This project brought together Newcastle University practitioner-researchers Tim Shaw, John Bowers and Simon Bowen, Stefan Kazassoglou of Liverpool-based creative business Kinicho, and members of the public via the Foundation for Creative Art and Technology’s (FACT) ‘Build Your Own’ programme of events. Between August and October 2015, we created numerous sonic environments drawing direct inspiration from and gathering material at several intriguing locations in Liverpool, often spaces that were somehow lost or forgotten.

FACT Lab public making

Kinicho have a long-term interest in spatialised sound, and Stefan has made many spatial sound recordings as well as spatial sound listening environments, including COSMOS – an array of 20 loudspeakers and associated software for the playback and spatial mixing of third order ambisonics recordings. The creation and manipulation of audio material in third order ambisonics became an aspect of the creative collaboration that developed in this project. Further aspects of this creative work, in relation to Tim, John and Simon’s concerns, explored how sites could be evoked through extended field recording, programmatic manipulation of sound according to location-specific parameters, spherical panoramic photography, and the layering of multiple sound and visual elements. All aspects informed and were informed by each other, leading to productive and interesting combinations of practice and technologies.

Site visits included excursions to the Williamson Tunnels, a network of tunnels with an ambiguous history built by the eponymous Liverpool industrialist); the Bombed-Out Church, the remaining shell of a local church largely destroyed in WWII that had become a public arts venue; and The Old Dock, the World’s first commercial wet dock completed in 1715, now ten meters under street level.

Spaces recorded and makes produced during Sound Spaces (Liverpool), include:

A selection of photos from the project are available via the Sound Spaces Flickr Group.