Hubbub’s varied investigations into sound and noise explore the impact they have on our capacity for rest.

Soundings: A collaboration with Wellcome Library

Soundings is a series of collaborative sound performances devised by Hubbub collaborator and poet Steven Fowler in response to prompts – including images, manuscripts and books – chosen by Wellcome Library staff from the Wellcome collections.

Each interaction begins with library staff using their expertise to suggest items from the Wellcome Collection in response to a title inspired by a Hubbub research strands. These prompts form the basis for a public performance of sound poetry, devised by Fowler in collaboration with other poets, vocalists and sound artists.

Soundings III: Steven Fowler with Maja Jantar
in a devised piece exploring the prompt, ‘In A Silent Way’

Heathrow Airport Live Streams

Ongoing research by Christian Nold explores ways to demonstrate the impact of aircraft noise on the environment around Heathrow. Christian and his collaborators have developed monitoring devices used to stream the sound of aircraft from houses near the airport. An installation featuring Christian’s work was included in the Hubbub Late Spectacular in September 2015, and will be on display throughout October at Rest & its Discontents at Mile End Art Pavilion, London.

Lullaby Recordings

Read Holly Pester’s blogpost on the lullaby
exploring what and who
lullabies represent in culture…

A series of lullaby workshops led by poet Holly Pester has brought together artists, cultural historians and mental health researchers to explore lullabies in modern culture. The workshops fostered discussions about gender, protection, veiled threat and labour, and led to the development of a collection of improvised contemporary lullabies at the Hubbub Late Spectacular, installed as an invitation to members of the public to listen and contribute their own DIY lullabies.

Holly Pester’s work on lullabies will be released in late 2016 as a Common Rest vinyl record and accompanying poetry collection published by Test Centre.

Relaxation and Stress Tape

Radio producers, In The Dark, produced a Relaxation/Stress Tape, which premiered at the Hubbub Late Spectacular at Wellcome Collection on 4th September 2015.  The two sides, Rest and Stress, are available to listen to below. The tape includes sample sounds sourced through collaborative interdisciplinary workshops in The Hub.

Ed Prosser at Hubbub Late Spectacular. Credit: Wellcome Trust
Ed Prosser at premiere of Relaxation/Stress Tape
Credit: Wellcome Trust

Compositions on a theme of Rest

“During my research with Hubbub, I contemplated relating music to the themes of rest and its opposites. What does musical rest entail? What could the opposite of rest in music mean? What are the qualities of sound at rest in music and music notation? How could one perform rest? Simply, the first two queries suggest silence and sound, and so I pondered silence. . . .”

– Antonia Barnett-McIntosh, Composer
The Restless Compendium, Palgrave Macmillan (2016)

Breath, a composition by Antonia-Barnett McIntosh.
Performed by Ilze Ikse. Filmed by Ed Prosser.

Antonia Barnett-McIntosh’s research explores musical rest and its opposites, silence and noise, and rest and exhaustion. During her Hubbub residency, Antonia composed two pieces: Breath for solo alto flute (world premiere by Ilze Ikse at the Hubbub Late Spectacular at Wellcome Collection, 4 September 2015), and none sitting resting for string quartet (world premiere by Aurora Orchestra at BBC Radio 3’s ‘Why Music?’ at Wellcome Collection, 26 September 2015). Antonia details the experimental composition processes used in crafting these works in publications on Hubbub’s research.

Cartographies of Rest App

The image to the left shows the user interface at pilot phase of a new Cartographies of Rest App, developed by Josh Berson, Dimitri Nieuwenhuizen and the design studio, LUSTlab.

The team have worked to build a tool that can be used to measure social rhythms of rest and its opposites ‘in the wild’, and have alighted on a design that incorporates self-reports of alertness and mood alongside collection of ambient sound.

Five times a day, users are prompted to comment on their current state of being while the App collects audio in the background. This data collection allows the investigators to explore the interplay of environmental factors with time of day, place and the state of being of the user.