Bartlett Summer Show 2020

Teaching + Research

Music + Sound Design

John made a beautiful animation and sent me the edit with this glazed facade peeling-back moment in the first section.

At its core, the Bartlett is about the students. Without them there is no Bartlett, no teaching staff, no Show.

They are a fundamental part of the fabric of the building, its material, its lifeblood.

The facade pull-back was really striking - a dramatic reveal of student ideas, which is what the Summer Show is. It partly resembled a theatre curtain lifting, partly an incision - the ideas spilling out in the Show are often forensic, as much analytical as theatrical.

So when John then sent me voice recordings of 62 of them describing their work I thought - let’s hear them. But I didn't realise what they might sound like all together until I put them in the timeline and hit play. I expected a mess, but actually you could hear individual voices in the cacophony. So I thought I'd run with this as a sonic approach.

Playing the voices together makes them act like a crystal : multifaceted. Each time you listen to the piece, say on different speakers, you might be able to pick out different voices. And the energy of the place is effervescent, brimming with energy. It seemed appropriate.

The second part of the animation migrates to evening, the voices go inside and we are shown the building, radiating like a jewel on a dark winter evening. To create the contrast with inside, we focused on the feeling of being outside - keeping the environmental sounds at a high volume. It's all wet tyres and reflected street noise. The security team that come to open the door are acknowledged.

Finally it migrates back inside to the final suspended environment of student work, waiting for an audience and building anticipation for the show to open.

I used the sound bed that is used on the Summer Show website itself (designed by Hello Monday) in the coda of the film so that trailer and website could join together with more continuity.