Selector Responder: Sounding out the Archives

Larry Achiampong

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How do we select and respond to archival sound?

An evening of inspiring audio, with ten quick-fire responses from artists and specialists to the incredible sound materials in the British Library collection and beyond. The platform reconsiders how and why we archive sound, including at a live event, where it is always in the process of assembling 'its own ancestry before our very ears' (Kodwo Eshun, 2002). Curated by Ella Finer as a response to the recent archiving of Jem Finer's thousand-year-long composition Longplayer.


Noah Angell
The collection of Connie B. Steadman of the Badgett Sisters 
Born in the United States, based in London, Angell has exhibited widely. Current projects include an oral history of Ghost Stories of the British Museum and a major sound commission for the Polar Museum in Tromsø, Norway. 

Larry Achiampong
West African Recordings from British Library

Larry Achiampong is a British-Ghanaian artist whose projects employ imagery, aural and visual archives, live performance and sound to explore ideas of cross-cultural and post-digital identity. He is currently artist in residence at Somerset House Studios.

James Bulley
Daphne Oram Archive 

James Bulley is an artist, composer and curator whose practice explores place-specific installation, locative sound and sound sculpture. Daphne Oram (1925 – 2003) was a one of the first British composers to produce electronic sound, co-founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and a central figure in the evolution of electronic music. Besides being a musical innovator, she was the first woman to direct an electronic music studio, the first woman to set up a personal electronic music studio and the first woman to design and construct an electronic musical instrument.

Ben Elliott
British Library, Wildlife and Environmental Sounds Archive

Ben works on the hunter-gatherer archaeology of North-west Europe. Working with fellow archaeologist Mark Edmonds and sound artist Jon Hughes, Ben has been exploring the landscape biography of Creswell Crags (Derbyshire) through the medium of sound.

Marysia Lewandowska
The Women's Audio Archive

Marysia Lewandowska is an artist exploring the public functions of archives, museums and exhibitions. In 2009 she launched The Women’s Audio Archive with recordings made in the 1980s reflecting on the value of alternative histories and the voice.

Holly Pester 
The Audio Poetry of Henri Chopin: the catalogue of Revue Ou and Cinquième Saison audio-visual magazines.
Holly Pester is a poet and writer. Her PhD thesis (Birkbeck, UoL, 2013) investigated archival and radio phonics in mid-20th-century sound poetry. Pester is a Lecturer in Poetry and Performance at University of Essex. 

Flora Pitrolo
The New Spectacularity Sound Archive

Flora Pitrolo researches archives of experimental scenes of the European 1980s. She broadcasts as A Colder Consciousness on Resonance FM since 2011 and has recently published Syxty Sorriso & Altre Storie (Rome: Yard Press, 2017). 

Nina Power
Her Noise Archive 

Nina Power teaches Philosophy at the University of Roehampton and is the author of many articles on philosophy, politics and culture.

Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski
The Lambeth Women’s Project Archive Collection

Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski Minneapolis based, London-born, Nigerian mixed-media artist/designer, archivist and organiser. Her work and research explores the relationship between feminist, queer, decolonizing theories/spaces and organizational, curatorial, artistic (self) archiving practices.

David Toop
BBC Sound Archive of the early 1970s and personal archive

David Toop has been developing a practice that crosses boundaries of sound, listening, music and materials since 1970. He is currently Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at London College of Communication.

The bar will be open from 18.00 – 22.00.

Image of Larry Achiampong by Kate Keara Pelen


Name: Selector Responder: Sounding out the Archives
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546