Performing & Soundings from the City

Performing & Soundings from (out) the city – 2019-2020

At St Anne’s Church Limehouse with artists Anne Robinson, Richard Couzins and Rachel Gomme (June 2019)

Other recordings from walks are found below.

A skulk of foxes: a collective of charming couplings and meetings across London (April -September 2020)

For the first iteration of  this charming skulk of foxes, collective listening, inspirallondon has invited associate artists and fellow inspirallers to explore the city by night through the eyes, ears, and padded whiskered feet of vulpes vulpes.

Join REVEIL and soundcamp 2020: to follow inspirallondon’s unique live project – a skulk of foxes – 11 mics Otherwalking with/as urban foxes across North & South London – on Saturday 2 May from 8.15pm-9.15pm listen to a live collective dusk chorus as the foxes emerge from their dens and earths to scavenge or play; from 10.30-11.15pm listen to this charm of foxes, meetings and couplings across London, listening in to the lockdowned city and discussing what we have seen/experienced/heard. How we co-exist with the other and how we might reflect on the human beast through the eyes, ears, and padded whiskered feet of vulpes vulpes.

At 8.30pm to listen go to Reveil Platform Page and on left hand side scroll down the projects to play button A Skulk of Foxes – a collective of charming couplings across London – and will hear the mix (if not see the locussonus soundmap). You can open this map in another window, focus in on London and identify fox mics  as listed below:

South London:
Charlie Fox/Nunhead – mobile-otherwalking-urbanfoxesl
Frog Morris/Grove Park – mobile-frogmorris
Calum F Kerr & Miyuki Kasahara – mobile-skulk -thamesmead-inspiral2
Keith Turpin – Skulk of Foxes.-Peckham
Rachel Gomme – Skulkfox -Camberwell
Dr. James Eastaway – skulk of foxes-Brockley
North London:
Sarah Sparkes & Ian Thompson – Walthamstow Inspiral Skulk (with bats)
Dr. Will Brook (Stoke Newington)- Will Brook
Jamie Beddard – Skulk-Hackney/Finsbury Park
Alex McEwen – Skulk of foxes-Muswell Hill
Richard Couzins – sulkoffoxesclapton
A skipper fox, guards general waste on Nunhead Green from an alien human presence. Photo: counterproductions (March 2020)

The mobile live mics on locussonus soundmap will remain live throughout the evening from approx. 7.45pm to after midnight on Saturday. So if you miss the live project mix you can still pick up individual sound streams across London marked variously with account names that include – ‘skulk of foxes’, ‘otherwalking’; ‘inspiral’. A full list of mics and monicas will be updated on Saturday. Enjoy…

Link to REVEIL 2020 soundcamp events – 2 to 3 May 2020 Listen from 7.45pm -11.45pm plus on Saturday 2 May.

Mobile urban fox , territory Thamesmead – credit: Calum F Kerr & Miyuki Kasahra

As cities emptied – hollowed out by lockdown at night – a skulk of urban foxes leaves their comfortable earths to set out on a hunt for food and entertainment. Individual foxes, and couples, searching for the sounds and life of North and South London make journeys towards each other, listening and tracking their territories for rival scavengers and ‘wildlife’. As midnight approaches, the North and South River skulkers will meet in couplings to discuss and dissect their evenings’ charming wandering. Questions of what was heard, what sensed, seen and experienced; of the other walking the city, and of our co-existence with other inhabitants.

Optimal Social Distancing measures are followed in the making of this collective urban fox soundscape and many of the mobile mics will be following parts of the trail. Urban foxes leave their home simultaneously at 8pm (GMT) for dusk sounding and will be making their discursive meetings between 10.30-11.30 pm. A skulk of foxes is an project for soundcamp 2020 with a collective of mobile mic handlers-foxes including:

Jamie Beddard, Will Brook, Richard Couzins, counterproductions, James Eastaway, Rachel Gomme, Calum F Kerr & Miyuki Kasahara, Frog Morris, Alex McEwen, Sarah Sparkes & Ian Thompson, Keith Turpin and Anne Robinson.

InspiralLondon continues to curate and lead public walks along the route of the trail;  through the winter of 2019 and into Spring 2020 we made a number of public walks in sounding out the city. Other ways of walking will continue in lockdown and in light of social distancing will recommence for a wider public as soon as possible.

For now you can listen and experience Otherwalking here:  interviews and discussion from artists and walkers involved in the project as they traverse the inspirallondon route or read a walk-a-week in lockdown (with soundscapes and links that enrich the experience):

On Segment 7 Trail – walking from Canary Wharf stopping at St.Anne’s Limehouse with Artists Anne Robinson, Richard Couzins and Rachel Gomme talking about walking the trail, memory and re-experiencing place. (June 30 2019); On Segment 24 from Chingford to Brimsdown with Soundcamp’s Dawn Scarfe and Grant Smith (July 2 2019); On Segment 20 Crystal Palace, to New Beckenham onto Mottingham and Eltham Palace with Artists Calum F Kerr & Miyuki Kasahara (Nov 17 2019); On Segment 11  North Greenwich to Greenwich Meridian with urban explorer John Churchill, and Artist Anne Robinson (1 January 2020). Other soundscapes and soundwalks will be added here on via links on What is the margin? Other walks-a-week.

Edited Podcasts will be published periodically.

At St Anne’s Church Limehouse with artists Anne Robinson, Richard Couzins and Rachel Gomme (June 2019)

On Commercial Road at junction with East India Dock Road. (June 2019)

Near Devon Road Charlie Fox with Artist Rachel Gomme. (June 2019)

On Segment 24 Chingford with Soundcamp’s Dawn Scarfe and Grant Smith (July 2 2019)

On Segment 20 Passing under New Beckenham Station with Artists Calum F Kerr & Miyuki Kasahara (17 November 2019)

On Segment 20 with new Inspiraller Sally Stanton (17 November 2019)

On Segment 11 at North Greenwich Draw Dock with John Churchill (1 January 2020)

On Segment 11 on Thameside Path looking back toward Greenwich to Power Station with John Churchill (1 January 2020)

Image: Performing dotdot dash – Birgitta Hosea’s collaborative light action with HiLight Walkers (Inspiral Night Walking Festival 20 April 2018)

Performing the city – A year long exploration of the City in all its variety and hidden wonder. 2018-2019

“Positioning On a Google map, the ‘my current position’ pin orients the viewer in space; it answers the question ‘where am I?’ fairly precisely. A more complex kind of reckoning ‘where I am?’ is necessary to experience in an unfamiliar space.” (Richard Sennett 2018: 185-7)

How do we position ourselves in the city? And how orient ourselves across a rapidly changing infrastructure? Even before we begin to dwell in the city, the need to find your place and navigate some small part of the space requires a certain skill, a set off operations, maximal and minute performances.

“…the geographer Michel Lussault is interested in the way walking establishes the relation of near and far…. at some time in a person’s development a physical effort made sense of the number which represents near and far, even if you’ve only once walked a kilometre… Jan Gehl proposes another application of Lussault’s theory. ‘Depending on the background and light, we can identify people as human rather than animals or bushes at a distance of 300 to 500 metres’….’ we usually recognise [a particular] person at somewhere between 50 and 70 metres.’ … Gehl believes that the critical ‘interpersonal threshold’ occurs both visually and sonically at around 25 metres…” (Sennett 2018: 186-188)

With the expertise and enthusiasm of associate artists, Inspiral builds an experience of the city where becoming experienced in navigating and performing the city in other ways, creates: punctuations, accretions, flows and an unfinishable thickening of the city. This artistic co-production that relies on and encourages collaboration, collective action and collectivity; that encourages the audience or participant to glide through and become the city . Together we begin to see, feel and share the city in other unpredictable ways:

“Gut rush, footloose, street sway, under seeing/Past wrecks and gorgeous/Simmering hours outside the clock… Past walking/Footfall present here in momentary disarray/Rupture: dissolution of the gauzy veil, hung soft/

Rapture: like in a dream/walk/unsteadt the roughs/of the path/down heart/walk walk/unsteady in the dance to the/music/walk walk walk/unsteady in exile never/homeward bound/spiralling…” (from Darks – A queer stumble through time, Anne Robinson 2018)

Featured Image – From Anne Robinson’s film installation – Darks (2018)