Tag Archives: Soundart Radio

Show 989: Poetics of Imagination for Soundart Radio, Devon

Researchers and artists from the Schumacher College Poetics of Imagination group at Dartington Hall, sing us into the forest to meet with ancestors, beasts, to move from individual identity to a collective, merged self. There we confront life, death and rebirth, through multi-ingual mixed modalities.

The Poetics of Imagination course explores orality, story and culture, examining how we have conjured stories from the earliest times to the present day.
The course is centred around oral telling but opens to a broader spectrum of the arts, examining the work of ancient to contemporary storytellers, writers and artists. Students explore the idea that when humans imagine, they tend to imagine in story. What is trying to be told right now?

Created by Cosima von Seefried, Mimi Brown, Annabelle Simmons, Grace Wilshaw Chanter, M, Will Wilson, Isa Schoier, Flo Barshall, Sophie Craven, Lee Morell, Dan Hamner.
Produced by Alice Armstrong and Lucinda Guy at Soundart Radio, South Devon, UK. With thanks to Emma Bush.

Show 964 : “Enoughness” from Hannah Drayson (for Soundart Radio)

“Enoughness” is made up of conversations from “Mug Stories”, an interview project produced in collaboration with the residents of Braziers Park, an intentional community in South Oxfordshire, UK.  The interviews touch on a number of themes, around sharing,  object agency and affect. Starting a conversation about mugs, it turns out, can be a very effective way to talk about our interdependence and the ways in which it is mediated by objects. Through these stories, we learn how these everyday objects offer a locus of communal activity, and a metaphor for many other forms of intimacy and instability. Creating the program has allowed me to explore some of the intangible aspects of the mug as object and collection; personal pre-reflexive actions and perceptions, the affective dimensions associated with sharing and attachment; the agential qualities of objects within a shared domestic setting, and the questions of how relationships are understood, communicated and enacted through metaphor.

Dr Hannah Drayson is an artist-researcher and DJ. Her artist portfolio is here and you can read more about her research here.

Show 939: “TstBd” by Christopher Booth for Soundart Radio

“TstBd” was a ritual performance carried out December 9th 2021 in Studio 1, Dartington Hall. Utilizing sound, radio feedback, video & ritual a spell was cast, the results of which are as yet indeterminate.

The Test Bed was a performance created in response to a critical investigation into Dartington Hall, its history, pedagogical legacy and the landscape and people who live and have lived in and around the estate. The title was taken from a board annual report for the Dartington Trust in which it was stated “Dartington should be a test bed for a just and sustainable future” Indeed, the sigil used ritually in this piece is conceived from this premise. The work is a celebration of craftmanship, egalitarianism, the landscape of Dartington Hall and a call to remember its history as a catalyst for experimentation and exploration of radical ideas.

“It brought to mind fluxus performances from the 60’s and seemed to symbolize a revisiting of Dartington’s history although the involvement of radios in the space and the knowledge that this was being broadcast on Soundart radio brought the focus into the present. An experimental practice-based project which was professional, engaging and displayed a rigorous performative approach and inventive use of research material.”
– Dr Jo Joelson (London Fieldworks)

The audio is also available in conjunction with the video footage from the performance here – The Test Bed – YouTube

Show 0912: And you’ve asked me to think about medicine by Sarah Scaife (Soundart Radio)

And you’ve asked me to think about medicine 

a collective sonic collage by Sarah Scaife

In a sympathetic garden, we made a gentle journey to explore wellbeing and medicine with some honesty. The work is created from original sounds, collected and recorded live in the gardens of Dartington Hall, Devon, UK, by contributors who joined Sarah’s workshop at Sentient Performativities: thinking alongside the human, 2022.

a wonderful collage of voices — including some amazingly vulnerably and moving moments      (particpant)

In the spaces between us and the more-than-human, we found sensations, imaginings and understandings. These conversations are ultimately lyrical and optimistic, but other voices and feelings are heard.

Sarah warmly thanks the participants who generously shared their recordings and trusted her to create this collage. The participants are Eleanor Snare, Gemma Collard-Stokes, Jane Mason, Katrina Brown, Rita Leduc, Sabine Kussmaul, Sam Francis, Scott Thurston.

Sarah Scaife is an artist and doctoral research student in the University of Exeter Department of Communications, Drama and Film. She uses practice-based performance research methods to explore “medicines of uncertainty”. The research is supervised at the University of Exeter and the University of Bristol and supported by the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, UK.


Image credit: Sarah Scaife using photograph by Katrina Brown 2022
Music: digitally devised by Sarah Scaife remixing ‘Elementary’ by Scott Buckley
Created in partnership with Soundart Radio 102.5FM.

Background and context


More about Sarah’s work on these platforms


Show 887: “KINsequences, a sculpture that wants to get made”, by Writers Kin – Soundart Radio, Devon, UK

KINsequences is a collaborative piece of writing by Molly Allam, Sovay Berriman, Alan Braidford, Tara Casey, Rachael Coward, Joanne Dorothea-Smith, Claire Gladstone, Tina Kutter, Clementine Neild & Frances Staniforth. The text has been built by each participant writing in response to the person that has preceded them. It is both in the Surrealist tradition and a version of the parlour game known as ‘consequences’. Each writer can only see the previous participant’s contribution, with the whole only being revealed at the end. The text contains enough common threads to form a narrative arc but travels in unanticipated directions and represents a chorus of voices, both visually and through language. There are three acts; Act I: A Sculpture That Wants To Get Made, Act II: The Making, and Act III: The Viewing.

Writers’ KIN is a group of artists who regularly meet through CAMP, a member led support and professional development network for artists, curators, producers and arts writers living in Devon and Cornwall.
A group reading of KINsequences was performed from this co-created and illustrated text, recorded and produced by Shelley Hodgson at Soundart Radio.

Show 862: Confusion, Reflection, Joy, a radio drama in Sonata Form (Soundart Radio)

Three movements, each exploring our location at Dartington Hall as somewhere where time slips between different years, decades, centuries. In August, when musicians gather for the Summer School, as you wander around the medley of medieval and modernist buildings different musics seep out of every door and window. The musicians and audiences bring and share memories of their visits here over the years, and make new ones.

Participants in the Summer School’s Radio Drama course, run by Soundart Radio, walked, listened and collected. Their studio was the whole of the Dartington Estate, their script was words found on gravestones amongst the ancient yew trees, and their scores were signs around the buildings. Many fragments were then pulled together into three movements. Confusion explores the problems of collective music making in a Covid wary environment. Reflection provides space to mourn and remember. Finally, Joy brings together old memories and new music with attempts at happiness.

Dartington Summer School began in 1948 and has only been cancelled once, in 2020. The planned events would have coincided with Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, and a new work, “Joy” was commissioned for choir and string quartet. In 2021, amongst sudden changes, partial closures and socially distanced outdoor music, Joy was rehearsed and performed for the first time. Snippets of Joy, by John Barber and Hazel Gould, pop up here, as well as many other half formed performances, captured whilst wandering around the site.
Special thanks to Sara Mohr-Pietsch.


Show 847: The Fierce Urgency of Now by Vic & Gareth Wolf for Soundart Radio

via archive.org

The Fierce Urgency of Now is named after a speech from Hakeem Jeffries,
Democrat Representive in New York City, who used the phrase to talk about
the need to address inequalities in America at the time of the storming of
the Capitol Building. We’ve since learned the phrase was used by Dr Martin
Luther King Jr. in his ‘I have a dream speech’.

Vic & Gareth Wolf met at Dartington College of Arts at the inaugural
Soundart Radio broadcast 15 years ago.
This commission has given us the platform we were hoping for to move from
theatre into audio.
Our work explores human mortality and environmental decline.

Show 834: Hello! This is a Test by Mark Leahy for Soundart Radio

All sat frozen and watched the screen.

Code is used when secrets are sent.

Three for a dime, the young peddler cried.

They told wild tales to frighten him.

The core material for this project began with a selection from the Harvard Sentences, and then other materials including phrases from the Modified Rhyme Test, and panphones were added. This collage was then read aloud to an Android tablet and converted to a new text using Google speech to text software. The new text was read to the tablet and a second conversion was performed. That resulting text was then edited and had punctuation added.

For this iteration of the project, as a piece for radio, the source materials were reedited and rerecorded with contributions from a number of different voices. These were then layered and combined into a three-part sequence, where the sections are in a ratio of 4:5:2. Repeated beats and rhythms were used as a base, including a reference to the song Tom’s Diner, used in testing lossiness in the development of the MP3 file format. Questions of signal and noise, of message sent and message received, of the relationship of different voices to who and what is heard run through the text. It calls out to the listener, there is a message here. Can you hear? Can you tell what it is?

Thanks for their vocal contributions to:

Dante Lorenzo

Veronica Fazzio Welf

Sue Coulson

Shelley Hodgson

Thanks to Lucinda Guy and Chris Booth at Soundart Radio for inviting me to work on this.

MARK LEAHY is a writer and artist. From Ireland, he now lives in Devon. He works with textual practices and performance, using constraints and structuring rules, to cross or question category and genre divisions. Recent projects include ‘9×9: a set of poems under constraint’ (ArtsandCultureExeter, 2020), ‘Breath Pieces’ (Glasgow, June 2018); ‘telling time’ (Jamboree, Dartington, June 2018); ’threaded insert’ (Plymouth Art Weekender 2017; Cardiff, May 2018). Poems have appeared in Tentacular, Stride, Freaklung, Curly Mind, Other Room Anthology 8; Swatches was published by Acts of Language (2009), and Subject to Gesture by Dock Road Press (2017). Critical publications include essays in C21 Literature, Open Letter, Performance Research Journal and Journal of Writing in Creative Practice. He teaches part-time at University of Plymouth and Falmouth University, and works with a number of regional arts organisations. markleahy.net.

Show 809: You would sound (…) much more convincing if you spoke as if you cared (…)

Ayn Rand’s highly dubious novel ‘The Fountainhead’ has become a source of morbid fascination for us since entering lockdown – forming the basis for a research pathology driven at least in part by an urge to inoculate against certain worlds that could (re)emerge post-Covid. Firmly embedded within the (arguably impoverished) neo-liberal literary canon, ‘The Fountainhead’ is nonetheless something of an embarrassment for many of those who actually live by its values. Even for many of its proponents, the novel is just ‘too much’: Rand does not hold back from not only depicting but outright embracing a brutal vision of sociality governed by self-interest and extreme egotism. The question we ask ourselves is, how can anyone like this? The popularity of the novel seems unabated despite its unbearably didactic tone, flatlining dialogue and overstated rhetoric. In order to at least move towards resolving this deadlock, in our radio broadcast we will be ripping this text to shreds – via absurd electronically affected characterisation, O.T.T sonic scenography and unreliable narration blurring the line between where the (awful) text ends and our possibly unqualified dismantling of it begins. The whole enterprise – if providing no concrete answers regarding where to go from here, might at least provide some indication of what to avoid.

Anna Danielewicz

Anna Danielewicz (b. Koszalin, 1991) is an artist and writer based in Glasgow.Coming from a background in performance, her practice is now rooted mostly in writing and the workshop format. Her most recent projects include Lip, Belly, Foot at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop and Voun Town at the Edinburgh Art Festival. Anna is a member of the programming committee of Market Gallery. She is currently working on a prose fiction project to do with the language of teenagers, and the problem of translation.

Max Syedtollan

Max Syedtollan (b. London, 1994) is an artist-composer based in Glasgow. In 2019 he was selected as one of Sound and Music’s ‘New Voices’ and exhibited work in the Venice Biennale, as well as releasing his second album of DIY chamber music on Glasgow label GLARC (supported by the Arts Council). His pieces have been broadcast on BBC Radios 4 and 6, and performed at institutions such as Cafe Oto and Snape Maltings. In 2020 he is working on a new moving image piece exploring the overlap between history and fiction.

Show 780: Vertigo 282 by Sue Coulson (Soundart Radio)

It was autumn 2019.   Britain on the eve of political upheaval, is split over the impending separation from Europe.  Against this shifting background I wound my way on foot down the long valley to the Tamar river that separates Devon and Cornwall, and flows into those vast waters of the Sound.  Two bridges placed side by side span the river at this point.  I intended to cross the water via the pedestrian walkway on the road bridge. But I had to be quick.  Ironically it was about to close that day for long term engineering works.  Vertigo 282 is the soundtrack of my passage across, the narrative constantly shifting, slipping from action to inaction, from reality to fantasy, silence to noisiness, and like life it is on-going (until someone switches it off).

Sue Coulson is a visual fine artist using sound as part of her practice.