For our autumn 2012 commission we worked with audio visual artist Kathy Hinde, developing a new work with local singers that combined live singing with electronically altered voices.
The piece was inspired by how bats ‘echo-locate’ using sound to ‘see’ their surroundings. In collaboration with technologists, Kathy has created a new handheld device that uses sensors and mini-computers. These devices affect the sounds of voices based on where they are positioned in a space, creating a sonic and spatial experience. Kathy collaborated with the Bedfordshire Bat Group and Bat researcher Professor Gareth Jones, using ‘bio-mimicry’ – the study of nature to influence designs and processes – as a creative method. The technology was developed by Matthew Olden and Tarim at the Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol
Bedford got involved in the testing of these new devices at a series of workshops in October and December, working with Kathy to devise new techniques for developing and performing vocal compositions. We shared the results of the first stage of this exciting experimental commission at a public work-in-progress event in December.
A second version, an interactive installation that anyone could take part in, was presented as part of Almanac Festival in February.
We’re working with Kathy in 2013 to develop new versions of this work for touring. Read her blog, which is regularly updated as the project progresses.