What was it all about?
The Aldeburgh Lookout kindly offered us a week's residency in 2016 to produce something of interest in their tiny art temple by the sea. So .. composer Frances Shelley, sound artist Matthew Bickerton and sculptor Pauline Bickerton worked in collaboration for seven days to explore what happens when a natural force like the sea becomes part of the ensemble.
The week's residency started on the 10th August 2015 where we prepared the work. Sound art was experienced all day when participants sat on chairs and listened (with headphones) to the sounds of the trees. At 6.30 p.m. daily there was a live performance by Frances Shelley in collaboration with Matthew Bickerton.
What was the point of it?
The movement of the sculptural Sea Trees was wirelessly transmitted into a computer which generated a live soundscape. In this way, the sculptures became musicians; composers; conductors - entirely at the behest of the elements. With every nuance of the wind, the soundscape mutated, evolved, adapted. Matthew responded by creating sounds using the latest technology with the use of Ableton Live and electronically manipulated sounds from the surroundings. Frances' response was via a grand piano placed on the beach every evening at 6.30 p.m.
The resulting music was made entirely in the moment: a moment created by the elements and a human’s response to those elements both visually and sonically. Possibly one of the most unusual line ups in the world!
What was the result?
We were overwhelmed with the reception the work received. Between 80 and 100 people came to each night's performance and gave us a warm and enthusiastic response. The soundscape was listened to by over 400 people and again enjoyed almost without exception. We are now taking the work on to other locations and producing more sculptural works as a result. Please watch this space .....
Who are we?
Frances Shelley is a songwriter and composer. She has written in many diverse genres of music and today writes atmospheric instrumental music mainly for film and documentary. Frances is interested in the 'extra' factor that can occur when there is no prepared agenda, and inspiration is called upon in the moment.
Matthew Bickerton is a sound artist interested in using the sounds of the environment to create generative soundscapes. His focus at present is to collaboratively create large scale installations which develop in tune with the environment in which they are situated.
'In recent work I’ve been considering the fine line between music and sound. Simple as it sounds, developing sounds which are true to the environment in which the work is to be heard is what inspires me. Then adding melody, rhythm, and emotion can so often become a contrivance. I sift through the influences of everyday life looking for the one perfect combination that completes each individual piece'.
Pauline Bickerton is a collaborative installation artist. Her interest lies in the area of intersubjectivity; creating an environment where subjective experiences are shared, confronted or challenged. Her work is sculptural in form following a recent degree in Sculpture from Central St Martins.