Documentation from Writing Sound symposium

On November 18th 2011, the Sonic Art Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University hosted Writing Sound  a symposium examining the relationship between sound and writing, and exploring written soundscapes and the way in which written sound informs the experience of the reader. Contributors included pianist and musicologist Dr. Catherine Laws (University of York) discussed sound in the work of Samuel Beckett and performed head down among the stems and bells by composer Martin Iddon (a work that takes a moment from Beckett’s novella Mercier and Camier as a starting point); field recordist Ian Rawes (London Sound Survey) introduced the London soundscape through the novels of Charles Dickens; composer Dr. Paul Whitty (Oxford Brookes University) discussed the experience of focussing on the presence of sound in a reading of Roma Tearne‘s The Swimmer; sound artist Patrick Farmer (Compost and Height) discussed the written soundworlds of William Carlos Williams; and Dr Felicity Ford introduced some text elements of her sonic documentation project, Sound Bank.

You can see more photographs of Felicity Ford’s SOUND BANK here.

A publication was produced in association with this event which can be browsed and downloaded below, and the talks have been archived as audio recordings on Internet Archive.

Paul Whitty talking about sound in Roma Tearne’s novel, The Swimmer

Ian Rawes discussing sound in the novels of Charles Dickens, in the context of Victorian London

Patrick Farmer discussing sound in the novels of William Carlos Williams

Felicity Ford discussing the process of developing SOUND BANK, and presenting her textual records of sounds heard around the gathered audience; includes a Q&A featuring people’s responses to SOUND BANK

Catherine Laws discussing sound in the work of Samuel Beckett; includes a performance of “head down among the stems and bells” by composer Martin Iddon – a work that takes a moment from Beckett’s novella “Mercier and Camier” as a starting point

downloadable PDF of Writing Sounds conference booklet, right-click to save a copy

Writing Sound – Read Any Good Sounds Lately

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