Happy Hour: Take Me to the Bishop!

Happy Hour Take Me to the Bishop

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Vintage sound-effect recordings for theatre from the Bishop Sound Collection, inter alia.

Become immersed in a cornucopia of studio and location-made sound effects of rain, howling wind and hurricanes, avalanches, stormy seas, ship horns, screeching cats and excited hens, footsteps, crashes and crowd noises, all accompanied by a glorious, rhythmic sound-patina of crackles, clicks and glitches from aged and worn lacquer and shellac records. 

Composer Aleks Kolkowski has created a new montage composition that draws from the British Library’s Bishop Sound collection of over three thousand sound effects recordings for theatre productions on ‘acetate’ discs, dating from the 1930s and 1940s, as well as from his own impressive collection of early sound effects on 78rpm shellac records. 

Included in the mix are Kolkowski’s re-enactments of 1930s weather effects recordings, achieved using wind and storm machines, sirens, thunder sheets and assorted percussion instruments that were recorded direct-to-disc in February, 2017, and filmed by the British Library.

Aleks Kolkowski was a former composer-in-residence at the British Library Sound Archive and his specially commissioned sound installation Boy Wireless, is featured in the exhibition Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound.

Montage Composition in four channels by Aleks Kolkowski (World Premiere).

Re-enacted sound effects feature the percussionists Simon Limbrick and Mark Sanders and were recorded at Bell Studios, London.

With thanks to Eva del Rey.

Part of a Season of Sound, celebrating the Library’s sound archive. Audio installation supplied by Bowers & Wilkins.


Name: Happy Hour: Take Me to the Bishop!
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Free Event: £0.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546