‘Echoes of Inventions” is a wonderful participation arts project by Bladder and String Theatre in Coventry which I have loved working on. It is now a collection of experimental electronic music tracks or pieces (voices and music/sound) presenting some 80 Coventry people talking about deep and personal subjects such as faith, afterlife, dreams and ageing. The project was supported by Arts Council England, Coventry City Council, Coventry University and was part of Coventry City of Culture.
‘Echoes of Invention’ is a modern reimagining of ‘Inventions for Radio,’ by Barry Bermange (words/voices/concept) & Delia Derbyshire (music/sound). The collaboration, which was played on BBC Radio in 1964/5, brought – for that time – a diverse range of voices from across the country together as they shared their very personal thoughts and experiences around subjects such as faith, death, dreams…
I was just one of 3 composers/electronic music producers who took the amazing Coventry voice contributions, arranged them and created music and/or sound to support the narrative. Working with Charles Cragg and Indira Lakshmi, we created some pieces solo while others we co-composed. It was a delight to wake up every morning, not look at emails and just show up and sculpt away to support people thinking deeply about life.
For the music, we limited ourselves to the voice of singers for each topic and micro samples of the participants’ voices or maybe their non-verbal utterances like “mmm”s or lip smacking percussive noises. We then used our preferred modern music technology tools and techniques to build the soundtracks, thereby keeping the pieces fundamentally rooted in the human voice.
It was amazing to work with the participants’ poetic sharings whilst also a bit daunting to live up to Barry and Delia’s moving and meticulous production. Delia talked about the sound and music painting a picture for the voices which was a great intention for us as we composed sound/music to support the words and honour the diverse experiences and perspectives.
Funded and/or supported by: Arts Council England, Coventry University, Coventry City Council, Open Theatre, The RSC, Erica Whyman, Jen Davis, Delia Derbyshire Day, Cath Cullinane, Phillipa Cross, Joshua Patel, the Patel family and David Butler.
We would like to give special thanks to all of the featured participants who so kindly took the time to share with us and who trusted us with their words.
Project Director: Connor Alexander, Bladder and String Theatre
Composers: Caro C, Charles Craggs & Indira Lakshmi
Vocal Performances: Amy Kakoura Audio, Tom Simkins, Wes Finch & Mary Mahon
Mastering: Blacklisted Mastering
Thumbnail Artwork: Gayatri Pasricha
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