Image credit: Pheobe riley Law


Unfortunately we are having to cancel this weeks talk and workshop with Jez riley French at SSW. We apologise for the short notice. Jez has damaged his back and therefore is unable to travel any distance.

At this moment we do not have plans to reschedule the talk and workshop but will look at our programmes and diaries and see what we can do. If we organise another date we will post that information as soon as possible. To hear all SSW information first, you can sign up to our newsletter here

A note from Jez: “My sincere apologies for having to cancel this visit to SSW. I was looking forward to meeting you all and sharing some of the sounds that fascinate me and a few recent works. Unfortunately I have a slight, temporary back problem that currently prevents the drive up from Yorkshire. Again, my apologies and I hope to meet you all sometime in the future.”

Each year SSW host a series of open talks to accompany our Summer Artist in Residence programme. These talks are set up to bring people together, share food and have vibrant conversations. The 2018 public talks series presents the work of Simone Kenyon in the month of June and Jez riley French in August. Both artists have a deep interest place and make emotive site response work.

Jez riley French
a quiet position – elusive fields
Public talk and workshop

Thursday 9th August – talk 18:30 – 19:30 + discussion

In recent years Located sound (field recording / site specific) has become a key thread in the wider sonic arts and in ecological / environmental concerns. Yet it’s power to both inform and challenge our perceptions of place remain somewhat muted under the weight of our imposed perceptions. How do we navigate our relationship with sound as material and experience and what is the role of technology ?

In this informal talk Jez riley French will discuss some of the projects he has been working on in recent years, explaining the various extended techniques (contact microphones, hydrophones, electromagnetic coils, ultrasonic detectors, infrasound etc) that he uses to connect with located sound as both an artistic practice and a personal exploration. Hopefully this will lead to a group discussion on key topics such as perception, the art of listening, the gendering of sound technologies and practices and a sense of place without overt narrative.

Friday 10th August – workshop 10:00 – 13:00 +

Following on from the previous days talk, whatever your level of experience with field recording or active listening this workshop aims to provide a general introduction to both equipment and approach. The group will discuss different elements of the technology from the standpoint that they are are merely tools – important in various ways but not as important as personal connection and intention – and the psychology of listening. The group will then spend some time using hydrophones, contact microphones and coils to uncover the hidden sounds of local minerals and the SSW site itself.

No experience is necessary however if you have, or can borrow, a digital recorder do bring it along.

*Please note the workshop with Jez riley French is free but space is limited and booking is required. To book please contact arts@ssw.org.uk/ 01464 861372

Jez riley French

Focusing extensively with sound as both material and subject JrF’s work over the past three decades has involved installation, intuitive composition, scores, film and photography.

Alongside performances and exhibitions Jez lectures and run workshops in various countries on field recording / located sound as an art form and has also developed a range of specialist microphones widely used by recordists, sound artists, musicians, sound designers and cultural organisations. He also works as a curator of live events, of a record label, of sound installations and an arts zine ‘verdure engraved’. In recent years he has been working extensively on long form recordings of surfaces, spaces and situations and developing the concept of photographic scores and ‘scores for listening’.

Aspects of his work have been exhibited or performed in events and installations alongside that of Yoko Ono, David Bowie, Pauline Oliveros, Chris Watson, Jana Winderen, Alvin Lucier, Annea Lockwood, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Stars of the Lid, Jeremy Deller, Sarah Lucas, Brian Eno, Signe Liden, Sally Ann McIntyre, David Toop etc, at galleries including The Whitworth Gallery (Manchester), Tate Modern and Tate Britain, MOT – Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (Japan), Artisphere (USA). During 2017 he was commission by the UK’s City of Culture, Hull 2017, to deliver or be involved in several key projects inc. Height of the Reeds & North Atlantic Flux.

For 2018 Jez is working on several major projects inc. one focused on the design & detail of spaces between buildings in Japan and further works exploring structures resonated by compositions and their locales . He is also working with his daughter, the artist Pheobe riley Law, on a series of performative collaborations. In June 2018 Jez curated ‘murmurations’ an week long trip to Glenshee featuring guest artists & participants from around the world inc. Chris Watson, Heather Ross, Yvonne Billimore, Stephanie John, Gill Russell, Jana Imert & Kaffe Matthews.

Key works are pieces capturing the sound of the dolomites dissolving, ants consuming fallen fruit, buildings vibrating, teleferica’s interacting with locales, the infrasound of  domestic spaces around the world, glaciers melting in Iceland and the tonal resonances of natural and human objects in the landscape. jezrileyfrench.co.uk


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