Do not open it … Do not own it

Hacked Cassette Player

Tonight I am performing for the GMCDP AGM at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation. Alongside other local disabled artists, I will be trying out a new scratch electronic piece: Do not open it // Do not own it

Do not open it // Do not own it is sound based parody about PIP & ESA claimants resorting to the use of cassette tapes to record their assessments.   

Using ableton live, touch boards and hacked cassette players, I will explore the backward/rewinding/distorted process these assessments have been for many of us. 

The process isn’t just a cruel challenge to our survival, but also a distortion of our identity or validity as disabled people.  

GMCDP AGM

6.30pm-9.30pm, International Anthony Burgess Foundation
Engine House Chorlton Mill 3
Cambridge Street
Manchester
M1 5BY

Acorn Massive

Good to be back at work after a difficult summer fighting various infections, and eventually having an appendectomy 🙁 .

I am particularly pleased to be working with members of Acorn Farm again. Using both technology, storyboarding techniques and our imaginations, together we have been working on a simple ‘spooky’ sound story. We have also decided to call ourselves ‘Acorn Massive‘!

For the technology geeks out there – we used the Micro-Speak recorder (pictured), which was a great little device in terms of accessibility and quality. We also used iPads, iPhones and a Zoom recorder.

Although we ended up sampling a staggering four hours worth of noises, this mini sound story is only the first phase of a much bigger piece of work.

“A great introduction to creating a sound story, we were really impressed at some of the ideas” Angela Miveld – Day Services Manager – Acorn Farm

Please check out my instagram for projects updates …

This project is being supported by Heart of Glass.

Belle and the Bell Curve

Latest instablog about the fantastic sound based workshops I delivered for my Research Residency Heart of Glass.

Highlights from the workshops includes one participant, John, singing a rendition of ‘Michelle my Belle’. This was the first time John had heard a playback of himself singing or speaking. He was astonished!

Field Recording – Acorn Farm

Gemma Nash using her field recorder, Acorn Farm 2019. Photographer – Michele Selway

Yesterday a visited Acorn Farm. The farm runs a brilliant day service for people with learning disabilities, some of whom will be taking part in my forthcoming sound based workshop. This workshop is part of the research for my Heart of Glass residency.

Working alongside technologist Kris Gjerstad, we will be focusing on different ways of communication and challenging perceptions about who who is allowed to speak. We will also be exploring the work I have been doing with Gareth Cutter, i.e. the voice in fairytales and future ways of talking.

Gemma Nash with the lively group from Acorn Farm, 2019

Whilst I was at the farm I recorded some sound using my newly purchased Zoom H5 Recorder. Here is a short sound mix from the field recordings I made during my visit!

Research Residency

Gemma Nash speaking about her work for the Heart of Glass team, 2019

Last week I delivered a presentation about my arts practice for Heart of Glass. Heart of Glass are an arts organisation based in St Helens with a focus on collaborative and social arts practice. They recently commissioned me to work on a research residency which will take place from February to April 2019.

Working alongside Emily Gee (Heart of Glass Producer) and local disabled people, I will be investigating new possibilities of articulations beyond traditional art world paradigms.

I will also be exploring issues of power, voices and intersectionality through collaborative workshops, studio time and research visits.

Gemma Nash at Heart of Glass talking about Beyond Vocal Norms collaboration with Gareth Cutter!

Watch this space for more blogs about this exciting action research.

British Music Collection Interview

A while ago I was interviewed by the very talented Irish composer Ailís Ní Ríain for the British Music Collection – a collaborative project between Sound and Music and Huddersfield University.

Today I stumbled across this interview on the BMC website …

The focus of this interview is the Manchester based digital story-teller and sound-artist, Gemma Nash. I became aware of Gemma when she interviewed for a place on Sound and Music’s Pathways Programme. I was on the interviewing panel and was intrigued by the strong political and social narrative in her sound work….

You can read the full article here:

https://britishmusiccollection.org.uk/article/interview-sound-artist-gemma-nash

CUTTER // NASH Shortlisted

Gemma Nash & Gareth Cutter performing at Metal Liverpool
CUTTER // NASH performing at Liverpool Metal, DaDaFest 2018

Really so pleased that @gareth.c.cutter and myself have been shortlisted for an Unlimited Emerging Artist Award.  Quite the list to be alongside!

It’s been an amazing journey so far with the kind support of Metal Culture, Sound and Music, Arts Council England.

“The statistics don’t really do the breadth of ideas justice … there is more music and sound work to be found in the combined arts – with Encounter Productions’ Deaf Choir, Cutter and Nash’s exploration of myths and future possibilities of the (non-normative) voice through sound art and music.”

Read more here:

https://weareunlimited.org.uk/announcing-the-unlimited-shortlists/

Sonic Pixels: The secret history of the radical female shopper…

Rosa May Billinghurst used her tricycle chair to ram police at protests.

Step into a world of sound with Sonic Pixels. Wander through the stunning Victorian shopping mall, trigger speakers in real-time and experience what it feels like to be right at the heart of sonic compositions.

Member of the Cornbrook Creative team setting up the LED speaker system

Working alongside Cornbrook Creative,  my latest sound piece is a feminist interpretation of Barton Arcade.

Built in 1871, you might think of Barton Arcade as typifying the luxury culture of the nineteenth century, with a carriage entrance and raw iron gates. It is certainly not considered a particularly radical space. However, like many other similar arcades it was once one of the few places women could move freely without being chaperoned by a man.

Historian Erika Diane Rappaport explains that it was during this period that ‘a family’s respectability and social position depended upon the idea that the middle-class wife and daughter remain apart from the market, politics, and public space’. Shopping itself may have been fetishized into women’s greatest pleasure, but for many middle-class housewives in Victorian Britain, shopping was their first taste of real freedom and therefore marked the starting point for their push into public life. Barton Arcade was a place in which, for the first time, women were able to share ideas and meet in public without being accompanied by a man.

Whether it was the Women’s Emergency Corps meetings, Pankhurst’s shopping trips, or female pick-pockets, my piece will explore the secret history of the radical female shopper. Using archived materials, and “found” sounds, I will re-imagine the groups who met here; the conversations that may have taken place and bring to life the stories of the women that occupied this space.

Change Makers: Gareth Cutter & Gemma Nash

The word ‘huh’ written in chalk on a blackboard

Gareth Cutter and myself have been exploring voice in all its many guises: in classic literature (the Tower of Babel, Echo the nymph, The Little Mermaid), contemporary science and technology (for instance, Voice Banks where you can ‘donate’ your voice to someone without speech), and sociology (‘huh?’ as the only universal word shared across all cultures; dysfluency power). And we’ve been imagining what the voice might be like in the future, as above.

Read more here:

http://www.metalculture.com/artists-area/change-makers-gareth-cutter-gemma-nash/

Change Makers: Questioning existing binaries

Read about the fab time I had at Metal Culture’s Change Maker Artist Lab – for artists interested in being or feeling ‘other’ in whatever way that meant to them.

Resisting (rebel against) an increasingly dominant binary or ‘normal’ and ‘other’, ‘disabled’ or ‘non-disabled’, ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ etc.

http://www.metalculture.com/change-makers-blog-june-30th-2017-change-maker-artists-labs-at-metal/