Projects | Commissioning Fund | Professional Development
When sorting through the 70 hopefuls seeking
one of its five awards, Women in Music's Commissioning Fund puts
a high premium on its applicants' talent for innovation. But
even given the breadth of the recent applications, no one anticipated
that it would be a sonic bed a project put forward by Her
Noise with composer Kaffe Matthews that would capture the
panel's imagination quite so forcefully.
The bed will be what Matthews describes
as her latest piece in a series of interactive musical furniture.
Formerly a violinist, Matthews began making sound installations
as she became more interested in all the possibilities that space
in its performative and social aspects could offer.
Sonic Bed, which joins the armchair Matthews installed on a Reading
railway platform last year, is being made with assistance from
the biophysics department at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital
and is to be unveiled at FACT in Liverpool.
However, the bed is only one part of the
£4,000 prize. Her Noise, an organisation set up in 2001
by Anne Hilde Neset and Lina D Russell to promote women's contribution
in the field of sound art, is the conduit that's commissioning
Matthews. Neset and Russell are both writers and curators whose
work at The Wire magazine, the ICA and elsewhere
made them realise that there was a serious discrepancy between
the genders in experimental music.
"Although there now are many female
role models and we both grew up listening to music by many amazing
women, we were mostly dealing with men," says Neset. "We
started to question why."
One answer they identified was a lack of
structure. Her Noise has numerous strands, but two of the most
important are its creation of an archive, and the development
of an active commissioning arm whose work will be seen in various
gallery- and web-based events in the future.
"When it came to selecting an artist
for the Women in Music application, it was two things that made
us want to work with Kaffe, " says Russell. "We liked
the way she was crossing between gallery work and music and we
were intrigued by ways in which she was proposing to use technology
and collaborate with brain researchers. It seemed like a project
that needed to happen."
Further info: www.hernoise.com