THE SCHOOL OF SOUND INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM 2015
Programme of the SOS 2015
A unique series of masterclasses exploring the art of sound in film, the arts and media
Wednesday – Saturday
8-11 April 2015
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
What is the School of Sound?
The School of Sound is a symposium created to encourage a cross-disciplinary approach to using sound in the arts and media. We explore what sound does, how audiences listen.
It is a place where for 4 days you can raise your awareness of how audio production works, how it conveys information and emotion, how you can work with it.
But how do you think about something so ephemeral? And how do you teach it? Sound always seems to be occupying areas of ambiguity – the emotional, the subtext, the intuitive, the borders between reality and fantasy, the conscious and the subconscious. And by their very nature, academia and professional practice shy away from ambiguity and cross-fertilisation, staying within their own boundaries. But interesting things happen when you start mixing them up!
For four days, out of your usual routine, you’ll be immersed in a world of imagination, invention and innovation. Listening to presentations from a diversity of incredible talents, you will be able to disconnect from your day-to-day work, taken out of your comfort zone, to reflect on sound as something that is profoundly complex, entertaining and important.
Why attend the School of Sound?
It is not an academic conference it is not about getting a job and it is not about hardware or software. The SOS provides a rare opportunity to hear and meet 20 creatives working at the highest levels of the arts and media speaking in detail about how they think and work.
And the SOS is not about just one area of sound production. It covers film, theatre, dance, games, installation, music and radio that will expand your thinking and increase your ability to work in diverse areas of media and the arts.
At the SOS you will mix with hundreds of like-minded people – professional practitioners, educators, artists and students – with whom you can network, exchange ideas and create collaborations.
The SOS is delighted to announce the first details of the 2015 programme. Speakers include
Choreographer SIOBHAN DAVIES in conversation with composer/performer MATTEO FARGION
Opera and theatre director PETER SELLARS
Sound artist and Foley specialist NICOLAS BECKER
Artist, filmmaker and writer JOHN AKOMFRAH
Installation artist IMOGEN STIDWORTHY
Radio producer PIERS PLOWRIGHT
Performance artist DICKIE BEAU
Sound/music composer GERHARD ECKEL
Filmmaker and composer NADIM MISHLAWI
Sound designer RANA EID
Interactive games sound designers MARTIN STIG ANDERSEN, JOANNA ORLAND with composer, audio director and consultant JOHN BROOMHALL
and yoiker ÁNDE SOMBY …
with more participants to be announced in the coming weeks.
The renowned Foley artist (Gravity, Wuthering Heights) who has now turned to more abstract, space-based sound work, describes his techniques and methods.
SIOBHAN DAVIES and MATTEO FARGION
The relationship between sound, movement and performance is the focus of this conversation between Davies, one of Europe’s leading choreographers, and collaborator Fargion, a composer and performer whose works have been performed around the world. Looking and listening to excerpts of their own work, they examine the process by which movement comes out of audio and, specifically, the differences between working with music and soundscapes. And following from that, they will question the varying effects of recorded or live music, analogue or synthesised, acoustics and the influence of an audience’s proximity to the performance.
Director, writer and theorist, Akomfrah’s body of work embraces documentaries, feature films and exhibitions that have garnered international critical acclaim. In this presentation he explores how sound adapts to the requirements of different media and content.
JOHN BROOMHALL, composer and sound creative (Forza Motorsport 5, X-Com, Transport Tycoon) and founder of the Games Music Connect conference, brings together two leading sound designers in this session exploring the ways sound is evolving across the range of interactive entertainment. WithMARTIN STIG ANDERSEN
Sound designer for the acclaimed Limbo, by Playdead, Andersen analyses his techniques for creating soundtracks in the indie-game environment, looking forward to his next release, Inside.
Having worked at EA Criterion (Black, Burnout) and currently Senior Sound Designer at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe with credits that include Wonderbook, Diggs Nightcrawler and Project Morpheus, Joanna describes the level of research and conceptualising required for AAA games.
The Tallatchie Bridge and Other Mysteries
Broadcaster and writer Piers Plowright explores the pictures that sound creates and considers the silence that surrounds the best music and words. His starting point is Bobby Gentry’s 1967 hit, Ode to Billie Joe.
The Choreography of Sound
Eckel presents his work, Zeitraum (German for ‘timespan’, literally ‘time space’), a sound environment exposing the interrelation of time and space in acoustic communication. “A central finding of the project was, that sound can also be understood as a choreographic device. The project started out with the idea that sound would be the object of choreography, composers would move ‘bodies of sound’ around in space. Towards the end I discovered this other reading, where sound choreographs the audience, especially in installation situations.”
Memory and Lip-sync
Dickie has gained notoriety as a pioneer of “playback” performance: the uncanny embodiment (or “re-memberment”) of found sound – a style of performance that emerges from the drag tradition of lip synching. He positions the body as an archive, especially of the “missing” – re-visioning and playing back voices from the margins: voices of figures we might not normally hear in the mainstream, in ways that we might not be accustomed to hearing them.
RANA EID and NADIM MISHLAWI
The Soundscape of Conflict
Images of car bombs, assassinations, armed conflict, protests and fiery politicians are the world’s postcards from Beirut. And over time, these images have come to trigger hatred, superiority, racism and, most importantly – fear. It is through listening to Beirut, or any city for that matter, that one can overcome the prejudice of these images and create a subjective affinity. And it is through sounds that we can identify and empathize with events that at first seem strangely alien to us.
Stidworthy will be discussing the voice at the borders of language through her most recent project, Balayer – A Map of Sweeping (2014) – a three-screen installation with ambisonic sound (see Speakers’ Biographies for more details), and a number of related works.
Opera, theater, and festival director Peter Sellars has gained renown worldwide for his groundbreaking and transformative interpretations of artistic masterpieces and collaborative projects with an extraordinary range of creative artists across three decades. Whether it is Bach, Mozart, Handel, Shakespeare, Sophocles, or the 16th century Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu, Peter Sellars strikes a universal chord with audiences, engaging and illuminating contemporary social and political issues.
The animals inside the man and the man outside the animals
Are we simply humans? Or are there animals inside of us? Plants? Landscapes?
This is the underlying question in Ánde Sombys preformance. During the performance there will be given “yoik-impersonations” of birds, insects and animals.
This is influenced by the idea of transformation in the pre-Christian Sámi religion – that a human could transform into an animal and back to a human again. And the inspiration is that in our modern day many birds and animals are threatened. How would they feel about pollution, for example?
The SOS 2015 programme is subject to change. The School of Sound reserves the right to make changes to the content, schedule, list of speakers, topics or venue. All updates will be listed on this website.