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Arup SoundLab welcomes five resident musicians and sound artists

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
9 December 2021

Arup’s Sydney SoundLab has become a makerspace for musicians and sound artists in a new residency partnership with Create NSW that supports professional development, technological access and experimental work with sound.

The SoundLab’s hyper-realistic 360-degree sound capability is providing artists the platform to extend their work, with projects ranging from electronic to organic sounds, to the exploration of the relationship between sound, ecology and the natural and built environment.

Four young artists stand in front of a screen in a dark room which is a SoundLab at Arup Four young artists stand in front of a screen in a dark room which is a SoundLab at Arup
Inside Arup’s SoundLab, from left: Alexandra Spence, Dale Collier, Freya Berkhout and Andrew Aaron are participating in the SoundLab residency program

First artists in residence, artist/brother duo Ernest Aaron and Andrew Aaron, Flâneurs, work with experimental sound manipulation, sampling and combine digital and analogue technologies to produce audio-visual art.

“During the program we’re excited to focus further on electronic music, exploring timing and the relationship with space – discovering what’s possible with the SoundLab technology,” said Andrew Aaron.

Also participating in the inaugural residency program is sound-artist Alexandra Spence; multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and experimental musician Dale Collier; composer, musician, vocalist and creative technologist Freya Berkhout.

As sound plays a large part in our experience of places, artists indicated a curiosity to use the SoundLab to test, create and model their work in a variety of spaces and contexts.

“I’m hoping to make something that feels quite tactile and captures an emotion – exploring how it feels to have the sound move around you, so you feel cocooned,” said Freya Berkhout.

Alexandra Spence also shared that she will weave musical material, unusual and ecological sound sources in creating shifting soundscapes of real and imaginary landscapes.

Create NSW Executive Director, Chris Keely said Create NSW is proud to be teaming up with Arup for the SoundLab Residency Program, which is providing an incredible opportunity to the inaugural recipients.

“Through this exciting partnership the recipients will have the opportunity to experiment and record new music in Arup’s high-end SoundLab facility, and I am confident the new music from inaugural recipients will reflect the talent, experience that make up NSW,” Mr Keely said.

NSW/ACT Arts and Culture Leader, Chris Mercer extended his congratulations to the successful artists. He said the team at Arup was impressed by the calibre of the submissions and looking forward to the collaborations between the artists and our design and engineering specialists in the SoundLab.

At the core of what we do is our fascination with how a space can not only support but also inspire artists in the creative process – ensuring that the functionality of arts buildings is in line with the evolving needs of artists, audiences and institutions. ”

Chris Mercer Chris Mercer Arts and Culture Leader, NSW/ACT

The program has four 4-week residencies which guarantee the artists access to the SoundLab for at least 10 hours per week. 

Read more from Create NSW.