Music Colloquium: Contact listening and the inner life of things

The speaker is Lee Patterson (Independent Artist)

Colloquium abstract

Drawing upon his archive of recordings collected over the past 20 years, Patterson will show how the mundane became strange when he started to eavesdrop upon quotidian objects and places he was once familiar with. His self-directed research using contact microphones and hydrophones has revealed how many things in the world around us act as sites for energy transferal and as such can be considered as musical instruments in-situ.

From singing bridges and sonorous railings to synthesizing chalk and the chirping, whistling chorus of ponds, he proposes a new, weird music, albeit one hidden within the fabric of our everyday existence.

About the speaker

Lee Patterson uses sound making and recording to devise performances with a selection of activated and amplified things and processes, from rock chalk to springs, from burning nuts to vibrating metal.

Whether live or in the field, he opens up and plays an often inaudible sound world emitted by otherwise mute devices and objects. Based in Prestwich, Manchester, UK., he works internationally and has featured on UK TV, BBC Radios 3, 4 and 6, Resonance FM and on radio stations worldwide.

Linked performance 

Lee Patterson: Terrain: for amplified objects and devices. Also featuring John Macedo: Objects, electronics and speaker cones.

“This performance may or may not feature the amplification and activation of materials ranging from rock chalk to burning nuts and seeds; old cd players and their motors; effervescent salts to amplified springs and vibrating metal to buzzing ampoules.”

Find out more.