SAE Extra: Jez Riley French – The act and art of located sound

27 Sep 2018
17:30 to 19:30
27 Sep

"We ask ourselves first, are we hearing what is actually there or what we have constructed to make sense of what might be there?"

Jez has been exploring sound in various contexts for almost 4 decades. His work with durational listening/recording and the development of extended recording techniques (such as the use of contact microphones, hydrophones, electromagnetic coils, ultrasonic and infrasonic detectors) has allowed him to delve deeper into the potential of sound in terms of place, surface and situation.

During this insightful talk, Jez will draw on some of his key projects over the past decade, such as:

  • ‘audible silence’ - recordings of architectural spaces
  • ‘salts’ - compositions for ensembles and performance structures
  • ‘dissolves’ - the sound of minerals in flux
  • ‘elusive fields’ - sounds above and below our range of hearing
  • ‘design and detail of the spaces between buildings’ - a new project in Japan exploring civic architecture and the domestic

There will also be an opportunity for further discussion around; the role of the technology, the importance of materiality, the gendering of sound cultures and histories, and how to approach the practice of located listening and recording.

About Jez

Focusing extensively with sound as both material and subject JrF’s work over the past three decades has involved installation, intuitive composition, scores, film and photography.

Alongside performances and exhibitions, Jez lectures and runs workshops in various countries on field recording/located sound as an art form and has also developed a range of specialist microphones, widely used by recordists, sound artists, musicians, sound designers and cultural organisations. He also works as a curator of: live events, a record label, sound installations and an arts zine, ‘verdure engraved’. In recent years he has been working extensively on long form recordings of surfaces, spaces and situations and developing the concept of photographic scores and ‘scores for listening’.

Aspects of his work have been exhibited or performed in events and installations alongside that of: Yoko Ono, David Bowie, Pauline Oliveros, Chris Watson, Jana Winderen, Alvin Lucier, Annea Lockwood, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Stars of the Lid, Jeremy Deller, Sarah Lucas, Brian Eno, Signe Liden, Sally Ann McIntyre, David Toop etc, at galleries including The Whitworth Gallery (Manchester), Tate Modern and Tate Britain, MOT - Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (Japan), Artisphere (USA).

During 2017 he was commissioned by the UK’s City of Culture, Hull 2017, to deliver or be involved in several key projects inc. Height of the Reeds & North Atlantic Flux. In 2018, Jez is working on several major projects including one focused on the design and detail of spaces between buildings in Japan, and further works exploring structures resonated by compositions and their locales. He is also working with his daughter, the artist Pheobe Riley Law, on a series of performative collaborations.

His key works are pieces capturing the sound of: the dolomites dissolving, ants consuming fallen fruit, buildings vibrating, teleferica’s interacting with locales, the infrasound of domestic spaces around the world, glaciers melting in Iceland and the tonal resonances of natural and human objects in the landscape.