Since 2007 I have delivered workshops in a variety of fields including video sniffing, film
making, DJing and music production. I have worked with people of all
age ranges and from many walks of life. These groups have included
the homeless, school children with special needs, marginalised
communities and young people in a secure unit, as well as primary and
secondary school children. Clients include Mongrel, Mediashed, Vital
Regeneration, Theatre Resource (Zinc), Metal, Goldsmiths University,
Base Dance, Relate, YMCA, Creative Partnerships, Nimble Fish,
Chisenhale Dance Space and the Science Museum.
public liability Insurance cover up to £5m and a current Enhanced
CRB check (Feb 2014).
Kiting [Mediashed] Video Sniffin [Mediashed]
On The Line
On The Line
with Barons Court Primary School
Railway Rhythm Song pressed onto a dubplate and played back via
a period gramophone player.
Railway Rhythm is a song made entirely using sounds recorded at
Mangapps Railway Museum, the working railway and museum in Burnham on
Crouch, Essex. The museum holds 18 steam and diesel locomotives and
over 80 carriages and wagons of considerable historic and technical
The first two workshops concentrated on the art of sampling and the children used their school iPads and some new microphones to record their own sounds.
The next session was a field trip to Mangapps Railway Museum, where the pupils learned about these historic engines
and recorded the sounds they found most fascinating with their iPads and microphones.
Back at school, we had two more workshops where we transformed the railway sounds into a
song using step sequencing to create beats and a MIDI keyboard to play musical notes.
This song has been pressed onto a vinyl
dubplate (by The Carvery) and presented on a period record player. The pupils named the song and drew images for the record cover and sleeve (designed by Jamie Wilson).
Artist Stuart Bowditch / Barons Court Primary School / 35 x
Year 3 students (Ages 7-8)
In January 2011 I was awarded an artist
residency with Landguard Arts, through Suffolk Coastal District Council.
I spent 8 months collecting sounds from the Grade 1 listed Landguard Fort and the surrounding peninsular, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. I worked with local community groups, fort volunteers, the local wildlife ranger and even a ghost hunting group to capture sounds present in the Fort, documenting its contemporary uses and also its history. With only these sounds I created a 35 minute soundscape. Using an Arduino micro controller and wave shield connected to an amp and four transducers I transformed a redundant shelving unit into an
interactive sculptural speaker through which the sounds were
Exhibitions: 1-30th October 2011 - Landguard Fort,
Review by David Valentine
23rd December 2011 Bastion
artist, composer and DJ Stuart Bowditch is well known for using
foundsounds – noises recorded in their natural environments – in
his work, whichever professional hat he may be wearing at the time.
It is a technique he has employed for single releases, albums, live
performance, art installations and even soundtracks for short films
and dance. What sets Stuart apart, as an artist, in this field is the
way he offers these recordings back to audiences with creative and
unusual installations that generally employ at little bit of
maker-style home electronics and some Linux friendly open source
software. His previous installations (some made in collaboration with
profoundly deaf artist Damien Robinson) have used weather to trigger
sound playback, or have made use of vibrational speakers to make
sound a touch sensitive experience.
For this solo piece
entitled Bastion, Stuart has combined sounds collected in and
around Languard Fort in Suffolk with a sculptural speaker fashioned
from some simple audio electronics and a found object from within the
Fort – creating a piece that is integrally related to the space
environmentally, physically, historically and atmospherically.
Languard Fort is an English Heritage site, maintained and run by a
mostly volunteer team – all keen and enthusiastic supporters of
this individual, iconic building from England’s naval past. There
has been a fortification of some sort or another on this location for
the Coastal Artillery since 1543, now decommissioned the fort is a
popular tourist attraction for those interested in military
The sounds Stuart has collected at this historic
location include visitors, wildlife, Morse code, tug-boats, a
minute’s silence, historical re-enactment of battles, the Lord’s
Prayer and even ghost hunters late at night in what is a rather
creepy, eerie building after dark. These sounds have then been
reassembled to create an ambient soundtrack that itself feels like a
ghostly presence as you approach it through the corridors of the
fort. Visiting the installation on preview night only added to this
feeling, as shadows combined with sounds and an active imagination to
bring the past, once more, to life. One sequence in particular
aroused the atmosphere of pre-battle anticipation and the steeling of
nerves, segueing seamlessly through the point of no return to when
men throw themselves into the fight.
In an upper chamber
of the fort, in a numbered room, was the source of the sound. An old
wooden shelving unit, usually used to display pamphlets and brochures
had been transformed into a speaker unit by an octopus mass of cables
running across its surface, connecting vibrational devices to an
arduino unit hidden inside a cigar box. This strange intermingling of
wood and electronics sited within the heavy stone walled room was a
curious but candid approach to presentation, creating a sculptural
identity that marries different eras without integration but at the
same time communicates a sense that the object is far less important
than the soundscape it delivers.
Bastion is a piece that
successfully adds to the atmosphere of the building from which it was
created, recalling the ghosts of its past, combining them with the
present, and steering the audience to reflect upon the many lives
that have passed through there.
Resonants follows on from work
conducted with Deaf artist Damien Robinson, in which we investigated
the resonant qualities of different materials to use in our tactile sound installations (see Vibe Cube, Signpost). This line of interest in accessibility to sound, and the varying ways in which we all experience things, stemmed from Damien's heightened perception of
vibrations and gave us new ideas through which to experience (our) sound works.
Concurrently, my investigations into the resonant qualities of inanimate objects has been the focus of my musical output for several years, with releases and performances (see Hybernation).
Resonants is the first time that these two
trains of thought have been brought together, to discover the
resonant qualities of objects, and for them to be displayed as
installations where the vibrations and sounds can be experienced.
The first Resonants experiment was a
jerry-rigged assemblage which shared much of the physical attributes
as a stringed instrument. I attached some garden wire to a found
fence post at one end, and used an old sash window weight at the
other to tension the wire. At the fixed end I placed a transducer in
direct contact with the wire. At the weight end I positioned a block
of wood as a pivot, (as in the bridge of a cello) and then a contact
microphone directly onto the wire, below the bridge. The mic was then
plugged into a small T-amp, which amplified the signal and sent it to
the transducer. The transducer would then play the sound into the
wire, causing it to vibrate, and thus complete the circuit.
first the feedback loop was rather loud and distorted but I found
that by reducing the volume the carrier signal was more clearly
audible. This 'note' could be modulated by adjusting variables in the
set up: the lateral position and angle of the bridge, the tension of
the wire, and the position of the transducer. Along with fellow
studio artist David Watkins, we spent some time experimenting,
playing our newly built instrument with a variety of techniques,
preparations and 'hammers', mainly various paint brushes. Some
results can be heard below (soon).
The second in the experiments led me to
take these findings and apply them to an object that was already
constructed, to find the resonant frequencies hidden within it. I
found an old tin bath tub in a garden propping up a fence and thought
that its shape and composition would be conducive to producing and
conducting vibrations. Initial placement of the mic and transducer
went well with a decent feedback loop easily attained. Modulation was
less apparent at first but pressing the construction gently in a
variety of places made this possible. I made a decision to add a
second 'channel' to see if I could produce two notes. So a second
contact mic and transducer were placed on the bath, and by
experimenting with a variety of positions I could produce two
These were, as one might have guessed,
very similar to each other, so using a donated 4 track I applied
opposing EQ settings: the left channel with only 'Low' frequencies,
the right with only 'High'. This produced two harmonised tones both
inherent within the fabric of the object.
As part of our UN series, Jonathan Kipps and I set up a small scale event at UCL Slade Fine Art School as part of his ongoing presentations. We had intended for a long time to work together on the ideas of what resonant frequencies lie within his sculptures, so I connected the resonants apparatus to a couple of his current works. Thus far I had mainly worked with solid objects, made from metal and wood, so it was great to see what sounds we were able to discover within hollow objects made from wood, paper and bitumen. (Audio to follow)
15th November 2013 - University College London (Slade), (with Jon Kipps)
12th Jan - 24th March 2013 - TAP Gallery, Southend, Essex
Albums / EP's
Hybernation - Object Studies - Metal - CD/Download [Rural Colours]
USRNM - Let's ♥ Everything EP - Download [Warehouse Decay]
Hybernation - Thirty - CD/Download [FBox]
Lachrylic - Sundrown - CD/Download [Courier]
USRNM - Instant Message EP - CD / Download [Photogram]
Hybernation & Isnaj Dui - Something More - CD/Download [Rural Colours]
1. Bridge 20 (Lee Navigation) 2. Intaglio Press (with Lee Sullivan) 3. Lucia's Earring (Lucia H Chung) 4. Ring Bolt (Landguard Fort) 5. Cymbals (with Year 5) 06:04 6. Harmonic (Ed Rome) 7. Wind over Shoebury Railing
Stuart has been recording and sampling objects since the start of his Hybernation project in 1999, after becoming tired of familiar electronic sounds, plug-ins and presets. Early tracks, such as on Snow Cover (Rednetic Recordings) and Interduvet Yarns (both released in 2007) used objects to create beats and rhythms, that as a drummer, Stuart could not recreate using just four limbs. As he delved further exploring the resonant tones of objects, these increasingly became melodic and textural components. This can first be heard on tracks from 'E2 & E8' (Cotton Goods, 2010) where Stuart combined them with location-based recordings, and on 'Thirty' (FBox Records, 2012) a recording of a live performance using 30 donated objects.
Object Studies takes this a step further by using just one object to create each track. Sounds produced by objects are usually a by-product of their usage, so by concentrating and reducing them down to a resonant form tiny characteristics can be discovered. Stuart uses these to form a musical, harmonic response, turning the sound into something more purposeful and accessible. In this first collection, all of the sounds are made from metallic objects or components.
Released 04 October 2013
All music produced by Stuart Bowditch 2009 – 2012
Artwork etched and printed by Lee Sullivan on the press used to create track 2