FEATURE: Sonic Arts Week | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: The Junkoactive Wasteman & The Tin Can Twins

Sonic Arts Week returns to Middlesbrough for a third time from Saturday 22nd-Saturday 29th June. The free and accessible sound art festival delivered by The Auxiliary Project Space offers roaming soundscapes, live performances and gigs, interactive installations and lots to do for all the family.

Build an instrument at Summat For The Bairns; go on a sonic tour via the ATOMS Bus; embrace the weird and wonderful in the town centre with Encounters; enjoy the layered visceral soundscapes of James Watts and the roaming conduction and touch responsive soundscapes from Jayne Dent with her installation The Organ; embark on an odyssey of spoken word poetry and music from Bob Beagrie and Stewart Forth; see Middlesbrough transformed into a post-apocalyptic soundscape via The Doom Orchestra; join in the fun with the robo-dancing ex-freelance bin men The Junkoactive Wasteman & The Tin Can Twins and embrace a variety of other sound performances from the finest artists this world can offer. Go on. Your uninspired lugs will thank you for it. Here’s a few more ideas…

IF YOU LIKE…

Your clothes to make music

We all know Jayne Dent, under the moniker of Me Lost Me, is a super-talented music maker but did you know she is also a musical tapestry maker? Her interactive installation The Organ is one of the event highlights and sees Jayne using her magical loom, conductive thread and technological know-how to make textiles that are touch-responsive. Imagine the implications this can have on our lives. Jumpers that can soundtrack our day-to-day lives, running socks that drop synthetic beats on impact, the possibilities are endless…

To sonically embrace the impending apocalypse

The likes of Russia, China and North Korea might get the say on when our time on this Earth is up, courtesy of their nuclear arsenal. But it’s only right that the survivors of the new age get to decide on the soundtrack to their life in the scorched and desolated lands of New Teesside. Thankfully The Doom Orchestra will be able to help as they transform Middlesbrough into a post-apocalyptic landscape of strange, noisy sounds, with bodged instruments crafted from items that survived “the blinding light in the sky”.

Oh, and if you’re looking for ideas on what you can do with all the junk you stole from the raider camp then The Junkoactive Wasteman & The Tin Can Twins can probably assist you via their music-making, metal booty-shaking display.

Industrial Coast

For the past couple of years now, experimental cassette label and promoter Industrial Coast have been bringing internationally renowned sound exploration artists to The Auxiliary in Middlesbrough and creating one of the most exciting underground scenes in Teesside. You’ll be pleased to know that throughout Sonic Arts Week this will continue.

The bus

For those who travel through Teesside on the X66, you’ll know that this humble form of public transport can also be a stimulating feast for all the senses, whether that be smell (wee, salt and vinegar crisps), sight (actions that can never be unseen), touch (the stickiness), taste (body odour) and, of course, sound (crying). The ATOM bus, from art duo Alisa Oleva and Timothy Maxymenko, will be looking to work with the latter as they take passengers on a sonic journey around Middlesbrough exploring experiences within urban spaces of portals, spaces in between, shared encounters and meeting places.

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