Tim Hill talks about his research and development as a Boom artist with OCM.

Boom is a welcome chance to gather, focus and extend a range of areas that fascinate me, including noise, outdoor music, street bands, celebration and processions.


I am researching and developing ideas around how humans use noise, especially in ritual, celebration, performance and protest. The research focuses on English traditions and how noise and sound is essential to them, but is wider in themes and possibilities and looks at some of the functions of noise in these contexts. Much of my music making has been in outdoor shows, street bands and celebrations and I am interested in why we love outdoor celebrations like Bonfire Night and Halloween and the role of music and sound in them.


I am relating this research to the practical development of new outdoor work especially ideas around a project called Skimitty or Roaring Meg, a street delerium of wild music, lights and fire that features mobile sound towers, machines, performers and musicians and draws on traditions of noise in ritual and celebration, free jazz, street music and sound art.You can see and hear more at www.rag-bone.org including our sound tower the Hurly Burly currently in development.


Rough Musics and pots and pan protests, processional sound and music, wedding noise, bonfire, bells, carnival bands, seasonal celebrations and outdoor raves are some of the grist to this particular sound mill. Important also are the various battles fought over the noise we make, whom controls and determines that noise making and the way in which people and communities use sound, noise and music to define who they are. I will be also be looking at outdoor music making and celebration in my home county of Somerset.


Related to this research is an attempt to understand the development of contemporary noise aesthetics, put very simply ‘How noise became art’. This entails exploring a wide range of possible precedents and influences through steam train and wildlife recordings, to free improvisation, ‘industrial’ music, performance art, music hall and comic sounds.


The relationship between, and definitions of, noise and music bubble under all of these enquiries and I will be using the research to feed ideas into my music making, performances, shows and celebrations.


I am a musician often working as musical director on outdoor shows and celebrations. I makes noise as varied as bringing to life nineteenth century rural music with The Mellstock Band, to street band performances with my band Tongues of Fire to free improvisation with musicians like Steve Noble and Alex Ward.


New projects include Leviathan Whispers with artists Dave Young and Michael Fairfax, Magog, a noisy quartet making music for giants and the band SWINE.