Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Wildlife Discotheque at the Great North Museum:Hancock

Tyneside Sounds Society and Devon based community radio station Soundart Radio teamed up to present the Wildlife Discotheque at the Great North Museum:Hancock

The Wildlife Discotheque was billed as "a sonic extravaganza and unique listening experience that will guide you through the esoteric and lost world of vinyl wildlife recordings and spoken word albums."

Devon based Soundart Radio founder Chris Booth and DJs Nathan Carter and Tony Whitehead developed The Wildlife Discotheque.

"Wildlife Discotheque plots the course of the often neglected and overlooked history of nature sound recording and the pioneers who spent hours in the field with cumbersome gear and an ear for sound and song. Names such as Ludwig Koch, Eric Simms and the Woodland Bird BBC Series, Victor C Lewisand his Bird Sounds in Close Up. John Burton and David Tombs - British Wild Birds in Stereo, Sture Palmer and Jeffery Boswelland the seminal Field Guide to the Birds of the British Isles. Alongside these, many lesser know names and releases; Ray Goodwin’s - A Gloucestershire Wildlife Tapestry, the delicate sounds of British Wild Mammal and Amphibians and not to forget……Johnny Morris and Animal Magic."

Tony Whitehead, Soundart Radio “Not knowing if there was an audience for such an eclectic, and obscure mix of sounds we were pleasantly surprised when our first night attracted a crowd, an appreciative bunch who filled the room, sat, chatted, drank local ale and cider, listened and had a good time. I didn’t notice dancing, but we did have a couple of requests. We’re really excited to be taking this on the road and Great North Museum will be a fantastic venue for it!"

Author, Sunday Times and Guardian Columnist Tom Cox“Properly Psychedelic!”

Listen to the first Wildlife Discotheque here

Having attended one of the other Tyneside Sounds Society events I was keen to be introduced to a new sonic experience and hear some unusual field recording. Although it was advertised as a family friendly event, I was expecting the audience to consist of others interested in sound and field recording. It was great to see lots of children attending and participating in the craft activities that were provided for them, but I felt that this conflicted with my ability to fully appreciate the sound aspect of the event as the subtleties of the recordings were lost due to the excited children who were running around enjoying the event. Unfortunately, I felt that by making the event family friendly, it actually compromised a major aspect of the event. I would have rather it have been concentrated just on children, or focus more on the sound part and allow those who want to listen to be able to! Another frustration of mine was that I didn't know what I was listening (or trying to listen) to. It would have been good to have a description of what the recording was, or a brief introduction to each piece before it was played.

In theory I think this kind of event is an excellent idea, but I hope that the organisers would consider their target audience and adjust the nature of the event appropriately.

No comments: