Faster Than Sound: The Chimes Hour

Participants: Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Jennifer Walshe, Lee Patterson

Series: Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Faster Than Sound, Residencies

Ideas explored: developing new work, extended recording techniques, sound design

For this Faster than Sound, composed by Jennifer Walshe and Lee Patterson, the audience and performers alike are challenged to discern the sonic happenings of the Hoffmann Building, to engage an active listening to the hidden secrets held within the building’s architecture and its surrounding environment.

Inspired by the Suffolk folk belief that children born at the hours when church bells tolled had the ability to discern ‘happenings liminal hidden from the sight of lesser mortals’, The Chimes Hour explores the soundworlds contained within the fabric of the Hoffmann Building and around Snape, responding to them with improvised and composed music to create an experience that is constantly in flux.

The source material for the piece has been collected through close recording techniques applied to the structure of the building itself and the flora and fauna surrounding it. Inspired by local Anglo Saxon myth, the sounds of the Suffolk Punch, the writings of George Ewart Evans (resident of Blaxhall, Suffolk 1948-1988). Within The Chimes Hour unheard sounds coexist with the heard, audience coexist with performers, and facts coexist with myth.

Early field recordings by Lee Paterson