On the 3rd of July, Riffs organised a one-day writing workshop as part of Ideas of Noise, an experimental music festival in Birmingham. We were thrilled to host as our speaker Frances Morgan, Commissioning Editor for The Wire, and saxophonist and composer Rachel Musson, who acted as the prompt for the writing workshop that followed.
In response, Craig Hamilton – one of our co-Managing Editors – created a sound piece and the following summary of the process:
At the Ideas of Noise event on Friday 3rd August 2018, I started taking notes for what I imagined would become a blog post about the event for the Riffs website. As an editorial team we were in attendance to promote a special issue of Riffs around ‘Ideas of Noise’. As I started typing, however, I changed my mind. I decided to write the piece ‘live’ in order to see what happened. So I started to write, edit, write, edit. A little while later, I was struck by the strange moments of serendipity that were occurring as I listened to the ideas put forward by Francis Morgan in her talk: the ambience noise of the room; the sound of the venue staff preparing lunch; and the words I was writing/editing very often seemed to be in some kind of odd three-way call and response. Francis would say something on stage, and a noise from the street would chime with her thought. It was odd, and perhaps the heat of the day was a factor.
The idea then presented itself of making something that could capture what I was experiencing. Without too much thought for what I was doing, or where the idea was going, I took out my phone and started recording short audio snippets. The began to brew into the idea of using those recordings as the ’soundbed’ for a spoken word version of my still-evolving written piece. I recorded nine snippets in all, over a period of about an hour, and did not stop to think too hard about what I was capturing. I simply held my phone in the air, pressed record on the in-built sound recorder, and then saved the files.
This collaboration will be continued in our fifth publication, Vol. 3 Issue 1, in Spring 2019, but until then we can share some one-minute pieces written by workshop attendees and photographs by Ian Davies.
All images are the copyright of – Ian Davies Photo Ⓒ 2012 – 2018 | All Rights Reserved