Listening Session: Seeing Through Flames: Hollows and Resonances by David Toop

A black and white image of David Toop knelt on the floor surrounded by wires and instruments. In the background there is a crowd of people sat on chairs and on the floor
David Toop: the Posthuman Composer, courtesy of the artist.
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The study sessions are informal discussion groups. Seeing Through Flames is a series of auditory assemblages that turn listening into a collective channel of exchange. These sessions open out the ideas and themes of our research strand, Emergency & Emergence, and survey different possibilities of forming solidarity through sound and music.

Seeing Through Flames convenes diverse practitioners, united by themes of adaptability and remediation via trans-mediatic storytelling, and the conscious renegotiation of our relationships to nature. The series investigates speculative timelines in order to provoke and think through ways of being in the world, against contemporary planetary capitalism.

By looking at politics of spiritual transformation and collective imagination, these study-as-listening sessions explore the potential for the poetic and vibrational undoing of the knowledge that underpins concepts of the dominant modes of being, as well as the oppression those modes create to make ourselves and our planet anew.

Hollows, spheres, caves and chambers are the resonant, amplifying spaces out of which sound emerges and intimate listening takes place. Resonance amplifies and enhances but it also acts as both metaphor and agent of empathy, intimacy and fellowship. David Toop's participatory workshop will explore the possibilities of using materials, objects and acoustic spheres in the pursuit of communities described by Peter Sloterdijk as "sonospheric communards."

About the event

Free for all.

Limited Capacity.

Booking is required.

The duration of the event is one hour and a half. Seating is available.

Access

Find information about getting here and our building access and facilities here.

There are no audio descriptions for this event.

If you have any questions around access or have specific access requirements we can accommodate, please get in touch with us by emailing info@nottinghamcontemporary.org or phoning 01159489750.

Safety during your visit

Due to COVID precautions, please do not attend this event if you/someone in your household is currently COVID-19 positive, has suspected symptoms, or is awaiting test results.

Please observe social distancing where possible.

Staff and visitors are welcome to wear a face mask in all areas.

You can find more details about how we're keeping everyone safe here.

David Toop (born 1949) plays bone conduction, resonators and buzzers, strings, paper, magnetism, archival memories, flutes, electricity and other materials. He has been developing a practice that crosses boundaries of sound, listening, music and materials since 1970. This encompasses improvised music performance, writing, electronic sound, field recording, exhibition curating, sound art installations and opera. It includes eight acclaimed books, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), Sinister Resonance (2010), Into the Maelstrom (2016), Flutter Echo, a memoir first published in Japan in 2017 (2019) and Inflamed Invisible: Writing On Art and Sound 1976-2018 (2019). Briefly a member of David Cunningham’s pop project The Flying Lizards in 1979, he has released fourteen solo albums, from New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments on Brian Eno’s Obscure label (1975) and Sound Body on David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label (2006) to Entities Inertias Faint Beings (2016) and Apparition Paintings (2021) on ROOM40. His 1978 Amazonas recordings of Yanomami shamanism and ritual were released on Sub Rosa as Lost Shadows (2016). In recent years his collaborations include Rie Nakajima, Akio Suzuki, Tania Caroline Chen, John Butcher, Ken Ikeda, Elaine Mitchener, Henry Grimes, Sharon Gal, Camille Norment, Sidsel Endresen, Alasdair Roberts, Lucie Stepankova, Fred Frith, Thurston Moore, Ryuichi Sakamoto and a revived Alterations, the iconoclastic improvising quartet with Steve Beresford, Peter Cusack and Terry Day first formed in 1977. Curator of sound art exhibitions including Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery (2000), his opera – Star-shaped Biscuit – was performed as an Aldeburgh Faster Than Sound project in 2012. His most recent record releases include Garden of Shadows and Light, a duo with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Breathing Spirit Forms with Akio Suzuki and Lawrence English and Until the Night Melts Away with John Butcher and Sharon Gal.

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