Constantly Evolving But Never Ending

Constantly Evolving But Never Ending is the exhibition, symposium and performance event for MA Sound Arts at The London College of Communication featuring some of the work I've been developing in my practice as part of the course. My piece will be a performance on the final evening.

2nd-7th December 2014
Angus Hughes Gallery
26 Lower Clapton Road
London E5 OPD

Opening: Monday 1st December 7-9pm
Symposium: Sunday 7 December 2pm
Performances: Sunday 7 December 7pm

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From the program notes:


Approaching The Object (solo improvisation with objects), 2014

Fisher’s performance will be a solo improvisation reflecting aspects of the ongoing development of a personal playing practice based around sounding particular objects in an improvised way. It will present a series of examples of ways in which the artist approaches the objects to create sounds and focus on the relationship between the artist’s own idiosyncratic approaches and the object as a material with potential to make sound.

It is only through some kind of interaction that these particular sounds can happen. Are these sounds unique to the person causing them? Why these objects and approaches? What are the risks of improvising alone? Is there a relationship between the object and the artist? How will this work in the context of a performance? In the context of his overall practice which usually involves improvised performances incorporating combinations of different media and technologies this would be considered a relatively minimal and restrained approach.


Pictures from Ritual In Parallel For Objects And Electronics- at Soundings No.1

Some pictures from the performance of Graham Dunning and Gary Fisher: Ritual In Parallel For Objects And Electronics at Soundings No.1, 6 November 2014, Power Lunches, London

This was an improvised three phase 'ritual' of two people improvising with two sets of the same three instruments; cymbal, drum and turntable, and moving through timed segments of each instrument in turn and in parallel with each other.

Pictures by Gilda Manfring


Graham Dunning & Gary Fisher: Ritual In Parallel For Objects And Electronics – at SOUNDINGS No.1

‘Soundings, No. 1′, Power Lunches, Thursday 6th November 2014
‘Soundings’ is a series of concerts exploring the boundaries between new music, sound art and computer music.
Graham Dunning & Gary Fisher: Ritual In Parallel For Objects And
Graham Dunning & Gary Fisher are sound artists and improvising musicians who individually explore process, investigation and experimentation in their work. The duo have performed together a only handful of times despite their close, ten year association. This new collaboration is a ritual in parallel exploring similarities in
practice and differences in approach.
(From grahamdunning.com)

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Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield
31 August 2014, 2-4pm
Sculpture 4 in Allan Kaprow: YARD 1961/2014

As part of the Hepworth Gallery's rendition of Allan Kaprow's YARD installation, a room filled with car tyres, David Toop and Rie Nakajima will be holding one of their Sculpture series of sound events in the installation. As one of the 'sculptures' in Sculpture 4 a recently formed improvising group of musicians and artists from the London Collage of Communication including myself have been invited to perform and interact with the space. This will be a meeting of different concepts and approaches incorporating free improvisation with the idea of performance as sculpture in time and Kaprow's philosophy of the Happening (events as art).

YARD 1961/2014 at the Hepworth
"YARD is one of Kaprow’s earliest Environments, conceived by the artist as a transient, temporary work that invites public participation. Like most of his works, YARD was also conceived with the possibility of being re-staged, both by Kaprow himself during his lifetime, and also by others. Kaprow described all subsequent manifestations as 'reinventions', with an emphasis on reinterpreting the original idea rather than remaking as a direct copy. YARD has been re-invented over 23 times, though unlike many of his activities or environments, there are no definitive instructions, only hand-written notes and images of previous versions, allowing the work to be re-conceived each time it is presented."
Sculpture, Rie Nakajima and David Toop
"In their conversation for OTO Broadcast on Resonance FM, Rie Nakajima and David Toop talked about events as sculpture, the duration of objects and the weight of actions. Sculpture is an experience that proposes a strategy, working to subvert the routines of performance as entertainment, lecture as information, literature fixed to the page, the conventions of duration, the direction of light and occupation of a space.
Does the sculptor have to be present, or make things? Always end with a question?"

The Hepworth Wakefield


Approaching The Object: typed notes from recording sessions

Typed notes from two recording sessions for the objects and sounds project, now provisionally titled Approaching The Object. Each note relates to a digital sound file and simply explains what combinations of objects and microphones are used on that recording. They make nice text pieces, too. These are JPEGs from the original A4 size text files.

The notes in the first page were made during the recording session. Some notes on the second page were made after the session while listening to the recordings. There are recordings for the 'Drum 8' and 'Drum 9' entries but no notes were made at the time.


Project notes: Approaching The Object

Some typed notes for a project on making sounds with objects.

"The initial idea was that I would do something that is a part of my current practice and would help me understand more about my own fascination with making sounds with objects and find some cultural context for that as part of an artistic practice. I would take the thing that I feel is at the centre of what I do as an artist -making sounds with objects- and strip away everything else to examine it close-up. It would be a relatively simple and pragmatic exercise. Of course when we examine something close-up a world of complexities and detail within the thing itself become apparent… and more possibilities."

The notes are from the early stages of the final project for my MA in Sound Art. This is a development of the Object/Action/Sound idea in a previous post and show the kind of things I'm thinking about or doing with this project. The 'Further Thinking' part shows how within the apparently scientific and pragmatic original idea is a far more complex and philosophical web of themes, questions and directions.

The image is taken directly from an A4 word file.


Drawings for tape loop installation

Drawings for a site-specific tape loop installation at The London College of Communication.

Felt pen on A4 monochrome prints from digital photos showing ideas for a site-specific installation with a small reel-to reel tape recorder running a loop of tape along the length of a set of metal railings playing back a continuos loop of the sound of my hand running along the railings once from one end to the other. The action is performed and recorded once with the rest of the tape containing silence. The actual sound would not take up the same length of tape as the length of the railing though the tape moving along the full length of the railing and the visual association with the sound, it's source and the movement of the tape may create that impression.



Notes for project on making sounds with objects.

Today I made a proposal to my MA group for the final project of the course. The focus of the project is to look at what is at the core of my interests as an artist- making sounds with objects-  and make some detailed studies of particular objects while exploring their sound-making possibilities. This will be an attempt to get to the heart of what it is that I am trying to do with my work by stripping away all the many and various elements that go into and come out of the work and focus on the one that is most important to me. I am working towards a series of performances with objects and instruments that are about exploring the 'basic' idea of performing actions with objects with the intention of creating sounds. Of course this idea is not so basic as by giving myself restrictions and boundaries to work within and taking a hyper-focussed approach highlights the potential complexity and possibilities of going from the general to the specific. Also there are many questions raised about the focus on myself as the  artist and performer and why this work must result in a live performance. I feel this project is a very personal one as it is important that I am bringing my own approach, idiosyncrasies, measure and sensitivity to the objects and the fact that it is a performance allows this to be seen and heard first hand. The audience will see the artist making decisions, deciding how, when and when not to act and hear the resulting sound. One thing I want to avoid is the focus on the artist as the 'master of ceremonies' the magician who is performing mystical acts. I want no illusions. One challenge is how to make the work interesting and engaging if it is apparently so simple in concept and execution without it becoming self -indulgent noodling or a dry demonstration exercise.


Random Record Mash-ups ⌗1

Random Record Mash-ups 1

One turntable, four records. Live sampling and looping random parts of each record.

Records used in order:
"Garden Bird Songs" (RSPB 1976)
"One Man In His Time: Sir John Gielgud Reads Shakespeare" (CBS 1960)
"How To Give Yourself A Stereo Checkout" (DECCA 1967)
"Bass Guitar" (Consolidated Music Publishers 1973)

Filmed on a webcam with direct audio line through a USB sound card.


Sonic Review- David Lynch: The Factory Photographs

"I love industry. Pipes. I love fluid and smoke. I love man-made things. I like to see people hard at work, and I like to see sludge and man-made waste." David Lynch
A short piece based on tape-recorded field recordings made at The Photographer’s Gallery, London at an exhibition of David Lynch’s Factory Photographs. The exhibition is black and white photographs of slightly bleak and foreboding industrial landscapes from around th e world. This is my response to a brief asking to make a ‘review’ of something artistic or cultural I had seen recently. I took a tape recorder along to the exhibition and recorded sounds of people talking while viewing the work, using the elevator, opening and closing doors, the sound of myself walking around the exhibition and the dark, ambient tones of Lynch’s own sound installation accompanying the exhibition. The tape recordings were then processed through digital delay, while stop-starting the tape causing the sounds of the tape recorder and the recordings to repeat and overlap to create new sounds. The piece was re-mixed in real-time while being copied between two tape recorders. Some low synth tones were added in response to Lynch’s own sounds. Quite how this constitutes a review I don’t know but there it is.

David Lynch, Untitled (England) late 1980s early 1990s




Issue 360

February 2014

"Noise Above Noise 
The high rise studio housing Manchester’s sonic arts underground. By Frances Morgan"

The Penthouse NQs Noise Above Noise sound performance series is featured in the latest issue of Wire. I was artist in residence at The Penthouse and played at the first Noise Above Noise in 2013.