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Fence Me In

Adam Fowler records artists at work in different locations - from the ramparts of a ruined castle to a small, echoing chamber - to test how acoustics affect their creativity.

Adam Fowler records artists at work in different locations - from the ramparts of a ruined Northumberland castle to a small, echoing chamber - to test how their creativity is affected by the acoustics of a space.

While there has been research into how the built environment affects our wellbeing and how noise influences our ability to function, there is little on how the walls around us can create sonic environments for creative work.

Now musicians Anna Clock and Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh visit the University of Salford to perform in both the Anechoic Chamber, which reflects no sound at all, and the Reverberation Room which has the opposite effect, considering how each space affects their ability to improvise together.

Adam joins director Catherine Alexander at a Complicité Theatre Company rehearsal. She explains that the sonic architecture of a performance space is key to the devising of a Complicité production.

Poet Katrina Porteous demonstrates how her radio poem, Dunstanburgh Castle: A Secret as Old as the Stones, was informed by the acoustics of different parts of the ruins, from tiny garderobes to open expanses reverberant with the call of kittiwakes and the pulse of waves.

Finally, Chris Chafe from Stanford University describes a new way of creating an "internet acoustic", where musicians thousands of miles apart can play together in one acoustic space.

To test for himself how the acoustics that fence us in can affect our creativity, Adam edits part of the programme in some sonically challenging locations.

Producer: Adam Fowler
An Overtone production for BBC Radio 4

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28 minutes

Last on

Sun 29 Sep 2019 23:30

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