Lisa Hall // News

/ Art works // Sound art // Talks // Performances // Exhibitions // Books // Radio // Films // Photographs // Research // Ideas /

Monday, 25 January 2016

Sounds of India

An amazing start to the year with a month long trip to south India.

My Recordings:

#1 Early morning life in Hampi.
Sounds: sweeping, clanking dishes, spitting, murmurs, engine rumbles and roars, children's voices, a rare calm and stillness for me in India.

#2 Chanting in a Hindu temple.
Sounds: Voice, hands, feet, bells, doors, musical rhythms, belief & devotion.

#3 On a mountain top.
Sounds: tinny distant motorbike engines, flapping flags, chanting, birds, beeps, voices, claps, the ear-view of a sacred mountain top.

#4 Musical columns being played.
Sounds: varying tones, skin, resonance, stone, slapping, tapping, popping, an old rain like music.

#5 A busy road.
Sounds: Beeps, horns, blasts, engines, voices, squeals and shrieks of brakes, alarms, a classic India road side soundscape.

#6 Night train.
Sounds: voices, voices, voices repeating, coffee, chai walla, metal rumbles, chugs and rattles of engines, carriages, wheels on tracks, distant long horns, muffled voices, a good nights sleep on a top bunk.

#7 Crows, early morning.
Sounds: Crows cawing, kraaing, cawing, cawing and cawing, a terrifying but daily spectacle of a large Hitchcock style gathering of crows.

#8 Mumbai from high up.
Sounds: clatering of pots and pans, engines roaring, murmuring, speech, pigeons cooing, passing beeps and paps, air con whirring, the gentle sounds of a backstreet in a city.

Recordings I missed:

#1 Women's jewellery
Sounds: A delicate but strong sound cloud of high pitched jingling and rattling of silver anklets and clattering of glass bracelets worn by big groups of women and girls walking past me in Hampi.

#2 An Elephant passing
Sounds: a rhythmic jingle of chains, matching each short step of this elephant that passed me. It was sadly reminiscent of the sound of anklets worn by Indian women, but this ankle jewellery was worn to stop the animal escaping at speed from its labour camp, which it was doing for a few seconds as it tromped past us in Wayanad.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Mobile Audio Fest

Locus Sonus: Mobile Audio Fest
19-22 Nov 2015

I had the pleasure of visiting Locus Sonus and the Mobile Audio Fest in Aix-en-Provence last week, visiting from CRiSAP at London College of Communication due to some excellent Erasmus + training funding.

"Mobile Audio Fest is a 4 day event exploring the relationships between mobility and (new) forms of listening and sound-making. Conceived as a series of “rendezvous” in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, Mobile Audio Fest presents 15 projects by international artists in which mobility plays a central part. The program includes performances, installations, apps, soundwalks, audiowalks, workshops and talks."

Here are a few of my quick tweets as I visited some of the art works:

More soon...

About Locus Sonus:

"Locus Sonus audio in art, is a research group whose main aim is to explore the, ever evolving, relationship between sound, place and usage. In an Art/Science tradition our research involves experimentation with emerging audio technologies particularly those relating to sound transmission, mobilization or spatialisation. Maintained by the art schools of Aix en Provence and Bourges, Locus Sonus is concerned with practice driven research and transdisciplinary approaches to the arts of sound."

Friday, 25 September 2015

sound mapping

A large sound map over London Fields showing 9 sound works / routes / pieces by 9 artists, accessed only by gps and bike mounted speakers (sonic bike).

A very very site specific sound map that despite being made online is only to be heard in situ.

Monday, 14 September 2015

We Built this City - Pop up Shop!

Excited to be a part of a pop up shop on Carnaby Street! 

My Musical Braille prints will be available to buy in this pop up between 19th-27th Sept.

The Pop Up shop takes over We Built this City in conjunction with London Design Festival, to showcase University of the Arts London Alumni art work, thanks to Made in Arts London.

56-57 Carnaby Street, London, W15 9QF

Monday–Wednesday  10am–7pm
Thursday–Saturday  10am–8pm
Sunday  12noon–6pm

More info: 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Sound Map development

Sonic map development for The Summer Pedalling Games:

1. play map.
A sound free proposal for mapping made on day one.

2. a Route
The beginnings of a linear section of the sound work. Start and end point shown below. This mapped route will make up the first part, a specific sound journey, of my sound work.

3. Free zones
Part two of the sound work - the addition of a free area that can be explored without any specific route needed (shown to the left of park). The cycling reality of this showed that the organisation of the roads lead to uninspired cycling exploration though.

4. A better Free zone
On the right of the park, this area allows free routeless riding, without the rigid structure that the area to the left of the park offered. Here the cycling is more interesting, the roads winding, the architecture and function of the area more varied and in flux which gives a more appropriate area for routeless exploration in relation to the themes of my work. 

Above is the final map of my sonic cycling work. A readable map for cyclists is coming soon ...

More about the Summer Pedalling Games:

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Mobile Audio ... compositon for a sonic bike

I am developing a sound work for the sonic bikes at the Bicrophonic Research Institute, together with a group of other artists (who are also new to sonic bike sound composition) for The Summer Pedalling Games, on London Fields, 5&6 Sept -

I've been annotating my maps as I create them, documenting the slow learning process of creating sounds, mapping sounds, and then test riding them.

It has been incredibly interesting and often unexpected to learn how the sounds are affected by a number of factors, despite anticipation and planning for these:
- affected by the place
- affected by the listening experience of riding,
- affected by the quality of the sound outdoors
- affected by the connotations of hearing those sounds in those spaces.
- measuring up against my ideas and intent for the work.

Sunday 16th Aug

  • Pink squares are the sounds 'zones' that the bike must ride through in order to trigger the sounds.
  • Black text is a simple name of the sound file that will play
  • Blue text is a description of my experience hearing it on a sonic bike.

The Summer Pedalling Games info & facebook event  |  Bicrophonic Research Institute  |  @bicrophonics

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Sonic Bike Workshop

Last weekend (15&16 Aug) I attended a sonic bike workshop at the Bicrophonic Research Institute, lead by Kaffe Matthews.

Together with 8 other artists and groups I learnt how to use the sonic bikes from a compositional perspective in order to be able to create my own sound work for the Summer Pedalling Games in September. We learnt about the mapping software, the capabilities of the mapper when working with the Raspberry Pi's and the practicalities of the composition on a musical bike out and about in the streets.

The Mapping tool.
Is brilliant. You draw shapes over a map where you want sounds to be heard. It all feels very simple and powerful. You suddenly have the ability to create new soundscapes on any street anywhere, laying over new sound spaces with a simple shape drawing tool.

Its not that simply though, and its easy to screw things up. You name the shapes exactly as you name your sound files, sound files must be saved and named in certain ways and of a certain size and length. Get any bit wrong and your bike might not boot up, or you wont hear your file, or in my case you get played noise at, very loudly instead of hearing your sounds. In short I ran from laptop to bike wielding a tiny usb stick until I get it right. And that was most of my Sunday morning.

Kaffe made us ride, sound free, around the park and nearby street to first get an idea of how long the streets are in cycle time, what the acoustics are, how easy it is to cycle and really to pay attention to anything else in these spaces that we might not have spotted on foot. How incredibly useful. My small test street that I had been focusing on in preparation, suddenly became just a 12second ride. So although you can map sound to things, points, objects, it's more appropriate to think of locations in a broader sense - spaces and streets.

My idea.
My proposal was to sound out the built environment, using the bike as the 'Bicrophone', amplifying the streets and the spaces around the bikes as it moved. I wanted to focus on how the built environment sounds, the bricks, the windows, the doors, the railings, shutters, hubcaps, lampposts, rather than the sound of inhabitation and social activation of these spaces (designated use). I had in mind Harbour performances, where boats and vehicles use engines, whistles and bells to create a spatial performance, but was converting this to a city symphony in my mind, where people opened and closed windows, rattled shutters and slammed doors. While I also had in mind the silent and often unseen infrastructure of our urban spaces - the hubcaps that give sign to underground tunnels, cables, pipes and utilities, the lampposts that we reply on for lighting but look past, overhead electrical cables etc - e.g all the signs of planning and purpose for the space that we look and listen past. Plus deconstruction, building in the local area being demolished, road works and dismantling. I wanted to create this work with field recordings and let the layout of the items on the street create the composition.

However, learning and testing how the system actually works has changed things slightly, and so my work will take a slightly different course now... let the composition begin!

 - -

The Summer Pedalling Games will be held on 5&6th September in and around London Fields.
More info -

The event is a Bicrophonic Research Institute event -