NOISE Orchestra are Manchester sound artists Vicky Clarke and David Birchall, we build Noise Machines that translate light into sound. Working with light, DIY electronics, turntables and graphical scores. Our practice operates at the intersection of art, experimental music and technology and manifests in performances, DIY instrument making, sound walks, workshops and installations; all inspired by the photo-phonic principles of synthesizing sound from light.
We’re passionate about DIY electronics, and deliver workshops for beginners where participant ‘solder a noise machine’ , learn about circuit building, electronic components, signal flow and schematics followed by light and noise improvisation.
NOISE Orchestra began as artists in residence at the National Media Museum, with our project ‘Play the Collections’ (part of Light Fantastic UNESCO Year of Light 2015) where we built Theremin circuits and graphical scores inspired by the archive collections of the nations’ photographic and cinematographic objects and images and performed these in a live light and sound show.
We are inspired by the radical spirit of the 1920s Russian avante garde artists including Arseny Avraamov the inventor of graphical sound and ultrachromatism and the noise machines of Evgeny Sholpo and Leon Theremin. In 2015 we undertook a research trip to Moscow to meet author of ‘Sound in Z’ Professor Andrey Smirnov, Director of the Theremin Centre and learn about these artists working at the dawn of synthesised/electronic music and imagining a future utopia after the Revolution.
We have since undertaken international art and tech residencies at STEIM, Q-02 and CTM Festival and have now taken our installation work into the public realm through soundwalks and interventions. ‘SWARM: Play the light of the city’ was commissioned by ENLIGHT: European Light Expression Network to develop our machines as portable light drone samplers to tour light festivals and respond to cities premiering at Rome Media Art Festival 2018. Concept work was developed through residency at Pervasive Media Studios, our next commission if for Manchester Science Festival this autumn.
- ENLIGHT: European: Light Expression Network. Currently undertaking R&D developing portable synthesizers for sound walks to play cities through light in 2018. Work will feature at Rome Media Art Festival, SPECTRA, Aberdeen and Article Biennial, Norway.
- Music Makers Hacklab: CTM Festival, Berlin #Emotional Invention
- Noise Machines, Innovate UK R&D: Working with Electronic Musicians and light artists to explore modes of gestural performance with light and noise.
- Journey Through the Mirror Pool: National Science and Media Museum
- Q-02, Brussels. Artists in Residence
- STEIM, Amsterdam. Artists in Residence
We love noise.