Soond Gaitherin #1

I am travelling North! Here are details on a weekend of workshops I am involved in with esteemed buddies and colleagues, Patrick McGinley and James Wyness. Here are all the details. Any help with publicising this event would be greatly appreciated, so please feel free to share or republish this text plus images wherever you like.

8/9 June 2013

Oxnam Village Hall, Oxnam Road, near Jedburgh

Announcing a weekend of workshops, social listening and field trips investigating common ground between textiles and sound, with visiting artists Felicity Ford (Reading) and Patrick McGinley (Räpina, Estonia)

Saturday 8 June

10.30 – 1.00: mini knitted sonic pillow-making workshop with Felicity Ford

Materials Provided: one small pillow speaker, pure wool stuffing, pure wool yarn. The stuffing comes from some locally grown Jacob sheep and the yarn comes from Blacker Yarns. Participants should bring: your own knitting needles, circulars or DPNs, sizes 3.5mm and 4mm
Maximum participants: 10. Booking essential, to make sure there are enough materials for all!


This workshop is for people with some experience of knitting. Participants will need to know how to knit in the round, and how to cast stitches on and off. At the end of the workshop you will have a very wee 100% wool covered and stuffed pillow which you can bring with you anywhere or keep in your actual pillow at home, for listening to woolly sounds. You will need your own iPod, mp3 player or similar device to plug the woolly speaker into, and all workshop participants will be given a specially-created mix of wool-themed field recordings to play back through their speaker pillow as well as access to a library of sounds recorded at The Natural Fibre Company in case you want to make your own playlist! The yarn we will be using is also spun there, so the pillows bring yarn together with sounds from its own making and comprise a KNITSONIK celebration of wool.

10.30 – 1.00: ephemeral listening with Patrick McGinley

For this workshop, as a basis for the afternoon field recording session, we will begin from the beginning, avoiding technology and concentrating on our most important tools: our ears. We will explore listening as an active endeavour, examining our perception via both pre-recorded and natural soundscapes, through listening exercises, soundwalks, and discussion. We will actively examine our hearing and how it works, attempting to consciously experiment with the perception and filtering that our brain typically uses unconsciously. Most of all: we will listen.

1.00 – 2.00: lunchbreak – good cafes and restaurants in Jedburgh, or bring a packed lunch

2.00 – 4.30: natural dyeing workshop with Felicity Ford

Materials Provided: dyestuffs, yarn to dye, tags for labelling results of experiments.
Participants should bring: an apron, notebook, and pen
Maximum participants: 10. Booking essential, to make sure there are enough materials for all!

In this workshop we will experiment with dyeing a range of primary shades, using madder, indigo, and onion skins. At the end of the workshop you will have a small collection of mini skeins in different shades, plus notes on how to repeat those shades if you want to have a go at home. While we are dyeing wool, workshop participants working with Patrick McGinley will be recording and collecting some of the sounds produced by the dyeing process.

2.00 – 4.30: recording colour with Patrick McGinley

Following on from the morning ephemeral listening session, we will use both ears and microphones to explore the sounds and textures being produced in the course of Felicity Ford’s natural dyeing workshop. We will provide a variety of microphones to try out, including contact microphones and hydrophones, as we put our newly warmed-up ears to the test through the mechanical, chemical, textural, and human sounds of the wool dyeing process.

Feel free to bring your own recorders, microphones, and headphones if you have them.

All workshops cost £10.00 which includes the cost of all materials. To book please email:

7.00 – 9.30: soond gaitherin

A social listening event in a relaxed setting with curated sound works, performances and
contributions from guest artists. Cost: £10.00

Sunday 9 June

10.30: field trip: environmental interventions and field recording

A rare opportunity to work in the field with sound artists Patrick McGinley and Felicity Ford, supported by James Wyness. Meet at the Glebe Car Park, Jedburgh (just off the A68 overlooking the Abbey and the river, across from the swimming pool) at 10.30am. Bring a packed lunch. Cost: £10.00

Map of Oxnam Village Hall:

Further information:-
James Wyness
t: 01835 863061
m: 07896305368

About the artists

Felicity Ford

Since completing her PhD in The Domestic Soundscape in 2011, Felicity has been working as a practicing artist. She recently commenced an early career research fellowship at Oxford Brookes University, developing her practice there within the context of the Sonic Art Research Unit. Although she works with a variety of media including silk-screen printing and hand-knitting, Felicity is best known for her creative uses of sound. Her projects use field-recordings and interviews to explore the meaning of objects and social contexts, and in the UK she is gaining recognition for her socially-engaged approach to working with everyday sounds.
Domestic themes – food, clothing, shelter – preoccupy Felicity’s work, and recent commissions include Sonic Wallpapers (funded by Museum of Domestic design and Architecture) in which historic wallpapers were explored through sound; a soundtrack for a 1930s antenatal care film, Bathing & Dressing, Parts 1 & 2, (funded by The Wellcome Library and The British Film Institute); and a hand-knitted sound-system, Hûrd A KNITSONIK™ PRODUKTION, combining wool and sounds taken from Cumbrian sheep farms (funded by The Wool Marketing Board and Rheged Art Gallery).

In KNITSONIK projects, Felicity combines sound recording activities with hand-knitted objects, connecting finished textiles with their origins in distinctive landscapes and farming communities. She has recorded shepherds, sheep and knitters in London, Cumbria and Estonia, and is Patron at this year’s forthcoming “Shetland Wool Week”, where she will present “Listening to Shetland Wool”.

Patrick McGinley

Patrick McGinley (AKA murmer) is an American-born sound, performance, and radio artist who has been based in Europe since 1996. Since then he has been building a collection of found sounds and found objects that has become the basis of all his work. In 2002 he founded framework, an organisation that produces a weekly field recording themed radio show, broad- and podcasting around the world. In 2005, he began working closely with the artist-run organisation MoKS in southeast Estonia, relocating there permanently in 2009. Most recently McGinley has been giving presentations, workshops, and performances based on the exploration of site-specific sound (with the Revenant project) and sound as definition of space. In live performance his interest in field recording has developed into an attempt to integrate and resonate found sounds, found objects, specific spaces, and moments in time, in order to create a direct and visceral link with an audience and location.
Murmer’s work is about small discoveries and concentrated attention; it focuses on the framing of the sounds around us which normally pass through our ears unnoticed and unremarked, but which out of context become unrecognisable, alien and extraordinary: crackling charcoal, a squeaking escalator, a buzzing insect, or one’s own breath. He works equally with spaces, objects, resonances, and people, in composition, performance, or simply collective action and experience, in exploration of perception via attentive listening.

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