Kaffe Matthews, 2008
I am making music for outside spaces. Reconsidering time through building non linear works that hover invisible in the air until they are triggered to play by a passing visitor. I am investigating this in two ways: one is for full body listening and static, the other for expansive ear listening and roaming. Both instances create audio environments away from our self-controlled solo perambulating sound spaces, the roving headphones, the self-designed portable home space transfer systems. Both instances also put new music onto the street, away from the confines of the concert hall or the gallery, away from the start finish ritual of the performance, inadvertently turning the visitor into performer and transforming the public sound space, sometimes so subtle, into patches of musical vitality. Was last night so good or was that really a trumpet gliding by?
Let’s re-work spatial considerations, exploring maps as musical scores and mapping as shifting structures moving in networked layers. Hook fragments of pieces onto them and use invisible connection possibilities to start and stop and recombine the sounds afresh, depending on where you, the listener, goes on the street.
Expansive, roaming listening uses the street, the maps, our routes as scores, with the listener carrying the music through neighbourhoods on a sonic bicycle. I used FM transmission to do this previously (Radio Cycle (2003)), but Folkestone is not local radio friendly. UK control of the airwaves and cost of licensing, combined with the power of French signals and the hills of Folkestone, has forced us to find other means.
MAR- fabulous, VELO – bicycle, MARVELO – cool.
A beautiful fat-walled Martello Tower makes a perfect sound laboratory, overlooking the Folkestone streets below. Throw a net. Catch the digits beamed down from space that mark our streets, our fields, our land and sea as numbers and map them. Work with brilliant young ears and minds of local residents, make music that tells of their thoughts and places, and attach these pieces in sonic fragments to the map of digits. Then travel.
You will be able to hear the work unfold locative. Unfurl, jump out, reveal itself in fragments and phrases and silence and noise and threads of melody as you go. Sounds collide at the corner and switch, no end, bang into another libretto as left you go instead. Hark how fresh and varied the sonic landscape becomes, how you tune into those details near and far. We have invaded and transform it.
Why pedal on two wheels? The bike carries the hardware leaving you to float around listening , and the downs truly make the ups more than worth it.
With special thanks to Abigail, Bradley, Charlotte, Hannah, Harrison, Holly, Leonie, Paul, William, Lisa, Ross, Maria, Niamh, Pete, David and Hive Networks