New events encourage us to #BeMoreBat

Published Thursday 8 August by Amy

Today we announce the launch of We’re All Bats, a new events programme offering exploratory, creative, meditative and fun ways of connecting with our often overlooked (literally) sense of hearing. 

One of the 25 Make It Happen Fellowship Funding grants winners. The programme of events curated by We’re All Bats offers something for everyone, including deep listening workshops for sound art enthusiasts, concerts exploring music to create hypnotic states and family and children’s activities including instrument making workshops.

Highlights of the festival include sub-aquatic music experience Wet Sounds and a Recording Hidden Sounds workshop by world renowned sound recording artist Jez Riley French.

Riley French’s work is as vast and deep as his sound creations. Amongst his key recent works are pieces capturing the sound of the Dolomites dissolving, ants consuming fallen fruit, the Tate Modern building vibrating and glaciers melting in Iceland.

In this rare opportunity to be taught by this master craftsman, workshop attendees will develop recording skills using different kinds of microphones and seek out hidden sounds including electromagnetic waves, underwater sounds, infra-sound and ultra-sound. 

A completely different, somewhat wetter experience, Wet Sounds represents another rare opportunity.  This critically acclaimed aquatic music experience has been delivered to critical acclaim at festivals across the world and makes a return to London where its shows have always sold out. Taking place at Walthamstow's Feel Good Centre, the swimming pool will be transformed with light, sound and performance. Aquatic adventurers of all ages are invited to jump in the pool and listen to music above and below the water surface.

Other events include:

  • Four 90min sessions of surround sound listening experiences bringing a rare and fascinating mix of multi-channel (4, 6, 8 and 10 speakers) sound work from worldwide composers of the last 60 years. This is an immersive music mix that does not usually get this kind of exposure.
  • Two concerts that aim to bring listeners closer to hypnagogic states. One is Algowave, where musicians use live coding and write algorithms to make meditative music. The other is Music for Hypnagogic States featuring music made for Sufi ritual and psychoactive listening from renowned musicians from Pakistani, Polish and English backgrounds.
  • Listening workshops and activities for all ages, sound walks in the borough as well as two synthesizer making workshops where participants take home their own unique synthesizer and a participatory talk at the Wetlands Centre about bats and sound. 
  • Passers-by in the borough would get a chance to receive a bespoke Sound Massage from practitioners in markets and squares.

Joel Cahen, event organiser and sound artist, said: “In this age of short attention spans and immediate gratification, a reminder of our natural faculties for attention to subtleness in aural perception is called for. Listening is essential for cooperation, empathy, tolerance and inner peace. It is a beacon for change and transformation through new music, technological sounds and language. We believe that the practice of listening is at the root of fruitful interaction and meaningful discourse and so it is a useful and important skill to develop. We should all learn to #BeMoreBat!

We’re All Bats begins with Riley French’s Recording Hidden Sounds workshop on Sat October 5th and finishes with one of four Surround Sound Listening Sessions on Sunday November 3rd.