Lights Out Listening Group
Lights Out Listening Group is a unique listening event that takes place in almost complete darkness. We have been running regular events in Glasgow since 2011. The selections from this playlist are drawn from the past decade of Lights Out events – 56 editions to date.
Through this bi-monthly event we hoped to form a community of sound makers – putting people in touch so that they can get advice, support and feedback on their work and possibly find new audiences and new people to work with. It is an opportunity for contributors to test their audio creations out on a small audience of like-minded individuals who share a love of radio and the sonic arts. We have an open submissions policy so the programme is largely un-curated. It is a platform for people to promote and find an audience for their work. As well as recorded media we also include occasional live performances. This group is open to anybody working with sound at all stages of their career including students, professionals and amateurs. Although intended primarily as a local initiative word has spread and we now have regular contributions from around the world.
Each listening event is made up of a programme of sound and radio works submitted to us in advance. A short printed programme including a synopsis of each work and a short biography of the producers is handed out on the night.
1: Cassia Dodman
Title: Clean Sink
Synopsis: A composition of sounds describing the ritualistic process of cleaning a bathroom.
Biography: Contemporary Art Practice graduate from DJCAD. Sculptural and sensory assemblages derived from aspects of everyday living.
2: Davide Tidoni
Title: Non Molleremo Mai (We Will Never Give Up)
Synopsis: An 89 year old woman sings along with the musical motif of a well know football stadium chant. Her fragile voice clashes with the physicality of the music. Here’s the representation of the fight between life and death.
Duration: 3 minutes 48
Biography: Davide Tidoni is a researcher in the field of sound and listening. He’s interested in the relational dimension of listening and the physical experience of sound. With a particular emphasis on observation and intervention, he realizes a variety of works that include live performances, videos, audio projects, and workshops. He has recently completed a sound ethnography about the northern Italian football supporters group BRESCIA 1911.
3: Catherine Street
Title: I cast my own shadow over it
Synopsis: Work-in-progress – I repeatedly attempt to narrate the same series of loosely connected thoughts, then layer up the separate recordings so that words and phrases merge with sounds from the environment.
Biography: Catherine Street is a visual artist whose work tends to consist of layers of experience: her own body is often incorporated within an installation setting that has video, audio, drawn, sculptural, and written elements. The atmosphere is usually unnerving, tense, sensual, comical.
4: Amble Skuse
Title: Do Less
Synopsis: Improvisation for Guqin and Electronics performed to a forest near Beijing at sunrise.
Duration: 2 minutes 33
Biography: Amble Skuse is a composer working with acoustic instruments and electronic processing. Her work functions around themes of space, disability, and tradition.
5: Lin Li
Title: Unvoiced – voiced
Synopsis: In 2011, in fear of calls for a ‘jasmine revolution’ in China, the sale of jasmine flowers was temporarily banned by some local officials. In the sound piece “Unvoiced-voiced”, Lin sings, with her face immersed in water, a popular Chinese song ‘Jasmine Flower’, as a response to the suppression of free speech in China. On a personal level, this is also part of her own exploration of how to attain a free voice.
Duration: 2 minutes 41 (complete)
Biography: Originally from Hong Kong, Lin Li is a visual artist based in Glasgow. Having painted for years, Lin started in 2011 to explore moving images and sound as a creative medium. Being a choral singer, she is particularly interested in expressing and experimenting with the voice.
6: Barry Burns
Title: The Long Panic In Us Which Never Quite Surfaces
Synopsis: While making something to take my mind off the lockdown I seem to have inadvertently made something about the lockdown.
Duration: 3 minutes 49
7: Chris Dooks
Title: Gwiazdozbiór Andromedy
Synopsis: Using elements of a broken piano in my house, I invited Polish speaker Marta Adamowich to read me a list of key constellations in Polish. I am looking for ways through sound to introduce folk to astronomy and the nightsky and find the Polish language and her voice in particular quite gripping, so I edited it together very sparsely. I also felt it was a positive work of immigration, when the stars know no borders.
Duration: 4 minutes
Biography: Chris Dooks is a new media artist and doctoral researcher at The University of The West of Scotland, Ayr.
8: Alasdair Fisher
Synopsis: Alasdair Fisher joins us to talk about his new album “Contradictions”.
Duration: 8 minutes 28
Biography: Alasdair Fisher is a writer and actor from Glasgow.
9: Ilaria Boffa & Mark Vernon
Synopsis: Mark described this musical work as a distortion or subversion of constructed fantasies of the ‘exotic’ or ‘other’ that were common in the musical genre of ‘exotica’ popular in the 50s. Starting from this reflection and listening to the piece, I wrote my poem ‘Ode for Complexity’ building on the concept of authenticity, mediocrity (nothing is really superior or special a priori) and complexity. I strongly believe in nurturing complex thinking. Articulate and disassemble, deconstruct that simplistic and linear approach that weakens minds and relies on conformed familiar standards to minimise effort, sacrifice, care and discipline. Simplicity is derivative. Now more than ever, we need to stay uneasy and vigilant. Clouds are moving fast, they’re changing perspective.
Biographies: Ilaria Boffa is an Italian poet. She has published three poetry collections and she is one of the eight authors included in the North East American Association publication ‘Writing in a Different Language’ Vol XL 2018. Over the last years, she has been experimenting with field recording, blending her spoken words with sounds.
Sonopoetry Works: https://soundcloud.com/ilaria_boffa
Latest Publication: About Sounds About Us, 2019, book of poems: http://www.samueleeditore.it/about-sounds-about-us-ilaria-boffa/
Mark Vernon is a Glasgow based sound artist whose practice focuses upon field recording, the manipulation of environmental sounds and acousmatic presence. His work explores ideas of audio archaeology, magnetic memory and the reappropriation of found sounds. A keen advocate of radio as an art form, he co-runs Glasgow art radio station, Radiophrenia and has produced programmes for stations internationally.
10: Monica Brown
Title: A change of direction again
Synopsis: This moment reminded me of that internally safe feeling I used to get when I was wee, locked inside of the car when it was being pummeled by the massive circular brushes at the car wash.
Duration: 2 minutes 50
Biography: Monica works freelance in audio as well as teaching in a college. She finds it strange writing about herself in the 3rd person.
11: Duncan Herd
Title: 100% PURE PARADISE
Synopsis: Comprised of sounds made from product packaging, royalty-free corporate jingles and coconut water drinks reviews voiced by text-to-speech generators. Produced in conjunction of creating ‘A Product of Paradise’, 2016 – an installation materialising the marketing of coconut based products through assemblages and simulated sensory elements, commenting on commodification and advertising in contemporary society.
Duration: 1 minute 37
Biography: Contemporary Art Practice student at Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee. Interested in the themes of artificiality, human behaviours and constructed environments.
12: Elina Bry
Title: It’s a Heartache (Live at LOLG)
Synopsis: Using my inner rhythm as a tempo, my body as a tool, I reflect on myself and my capacity to stay in balance with myself. Apogee of a heart anomaly.
Biography: Elina Bry currently part of the MFA at GSA, considers herself as a French/Finnish, both equally. Communication is an essential part of her practice as each medium and language has its own strength. She sees language as a medium and by recognizing different self’s in her three languages, she makes the most of them.
13: Chin Li
Title: Whisper 3: A Manifesto
Duration: 3 minute 3 seconds
Synopsis: If you look imaginatively, you could see him muttering to himself under his breath, while sitting there, right in the city centre, with a stony-faced mask.
Biography: Chin Li was an NHS clinical psychologist for many years, but is now focusing on writing, and also dabbling in other forms of creative expression such as audio work.
14: James Chapman
Title: Marblerun 1
Synopsis: The Home Education music group meet on Monday afternoons in Edinburgh. James (34) Meg (5) and Izzy (6) set up the wooden marble run and percussion instruments. Meg and Izzy collected the marbles at the bottom and passed them back up to James.
Duration: 2 minutes 31
Biography: James is better known as a member of The Forgotten Works, Meg likes sellotape and dancing, Izzy runs a cafe in her basement and plays the guitar.
15: Jamie Flett & Judith Williams
Title: ‘Let Me Hold (Skin To Skin)’
Synopsis: Underneath the ecstatic news of Peggy’s birth ran a murkier and more
convoluted story, like a peaty black stream under its carapace of sparkling frosted ice. Revealed only when her mother Jude decided to uncover and excavate it as one part of a means of processing it.
Duration: 5 minutes
Biographies: Jamie Flett – I self-released my first solo album of skewed blues folk songs in 2009. Since then, I’ve tried to confront the artificial limitations of being defined as a ‘singer-songwriter’ by ad-libbing other approaches and investigating remoter sonic territories, either on my own or with accomplices. I still sing songs.
Judith Williams is a unique lady songstress and a gloriously multifarious performer. Her work is bold and innovative and her voice a beautiful, vital, vulnerable force of nature with the power to induce ready tears, embracing life in all its technicolour. Her practice is wildness and not knowing.
Web: www.jamieflett.co.uk @Jamie_Flett https://www.facebook.com/JamieFlettMusic/
16: Johnathan Prior
Title: The last brewery in Alloa
Synopsis: Alloa, Clackmannanshire, has a rich brewing industry, but today only one brewery remains. This three minute sound piece, composed of untreated field recordings taken from within the brewery and the adjacent bottling plant, sonically traces the various stages of brewing.
Duration: 3 minutes
Biography: I am an Edinburgh-based sound recordist working on the
production of soundwalks, sound maps, and other field recording projects.
17: Marcello Messina, Deivid de Menezes & the Lights Out Listening Group
Title: “We all appreciate the irony”
Synopsis: Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately we will not be able to include it in our upcoming programme because as a purely musical work it doesn’t really fit the remit of LOLG which is more specifically targeted at experimental radio, voice, spoken word and sound art. We appreciate the irony of rejecting a piece that is about rejection and staying proud. Stay proud! Best wishes…
Duration: 1 minute 03
Biographies: Deivid de Menezes is a composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Marcello Messina is a Sicilian composer currently living in Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil.
Web: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
18: Nichola Scrutton
Synopsis: Word of Mouth is fixed medium work that uses the human voice as
Duration: 5 minutes 39
Biography: Nichola Scrutton is a sound artist and composer, with a particular
19: Sarah Kenchington
Title: Pump and Parp
Synopsis: This piece was recorded on the Isle of Eigg using an adapted tenor horn, partly submerged in the tank of a hydram pump. On Eigg the main spring st Columbas well is lower than many of the crofts and they use hydram pumps to get the water up the hill. These are amazing mechanical devices that are powered by the gravity of falling water. The water falls through valves that intermittently open and close with an audible pulse. The principle that governs this behaviour is very similar to the conditions that create sound. It is a to and fro of equally opposing forces a steady but not stagnant state. The water pushes a valve open then the valve pushes back over and over. It is the same thing you can see happening when you play a horn with a balloon membrane the air pushes past the balloon then the balloon snaps shut, the resulting vibration is what you hear as sound.
Duration: 3 minutes 50
Biography: Sarah Kenchington lives on a farm in the Campsies, she studied sculpture and has been building and adapting musical instruments for the past 10 years. All of her instruments are human powered, mechanically assisted, acoustic devises. Some are designed to be played in a conventional sense, like her pedal powered double ended hurdy gurdy/banjo. Others are designed to compose the music, like the Bell Tower a pyramid structure that distributes balls in a mathematical pattern. Her Flutterbox, a mechanical sequencer, generates rhythmic loops, or colour coded musical notation. In her performances Kenchington plays a semi-mechanical, pedal and pump powered orchestra, involving many of her instruments at the same time. She has performed internationally at experimental music festivals including, Suoni Per Il Popolo, Montreal 2012, and Tectonics Glasgow 2014 and also as part of theatre, radio and film projects.
Title: Inside The Fish We Find: one piece out of four from an installation called “sheer data:shydata”, showcased at this year’s Supernormal festival.
Synopsis: A poetic piece cocooning a time of painful anxiety inside a place of deep solace. Part of a longer piece encompassing 4 separate poetic soundscapes, exploring myriad themes including overstimulation, overconsumption, subjectivity, jealousy, enmeshment, boundaries, belonging, inspiration, friendship and solace.
Duration: 9 minutes 29
Biography: tandsmør aka tilly alexander hallworth (she/her pronouns) is a poet, vocalist, musician and sound artist living and working in Glasgow. She also runs Rattle Library with her friend Hussein Mitha, as well as being a cycle instructor to pay the bills. She is currently incubating a musical project nicknamed ‘tirzah club’ which is going very well, and is learning how to play the drums.
21: Zoe Irvine
Synopsis: An instalment from the Priscilla Tapes by Zoë Irvine. Featuring improvised
Duration: 5 minutes 20
Biography: Zoë Irvine is an artist working with sound. She is especially interested in
22: Tony Morris
Title: There Are No More Planes
Synopsis: A homage to the public house.
Biography: Lives in Glasgow, participated in Radiophrenia and Glasgow International, performed at various venues throughout the city; usually on my own, sometimes with a soprano.
23: Tian Miller
Title: Singing in the rain
Synopsis: The making of these recordings came to me when it was raining quite heavily in Norway this summer. Like most other places the weather forecast seem to be one of the main subjects that people talk about. I therefore decided to make recordings where the use of water was the main element.
Duration: 2 minutes 27 (Mixed recordings, work in progress)
Biography: Tian Miller is a Norwegian artist based in Norway. Her work has more recently involved the use of sound as a medium.