A taste of the kinds of experimental music and sounds you'll find at audiograft 2019 by audiograft festival director, Paul Whitty

audiograft is a festival of experimental composition and sound art that has taken place in Oxford every March from 2011. The festival presents an eclectic array of approaches to sound-making and this year is no exception.

The playlist begins with one of Davide Tidoni's microphone experiments. In this case he is using two microphones to strike a snare drum and continues with the activity until they are destroyed. At audiograft we are featuring one of his films 'All bodies end in silence' - a series of experiments with microphones - dragging them along behind trains, lighting fireworks under them, setting fire to them with aerosols - it's not a good day for microphones when Davide is in town - but the sounds!

audiograft this year is celebrating ten years of Sound Diaries a project that explores everyday life in sound. Felicity Ford, one of the founders of the project, is represented here by her field recording of mass protest at the Women's March in London in January 2017 - 'My Body, My Choice'. My own contribution to the Sound Diaries event will be a presentation of my project 'Get Rid!' investigating the sounding cultures of grassroots football. You can listen to a field recording from Dorchester-on-Thames on this playlist as Dorchester take on Hungerford Swifts in the North Berks League. There's plenty of talking amongst the players and coaches to take on board including the instruction to 'get some chalk on your boots!' to get wide to stretch the field of play. Neil Luck completes the line-up on the Sound Diaries night and will be exploring urban soundscapes. On this playlist his inherently experimental approach to sound-making is represented by a an extract from a performance of Kurt Schwitters Ursonate.

On Saturday night at the OFS - and on the audiograft tour taking in the Arnolfini in Bristol, Vivd Projects in Birmingham and Cafe Oto in London - will host an evening of Sound Art performance featuring Olivia Block's experiments with found sounding materials and media; Sarah Hennies work with vibraphone; and Sonic Luz exploring the optosonic synthesizer - a mode of sound synthesis that uses modulated light to activate audio signals. On this playlist Sonic Luz are represented by a collaboration between Klaus Filip of the group and Bonnie Jones.

This year audiograft has provided artist residency opportunities in collaboration with Fusion Arts and the Ark-T centre in East Oxford. Helen Frosi, Renzo Spiteri and Harriet Butler have been developing performance and installation work collaboratively and you can hear tracks from Renzo and Harriet on the playlist.

audiograft is an opportunity to engage with experimental approaches to sound making and sound production - to spend time in a parallel sounding world in which the sound of wheeled luggage on the streets of Oxford is more than just the background noise of our daily lives but is the focus of our listening experience guiding us to understand the phenomenology of sound, how it behaves, what - if anything - it signifies, and how it changes our experiences of daily life.

Paul Whitty

audiograft festival director




banner image: Tess Denman-Cleaver at audiograft 2018 (c) by GlassHertzz Photo