LSE Literary Festival

I will be talking about my practice at the LSE Space For Thought Literary Festival next Saturday, 1st March at the London School of Economics. I’m looking forward to joining Trevor Cox, professor of acoustic engineering at Salford University and composer/sound artist, Aleksander Kolkowski for a panel discussion chaired by Professor David Hendy entitled Sonic Landscapes: understanding the world through sounds.
The event is free and open to all. E-tickets are required and can be booked via LSE E-shop.
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Posted: February 23rd, 2014
Categories: composition, public events, sound art, sound design
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Leverhulme Artist in Residence

Next week, I will be starting a ten month residency with the Solar and Stellar Physics group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham in February, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate further with the BiSON research team headed by Professor Yvonne Elsworth and Professor Bill Chaplin, whose data I used as raw material for my 2012 sound installation, 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun.

I will be learning more about helioseismology and asteroseismology – the study of the sun and other stars by observation of their natural acoustic resonances. The residency will allow me to realise a new body of work using real Kepler data gathered over the past three years and develop my compositional practice in this area to the natural resonances of other solar type stars, including those that host newly discovered planets.

An exhibit combining extracts from 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun with information about BiSON research is currently installed at the entrance to the Planetarium of Thinktank Science Museum in Birmingham.

On Air

A lovely sunny day for On Air, my large scale sound installation throughout The Open University campus in Milton Keynes. On Air is a 60 channel work that floats in the air around the campus. More than 100 speakers diffuse an acoustic layer made from the voices of OU researchers, archive material, echolocations of local bats, musical elements, electromagnetic signals and field recordings gathered from around the site. The recordings are re-introduced back into the environment from which they came, as though the ideas, lines of enquiry and histories of The Open University exist permanently on the air currents throughout the campus and are made temporarily audible by the work.

On Air is one of four artworks commissioned across the regions for the University of the Air project, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Harold Wilson speech and OU research. On Air is the commission for England and focuses on design and technology research.

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Posted: November 10th, 2013
Categories: composition, sound art, sound design, spatial
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Shortlisted for BASCA British Composer Awards 2013

I am delighted to have been shortlisted for the British Composer Awards with my sound installation, 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun. I am one of three composers shortlisted in the Sonic Art category. The British Composer Awards ceremony will take place on 3rd December. More information is available here.

5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun is an outdoor multi-channel sound installation exploring naturally occurring radio signals and the acoustic and electromagnetic energy of the sun. The work combines data on the sun’s natural resonances from the BiSON research team at the University of Birmingham with VLF natural radio signals.

The work was sited within a parabolic dome in Milton Keynes Theatre District for six weeks from 21st June 2012. The acoustic attributes of the space allowed the dome to be used as a form of “meta-instrument” – the dome acted as a giant sounding box and further focused and amplified a multi-channel composition that was diffused through a network of speakers towards its roof.

Oscillations

Earth Loop

My new piece, Earth Loop is finally installed in the lift of MK Gallery. Earth Loop allows a visitor to travel through a parallel radio universe as though they have antennas as well as ears.

This was an intriguing piece to make as I had wanted to record the vibrations in the strings of a lift for some time and I have gained considerable knowledge of the workings of a hydraulic lift along the way. With the assistance of Otis engineers, I was lucky to be able to record sound inside the lift shaft by placing microphones and a recorder on the top of the roof of the lift and sending it off for a journey up and down – the first time that my recorder had made recordings by itself. It was very exciting to listen to the results on its return and hear that I had managed to capture some excellent sounds from the strings themselves.

Earth Loop is made from a collection of lift sounds, voice, sine sweep and auroral chorus and is permanently installed in MK Gallery lift. The new summer exhibition, MK Calling opened last night and runs until 8th September.

Posted: June 28th, 2013
Categories: composition, sound art, spatial, technical
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Space Ham review, Radio Times

Review of Space Ham by David Crawford in the Radio Times:

The image of amateur radio enthusiasts is indelibly linked in my mind to that of Tony Hancock. But it seems they’re a much more inspiring bunch than that, as this fascinating feature shows.

Since the beginning of the space age, “hams” have been intercepting transmissions from space and, in the case of astronaut Owen K Garriott, taking amateur radio broadcasts onto space stations.

“Found space-sound” artist Caroline Devine weaves these transmissions into her own composition, combining them with ethereal sounds of space to hypnotic effect. It’s a space oddity, but entrancing and magical.

ABOUT THIS PROGRAMME
Sound artist Caroline Devine celebrates amateur radio and space exploration with a composition featuring the ethereal sounds of the cosmos and the ham enthusiasts who recorded them. Owen K Garriott reveals why he was the first astronaut to take amateur radio into space, and there’s newly released archive of US radio operator Roy Welch, who immediately after Sputnik’s launch, rigged up a makeshift station, looking up to the night sky as the satellite’s eerie beat found voice in his ramshackle equipment.

SPACE HAM PICK OF THE WEEK BBC Radio 4

SPACE HAM featured on Radio 4’s Pick of the Week on Sunday.
Space Ham is available to listen again on the BBC iplayer until the new episode of Between the Ears airs this Saturday.
Review by David Crawford in the Radio Times

The image of amateur radio enthusiasts is indelibly linked in my mind to that of Tony Hancock. But it seems they’re a much more inspiring bunch than that, as this fascinating feature shows.

Since the beginning of the space age, “hams” have been intercepting transmissions from space and, in the case of astronaut Owen K Garriott, taking amateur radio broadcasts onto space stations.

“Found space-sound” artist Caroline Devine weaves these transmissions into her own composition, combining them with ethereal sounds of space to hypnotic effect. It’s a space oddity, but entrancing and magical.

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SPACE HAM on BBC Radio 3

SPACE HAM, an episode of Between the Ears celebrating the relationship between amateur radio and space exploration will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 9.30pm this evening. SPACE HAM is a collaboration between myself and Producer, Rose de Larrabeiti of Whistledown Productions. SPACE HAM includes the recordings of many amateurs, including VLF recordings from Paul Nicholson and Wolf Buescher and Ham recordings of ISS contacts from Matthias DD1US Sounds of Space collection. Thanks to all those who provided material and to Roy W0SL for his wonderful recording of the first Sputnik signals from 1957. I synthesised many of the other sounds from scratch using sine waves to explore heterodyning, the Doppler effect and other acoustic phenomena.

From the BBC website:

Since the dawn of the Space Age, amateur “ham” radio has eavesdropped on our exploration of the cosmos. From Sputnik to the International Space Station, radio enthusiasts with homemade kit have been able tune into the distant sounds of space and talk to those exploring it. Caroline Devine, found space-sound artist, creates a composition from the ethereal sounds of space and the space hams and sends Between the Ears into orbit.

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Recording of 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun

5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun was installed to coincide with the 2012 summer solstice and played in a dome in Milton Keynes Theatre District for six weeks over the summer. This excerpt drifts between a live recording in the Dome and the original composition. The project was made possible with funding from Arts Council England and support from MK Gallery.

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Original data are courtesy of the Birmingham Solar Oscillations Network (BiSON) research team, School of Physics and Astronomy, Birmingham University. VLF recording courtesy of Paul Nicholson and Wolf Buescher.

Posted: October 10th, 2012
Categories: composition, radio, sound art, spatial
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Station X in Hut 8 Bletchley Park

Station X has been installed in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park. Originally shown at MK Gallery Project Space, the installation feels completely different now that it is sited where all of the material was gathered. My piece, “Carrier Waves, left and right channels” alternates between acoustic and electromagnetic modes, traversing the boundary between audible and inaudible signals collected from Blocks C and D at Bletchley Park. As you walk into Hut 8, the thin walls provide a relationship of osmosis – blurring inside and outside acoustic space.

Station X is part of Arthertz Ghost Stations until 6th October.

Bletchley interior, Rachael Marshall

Photo: Rachael Marshall

Posted: September 12th, 2012
Categories: spoken Word
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