“Not just a sonic wonder, but a link with history, techno, cultural development and visual art. Mindbending/Mindblowing” audience member, national media museum
Noise Orchestra have spent seven weeks as Artists in Residence at the National Media Museum, working on-gallery to create a new performance piece for our Light Fantastic programme. Their core idea, to combine light and our collections to create new sound art perfectly encapsulated the message of Light Fantastic, showing in a very real way how “technologies have been invented that create, capture or manipulate light resulting in a myriad of creative and scientific applications.”
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.
Throughout the residency Vicky and Dave were generous with their time and ideas, happily talking to visitors about their practice, delivering workshops, and working with our Learning team to develop 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.
The final performance, Play the Collections, was a feast of sound and light. It was performed confidently in a packed gallery, with everyone from fellow sound art enthusiasts to young children watching in rapt attention. We were thrilled with how well it was received.
Working with Vicky and Dave has been a real pleasure. Bringing in sound artists to work in a gallery space was a new experience for us, and as a consequence there were times when we had to make changes to the programme or alter the way that things were run. Vicky and Dave handled any last minute changes with flexibility and grace, continuing to provide visitors with a great experience. They also dealt efficiently with the more prosaic but necessary paperwork and planning aspects of delivering a project of this scale in a cultural organisation, which was a huge help.
Noise Orchestra have an infectious enthusiasm for their art, and both their methods and their final performances are imaginative and inspiring. Working with them has been a great pleasure and it was such a privilege to see ‘Play the Collections’ grow and develop into the final performance piece. We have great memories of our time with them, and I’m sure our visitors feel the same.
Kate Burnett, Content Developer + Amanda Chinneck, Exhibitions Manager
Museums Association: Artists at Work Article
Darren Henley CEO Arts Council England visited the Noise Orchestra Experiment Zone
Telegraph + Argus Article