast, blog and platform celebrating women in music”
The Heritage Trust “All over the world, every day, heritage sites, artefacts, skills and traditions are being damaged or lost through war, neglect, development, vandalism, theft or natural disasters. The Heritage Trust aims to focus on some of these issues, as well as highlighting many of the success stories in the fields of archaeology, conservation and historical research.”
The Modern Antiquarian – “Based on Julian Cope’s epic guidebook of the same name and his equally epic exploration of Europe, The Megalithic European. Since launching in March 2000ce, the site has grown to be a massive resource for news, information, images, folklore & weblinks on the ancient sites across the UK, Ireland and Europe, thanks to the remarkable efforts of all those who contribute.”
INTERDICIPLINARY RESEARCH PROJECTS OF INTEREST
Gogmagog: the voices of the bells – research project in connection to the Churches Conservation Trust, where silent bells in a Sunderland church are brought back to life through interdiciplinary performance.
A Year In The Country “A set of year long explorations of an otherly pastoralism, the undercurrents and flipside of bucolic dreams. It is a wandering amongst work that takes inspiration from the hidden and underlying tales of the land, the further reaches of folk music and culture and where such things meet and intertwine with the lost futures, spectral histories and parallel worlds of what has come to be known as hauntology. Those explorations take the form of this website, the posts/artwork on it, music and book releases.”
Archaeoacoustics Scotland Research Hub “Archaeoacoustics Scotland is the online hub and publishing portal of Nick Green, a sound designer and audio engineer working in the field of acoustic ecology and archaeoacoustics, the analysis of sound and acoustics in heritage and archaeological sites.”
Achaeoacoustics recreates the sound of Stonehenge – “A team of scientists lead by Dr. Bruno Fazenda of the University of Salford in the UK has reconstructed the soundscape of the Stonehenge circle. Using the practice of archaeoacoustics and state-of-the-art sound equipment at both the original cultic circle in England’s Salisbury Plains and the reconstruction in the US state of Washington, the scientists behind a new study have resurrected a part of the structure’s sonic awe.”
A Beginners Guide to Field Recording via FACT
Beyond the Grandiose and the Seductive: Marie Thompson on Noise via Sounding Out blog
Ancient Man Used ‘Super Acoustics To Alter Conciousness “A prehistoric necropolis yields clues to the ancient use of sound and its effect on human brain activity.”
A Lost Carol Recently Discovered at Battle Abbey “A chance find by English Heritage historian Michael Carter of the words of this carol, jotted down by a monk at the back of a prayer book from the abbey, led him to explore what it tells us about the monks’ lives at the end of the Middle Ages. Meanwhile musician Christopher Hodkinson, Director of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, was given the challenging task of setting the carol to music. Here they explain the story behind the carol and its new musical setting.”
‘The Same Song Sung in 15 Places : A Wonderful Case Study of How Landscape and Architecture Shape The Sounds Of Music’ “In each place, Müllner sings the same strange song: in a tunnel, an attic, a field before an oil derricks, the nave of a cathedral, and an anechoic chamber—which resembles the interior of an alien spacecraft and produces no reflections whatsoever. Sometimes the effect is subtle, inviting you to lean in and listen more closely; sometimes it’s outsized and operatic.”
Daniela Cascella – a London-based Italian writer on sound. “Her research is focused on sound and literature across a range of publications and projects, driven by a longstanding interest in the relationship between listening, reading, writing, translating, recording and in the contingent conversations, questions, frictions, kinships that these fields generate, host or complicate.”
The Museum of Portable Sound – London UK. “The Museum of Portable Sound is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of cultural artifacts related to the history of sound. With a specific focus on portability, digital initiatives, and community engagement, we bring the culture of sound to the public one listener at a time.”
Danny Bright: Sonic Ghosting – Interdisciplinary Phd research project. “Danny is currently undertaking practice-based research in musical composition. He has received Arts & Humanities Research Council funding through the University of Sussex for doctoral research focussed on sound and music works that interrogate the sonic memory and temporality of ruined, disused and re-purposed industrial and post-industrial space.”
Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project – Ludwig Boltzmann Institute and University of Birmingham.”Stonehenge occupies one of the richest archaeological landscapes in the world, recorded in the course of intensive archaeological and antiquarian research over several hundred years, yet much of this landscape effectively remains terra incognita. This project aims to address gaps in our knowledge and to advance the understanding of the Stonehenge landscape by conducting a cutting-edge geophysical and remote sensing survey at unprecedented scale.”
Landscape Perception – Royal College of Art pilot project. “This pilot study was designed to explore direct sensory ways of perceiving landscape, and to digitally record those explorations. The investigators felt the best type of landscape for this purpose would be a fairly unspoilt prehistoric one, and they selected as their primary study area the Carn Menyn ridge in the Preseli Hills of South-West Wales, reputed source of the Stonehenge bluestones, and environs.”
A Short History Of Acoustic Ecology – The BANFF Centre blog. “‘A Short History of Acoustic Ecology’ is a two-part documentary investigating the history and influence of the Acoustic Ecology movement. This 30-minute program features new interviews with original WSP members Hildegard Westerkamp and Barry Truax and contemporary scholars Randolph Jordan, Vincent Andrisani and Milena Droumeva. These talks are accompanied with documented lectures and material from the World Soundscape Project’s archive of environmental recordings.”
Periods and Waves: A Conference on Sound and History (2016) – Stony Brook University. “Sound, like history, describes a dynamic terrain. Scholars concerned with the convergence of sound and history have, in the wake of the “sensory turn” in the humanities, worked to generate clear narratives from data that resists fixity, that seems to be in constant motion. The shared aims of sound studies and history have yielded a rich body of scholarship that interrogates, for example, the noisy illuminations of medieval songbooks, acoustic control in modern architecture, sound and the moving image, accounts of deafness and synaesthesia, and the production of aural subjects through consumer technology. The practice of thinking sound historically and history sonically is driving the growth of fresh methodologies and compelling new interpretations of sources.”
Video lecture on Pictures of Sound: A Thousand Years of Educed Audio 980-1980 by Patrick Feaster. “Using modern technology, Patrick Feaster is on a mission to resurrect long-vanished voices and sounds—many of which were never intended to be revived. Over the past thousand years, countless images have been created to depict sound in forms that theoretically could be “played” just as though they were modern sound recordings. Now, for the first time in history, this compilation uses innovative digital techniques to convert historic “pictures of sound” dating back as far as the Middle Ages directly into meaningful audio.”
The Geometry of Music and Colour visualising musical intervals and relationships.
RELATED SOUND / MUSIC / ART / RADIO EVENTS & PROJECTS
Minions Lament: audio tour, Bodmin Moor – an audio walk across Bodmin moor, telling the story of the landscape and the histories of its inhabitants.
Onomato – Bristol, UK. “ONOMATO exhibits, presents, screens and performs work outside of habitual venues, locations and contexts – our true horizon is to pursue collaboration as a politically expressive, temporal event taking the form of a programme of events; a line of research; a conversation; a curatorial transmission; a publication; a residency or unification.”
Tertulia – Bristol UK. “Tertulia is a regular salon event for people working with or interested in language, both textual and vocal, from a range of different disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Founded by Phil Owen and Megan Wakefield, it is based in Bristol and is regularly supported by Arnolfini.”
100 Sound-scapes of Global Waterways via 100 Ways To Listen, Brisbane
Cities and Memory – UK. “Cities and Memory is a global field recording & sound art work that presents both the present reality of a place, but also its imagined, alternative counterpart – remixing the world, one sound at at time. Every faithful field recording document on the sound map is accompanied by a reimagination or an interpretation that imagines that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new. The listener can choose to explore locations through their actual sounds, to explore reimagined interpretations of what those places could be – or to flip between the two different sound worlds at leisure.”
World Listening Project– US. “THE WORLD LISTENING PROJECT (WLP) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization devoted to understanding the world and its natural environment, societies and cultures through the practices of listening and field recording. The WLP was founded in 2008 and is supported by the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, a membership organization and regional chapter of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology, affiliated with the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.”
Framework – Resonance FM radio show / podcast. “An exploration of field-recording, phonography, and the art of sound-hunting, with Patrick McGinley. See https://www.mixcloud.com/framework_radio/ , http://www.frameworkradio.net , https://www.resonancefm.com/programmes , https://www.facebook.com/frameworkradio
If These Walls Could Sing… – Sound art created for White Noise, ‘East Tower Dreaming’ is a work by sound artist Robin The Fog for Resonance FM. He constructed it entirely from the naturally-occurring sounds of this former BBC Tower, now empty and about to be demolished.
Master Rock: a repertoire for voices and mountain – by Maria Fusco, 2015. “Fusco’s interpretation…activates archetypes, rendering the construction of the station and its channelling of the elements as a primal confrontation with embodied forces” – David Keenan, The Wire, February 2016
The Art of Noise: Sculptor in Sound – Susan Philipsz – Guardian article from 2010
Maja S.K. Ratjke: Celadon – review – Composition recorded in Norwegian sculptor and painter Emanuel Vigeland‘ s (1875 -1948) mausoleum in Oslo in 2013
By The Mark, The Deep – A sound installation by Matt Davies and Milo Newman that delves into the submerged ruins of the lost coastal town of Dunwich, installed at the Arnolfini gallery, Bristol, 22 – 31st August 2015
Dawn Scarfe: Bivvy Broadcasts – Live nocturnal broadcasts from forests.
The Hidden Orchestra – Music made from field recordings of nature.
Trail Mix – Radio programme from Cornwall by artist Bram Thomas Arnold, playing music inspired by walking in landscapes with themes such as ‘remoteness’.
ARTICLES / MEDIA OF INTEREST
50 Years Later, Vancouver Composer Remembers the Birth Of Soundscapes “I was surrounded by people who were listening all the time says Hildegard Westerkamp.”
How Sign Language Innovators are Bringing Music To The Deaf – “Since ASL already incorporates emotive gestures and facial expressions, Gallego simply adapted and expanded these into a repertoire of dance and musical sign. She interprets frequency, bringing her arms and hands closer to her waist for lower sounds and at her shoulders and above for high notes.”
Stonehenge Sounds Recreated Using Virtual Technology – article and video, BBC Wiltshire
The Lost Sounds of Stonehenge – BBC news
Rare Medieval Tiled Floor On Show at Cleeve Abbey – The Guardian
Bronze Age Wheel at ‘British Pompeii’ – BBC news
Megalithic Period: Megalithic Culture in North and West Europe – article in your Article Library
Stonehenge Tunnel Survey Reveals New Sites, and Mysteries – article in The Guardian
Ice Age Engravings Found At Jersey Archaeological Site – BBC article
Saffron Walden Homes Could Be Dotted With Medieval Graffiti – article in the Saffron Walden Reporter. “There are plenty of archaeological treasures waiting to be discovered much closer to home. In our churches, to be precise. Speaking at the Words in Walden festival, archaeologist Matthew Champion showcased his new book ‘Medieval Graffiti’, revealing hidden pasts engraved on the walls of Britain’s churches.”
Henge Benefits: Why Bill Bryson is Wrong About Avebury – article in The Guardian by Jonathan Jones. “With his complaints about the cash, the parking and the labyrinthine layout, Bryson is opening the way for the Disneyfication of Avebury’s electric mysteries.”
Heritage at Risk 2015 – England’s ancient barrows listed as the most at risk of all types of heritage
The Eeriness Of The English Countryside – article in The Guardian online by Robert Macfarlane. “Writers and artists have long been fascinated by the idea of an English eerie – ‘the skull beneath the skin of the countryside’. But for a new generation this has nothing to do with hokey supernaturalism – it’s a cultural and political response to contemporary crises and fears […] In music, literature, art, film and photography, as well as in new and hybrid forms and media, the English eerie is on the rise.”
British Composer Makes Music From Sounds Of Cornish Coastline – article in The Guardian by Steven Morris.”Armed with microphones, recording devices and a waterproof coat, Joe Acheson says he is “fishing for sounds” ”
Sacred Wonders of Britain – BBC 2 series hosted by Neil Oliver
Britains Holiest Places – website and blog of Nick Mayhew Smith, author of the book and BBC 4 series of the same name.
Woodhenge – The First Archaeological Site Discovered By Aerial Photography – Atlas Obscura article. “Now filled in with short concrete markers in the places where the wood poles one stood, the Late Neolithic Age monument dates to roughly the same era as the construction of its famous neighbor, possibly built slightly later by the same people between 2470 and 2000 BC. As with Stonehenge, human remains have been found at the site along with pottery and other small objects.
Hidden Complex of Monuments at Stonehenge Site – BBC News. “Scientists have discovered a hidden complex of archaeological monuments at Stonehenge, challenging the modern impression that it stood in isolation. They found the previously unknown structures when they scanned a wide area around the site, to a depth of ten feet. They also discovered evidence of up to 60 huge pillars within the mile-wide site at nearby Durrington Walls, and a wooden burial house 3,000 years older than Stonehenge.”
Dry Spell at Stonehenge Reveals Secret That Has Eluded Archaeologists – The Guardian. “Brown patches of grass left by short hosepipe lead to ‘lightbulb moment’ that may confirm monument was once a perfect circle”.
Early Music Discovered On Carving – BBC Website. “Markings on a 16th Century carving from Stirling Castle could be the oldest surviving piece of written Scottish instrumental music, historians believe. A sequence of 0s, Is and IIs have been found on one of the Stirling Heads – wooden medallions which would have decorated the castle’s royal palace. It is believed the music could have been played on instruments such as harps, viols, fiddles and lutes. An experienced harpist has been trying to play the tune.”
Was Stonehenge Built For Rock Music? – The Guardian. “The monument’s famous bluestones have acoustic properties and may have been chosen for their musical qualities.”
Ancient Man Used ‘Super Acoustics’ To Alter Consciousness – Phys.org. “A prehistoric necropolis yields clues to the ancient use of sound and its effect on human brain activity. Researchers detected the presence of a strong double resonance frequency at 70Hz and 114Hz inside a 5,000-years-old mortuary temple on the Mediterranean island of Malta. The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground complex created in the Neolithic (New Stone Age) period as a depository for bones and a shrine for ritual use. A chamber known as “The Oracle Room” has a fabled reputation for exceptional sound behaviour.”
Ancient Welsh Sites Revealed During Dry Weather – BBC news article. “Recent dry weather conditions have revealed a number of prehistoric and Roman sites across Wales. The discoveries included one prehistoric defended enclosure in Pembrokeshire and another one in Gower. Toby Driver from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales said the aerial survey revealed many “surprises”.”
Ventriloquism: Unheimlich Manœuvres – article about voice and physical presence by Sarah Angliss in The Wire. “Sound recording domesticated the ventriloquial feats of voice throwing and necromancy. We summon the dead every day on our earbuds.”
Listen To Strange Sounds Recorded In A Hole 5 Miles Deep – Wired. “For Lotte Geeven, she’s always wondered about one thing: “I’ve always been curious about what kind of sound the Earth would make,” she says. And in her recent project, The Sound of the Earth, the Netherlands-based artist actually found out.”
Field Broadcast: How To Communicate the Incommunicable Nature Of A Landscape – AN (Artists Newsletter). “Over the next seven days a series of newly commissioned digital artworks will be transmitted from the heart of Constable Country live and direct to people’s computers or mobile devices.”
Vrouw Maria Underwater Soundscape – World Listening Day 2011. “Vrouw Maria – a Dutch snow ship which sank off the coast of Finland in 1771 – has been managed in situ since the discovery of the wreck in 1999. The wreck is exceptionally well-preserved and it has great international cultural historical significance. In July 2011 underwater soundscape was recorded at the site.”
Trevor Cox Sonic Walk of Bristol (archive ) – Mayfest 2014
Sounding the City at the Edwardian Cloakroom, Aug 14-16th 2014 – a sonic art event in a city council artspace