It was a pleasure to be invited by The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford/University of Nottingham to explore new ways of unlocking sound and sound technologies in the museum. Essentially we were exploring how we listen and can learn about sound, especially for families (kids aged 7-11) .
We were therefore part of a research project called Sonic Futures led by the University of Nottingham. We were invited to respond to the objects in the museum’s collection acquired from the somewhat legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop. I’ve become a bit of an expert on this area of electronic music history (see the Delia Derbyshire Day charity I set up) as I am enchanted and in awe of how electronic music classics like the Doctor Who theme were created without using conventional acoustic musical instruments.
And so I invited the brilliant David Boultbee of BREAD Art to help me realise an interactive platform that could give a glimpse of how these inventive composers, sound designers and engineers worked with sounds such as the whistle on a kettle or cutlery.
The work was intended to be presented in the museum space but we of course had to adapt to Covid conditions so made an online interactive exhibit with some wonderful youngsters giving us user testing input.
It was fascinating to witness how interested the young minds were in analysing, manipulating and making music with random sounds including various frog sounds from the ‘Save our Sounds’ British Library massive archive. Check out how frogs sound like synthesisers!