Essays
Sweater Quest reviewed
Sweater Quest reviewed

…of knitting, Alice Starmore, Fair Isle traditions, critical engagement, and Sweater Quest by Adrienne Martini.

Biscuitopolis & The Mad March Hare…
Biscuitopolis & The Mad March Hare...

A couple of Sundays back, the Sticks’n’String knitters plus some Bluestockings came over for a yarn-swap and a tasty feast. The rules were simply that everyone should bring some kind of local fare for the table plus some yarn to swap. Everyone bought amazing things to eat – pies, sausages, cheeses, cakes, chutneys etc. – […]

Wool at Reading Geek Night…
Wool at Reading Geek Night...

Last Tuesday I gave a talk at Reading Geek Night entitled “10 things you didn’t know about Wool.” Much of what I said in my talk will be old hat to seasoned knitters; you don’t need me to point out that shreddies are clearly NOT knitted by Nanas, nor that there are basic differences between […]

Brain food
Brain food

I had two especially├é┬á interesting culinary conversations with folks at Sounding Out last week. The first was occasioned by Chris Chafe’s presentation and in particular the section concerning his ‘Tomato Quintet,’ and the second one involved a discussion about blog stats with Marcus Leadley – a fellow artist who, like myself, sometimes blogs about academic, […]

Back to School
Back to School

It has been a good week. I enjoyed writing and presenting my paper on Wednesday at Sounding Out 5 and meeting the other folks there. My paper was about my use of radio as an artist and how sound is important to me in terms of both discovering a sense of place, and being able […]

a POP post

Yesterday I received a most pleasing packet in the post; this one came from smallPRINT records and contained an order I placed last week in the midst of working on The Sonic Tuck Shop book; apropos, a hand-packaged CD featuring the Sonic Catering Band’s live popcorn-performance in Linz, entitled Popkorn. I am very much enjoying […]

The Domestic Soundscape

The Sonic Tuck Shop believes that food sounds tasty, that we should play with it, and that the everyday routines of cooking and eating are full of sonic interest. The Sonic Tuck Shop reframes every meal as a potential concert of sounds in its making and consumption, and every foodstuff as an instrument in the […]

Soundwalk 3: The Kit

As you know I’ve been experimenting with the Walking/Recording kit lately. I have tried a FOSTEX FR-2LE field recorder, (bulky but apparently amazing) my trusty Edirol, (I have been using this for so many years it’s like an extension of my own ears, but unfortunately it doesn’t have the power to deal with THE WIND) […]

The time capsule

Last week I received an email from an extremely kind man in Ireland who had found what he termed ‘my art school folio’ at a car boot sale in Dublin. I was flattered to read that he had picked it up thinking he could actually sell some of the drawings in it on ebay, and […]

The London Sound Survey

I first discovered The London Sound Survey when Ian Rawes – the site’s inventor – mentioned a recording he had made in a carwash on the phonography group message board. ‘What a great sound to record’ I mused to myself and clicked through to hear it. I was astonished to find not only the car […]

Audible Fields

Last Sunday I made a journey to Bristol in the evening to attend Audible Fields, organised by Matt Davies as part of the All Around You festival. Audible Fields was presented in the cube cinema and involved all the seats in the tiny auditorium being fitted with a headphone jack through which binaural recordings could […]

In praise of Critical Engagement

I was recently prompted to blog about this by an exchange I had with Julia who writes the immensely enjoyable Historic Fibers blog. I recently enjoyed her post about Art Appreciation, though I disagree with her admittedly tongue-in-cheek assertion that the way to deal with inscrutable artworks is to maintain that they are ‘about the […]

The A4074 walking project

When a traveler asked Wordswoth’s servant to show him her master’s study, she answered, “Here is his library, but his study is out of doors.” – Walking, a lecture by Henry David Thoreau I am reading many good books and I thought I should share them here. Thoreau’s Walking has some important ideas in it. […]

Christine Hill and Volksboutique

In 2002 when I was studying for my BA at Dun Laoghaire in Ireland we took a field trip to Liverpool to visit the Biennial. There was much to see at the Biennial but the work that made the greatest impression on me was Christine Hill’s Volksboutique Accounting Archive which was installed in the Pleasant […]

Sonic Gardening

Rustling flora Joe Swift recently had an interesting article in The Times about sound in the garden. Encouraging gardeners to open our ears, Swift talked about the joys of using all five senses in the garden and on my recent walking expeditions, I have found myself extending his ideas to the wider environment. Some things […]

Sheep: The remarkable story of the humble animal that built the modern world

It was with great excitement and high expectations that I read Alan Butler’s book; Sheep – The remarkable story of the humble animal that built the modern world. Opening with promisingly rapturous words on the importance of our ovine friends, the book goes on to deliver an account of the significance of sheep throughout the […]

Woolfest

I spent the weekend here with Liz, Lara, Kate and Tom. Our temporary tent-village was frequented by the Herdwicks who also live in Sykes Farm and who produce the most amazing variety and quantity of baas around first light. The cows sometimes join in and I have attached a sound file here so that you […]

Post of today #2: UFO

Does anyone remember this? It’s a massive Gansey/Guernsey (could someone more knowledgeable than I please advise re: the correct garment terminology?) that I gained via the marvellous UFO Project Administration Service, set up by Rachael Matthews and due to exhibit from 10th June to 19th July in The Jerwood Space as part of The Contemporary […]

Karen and the schedule of the week

A few weeks ago I interviewed Karen of Karen magazine. It was a real privilege to be able to visit Karen at her home, to meet her partner, her cat and her friends, and to experience the locale in which Karen magazine is so deeply rooted. And it was marvellous to meet Karen herself and […]

Sonic Wallpaper

Quietly in the background, a revolution is taking place in the British wallpaper Industry. Contemporary patterns are no longer the preserve of an elite… – From Sanderson’s Three Arts Exhibition of wallpaper and fabrics, 1954 – 55, quoted in The Musem of Domestic Design and Architecture’s current exhibition, Designer Style: Home Decorating in the 1950s […]

The best mixtape anyone ever made me!

The extremely long drive from Cumbria to London and back to Reading on Wednesday was smoothed out massively by a really excellent mixtape that Phillipa sent to me. Rachael and I had our ears filled with rich audio goodness from the lake district to home because of the smart, exuberant selection she included. Listening several […]

Mark Vernon & Pause Buttons

As I mentioned before, I visited with Mark Vernon the weekend before last and we talked at length about his amazing collection of amateur tape recordings, approaches to composing and the whole relationship to sound that develops when you get seriously interested in recording it. I really value the opportunity to talk to other artists […]

The Sonic Breakfast Plate, SOUNDBANK and graphic scores

I was intrigued recently to note that at the same time that Love is Awesome was taking place, Grupat – a show featuring many installations and works relating to sound and objects – was running in Ireland. It is just my luck that an incredible, not-to-be-missed show was on at the same time as my […]

Assignment

A few visitors to Love is Awesome have quizzed me on the reasoning behind the assignment format. I have thought about this quite a lot during the past week and am forming a few ideas about my decisions. I suppose I want to present a lot of ideas in ways that convey both the meanings […]

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