_D3_3590As part of our Light Fantastic residency at the National Media Museum we ran a series of family drop in sessions for visitors to our exhibition. Families began by making observational drawings from the objects in the collections and then drew or cut their own graphical scores from acetate and paper. These objects included a Russian Photosniper camera, a crystal skull and vintage cameras. Adults and children worked together to create their scores combining the images, patterns and shapes they were most interested in hearing as sounds. Once completed families took their scores to the workshop area and placed them on the turntables, and experimented with positioning the light source and theremin circuits at different angles to produce different sound effects. Over the weeks as more families took part our ‘wall of graphical scores’ grew and grew, of course some children wore theirs as crowns and would not part with them! It was interested to see just what visual aspects people selected to turn into sounds. The gallery was filled with the noises of the objects!


The objects we had selected from the archives were objects that we as artists were historically AND visually interested in hearing, our selection was based on an interest in the particualy shape and form of the objects and we looked for rhythmic patterns and shapes that would produce interesting waveforms and sounds.


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Families loved the activity as it was visual, musical and collaborative and encouraged the young people to think about ‘what objects would sound like’.

Noise Orchestra responded to our collections in a unique and refreshing way, selecting objects not for their historical importance, but purely for their shape and sonic potential. The idea that an everyday object, such as a camera, could be transformed into a unique sound using light really captured people’s imaginations. Noise Orchestra developed a hugely popular activity for families to create their own paper sound stencils. Dave and Vicky are both brilliant at explaining the (quite complex) scientific principles behind their art, communicating clearly and passionately with all audiences, including young children and families.

Kate Burnett, Content Developer, National Media Museum