Thursday, 9 August 2018

Bridges - live improvised performance and sound installation by David de la Haye and James Davoll, Long Gallery, Newcastle University

A live improvised performance by David de la Haye and James Davoll marked the beginning of their month-long sound installation in the Long Gallery in the Fine Art Department at Newcastle University.

David de la Haye and James Davoll have captured fields recordings of the bridges that join Newcastle and Gateshead.

"The iconic bridges are a symbol of home to those living in Newcastle and Gateshead and are embedded in our everyday interactions. These recordings explore how the structures resonate during their daily interaction with the ebb and flow of people, transport and the River Tyne."

As the name suggests, the Long Gallery is a relatively narrow but reasonably sized space. Speakers were positioned in a row down the corridor, each playing a different soundtrack. 

At the beginning of the live improvisation, all speakers down the corridor were switched off, and the sounds manipulated by the David and James were amplified through a set of speakers at the end of the space. Over the course of the performance, David and James switched other speakers on, adding layers of sounds. I particularly enjoyed walking along the corridor and entering different sonic 'zones' as I heard the sounds from each of the speakers separately. This added a spatial element to the installation which I imagine will become more prominent after the preview when there is less noise. Audience members are encouraged to use bespoke controllers on the speakers to set volume levels and create their own unique soundscape.

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