By Joshua Robinson –
Cultures of Sound is the School of Arts and Humanities’ (University of Huddersfield) contribution to Kirklees Year of Music, showcasing innovative collaborations and boundary-pushing experiments in sound undertaken by researchers and staff.
Huddersfield already has a reputation as an important centre for innovative and historically significant music practices, but with this programme the School of Arts and Humanities have invited practitioners working in all creative mediums to contribute, considering ‘sound’ as broadly as imagination allows.
The intention is not only to represent and promote the work of researchers and staff but also to establish and augment links between subject areas and the creative innovation that this can facilitate.
The Bath House Galleries and Toast House Café in Sovereign Design House have been a hub for the Cultures of Sound programme. This Grade II-listed former foundry bath house was recently refurbished and reopened, serving as a popular café and meeting spot opposite the Barbara Hepworth Building. This year the University has been exploring the building’s potential as a focal point for cultural programmes and a point of interface between research and the public.
The new academic year begins with Field Studies – Land Body Botany by photographer Yan Wang Preston and composer Monty Adkins in the Bath House Galleries, on show from 15th September until 7th October. This exhibition pays tender attention to the so-called non-native invasive species Rhododendron Ponticum within one of its many ‘infested’ landscapes. Luminous and exquisite works in a variety of media were made between 2020 and 2023, shaped by how the COVID-19 crisis altered our relationships with the landscapes, flora and fauna that surround us.
Other highlights include an exclusive workshop and performance from Sonic Threads; an exciting duo comprised of South Indian Carnatic vocals (Supriya Nagarajan) and improvisatory harp (Lucy Nolan), here collaborating with Duncan Chapman, who works in sound and field recording.
Find out more about the programme and book your tickets here: https://linktr.ee/culturesof_
This year also sees the trialling of a new idea to make sure everyone gets a chance to visit exhibitions across campus, and will now be open until 8 pm on the third Thursday of the month.
Visit exhibitions in the Bath House Galleries, Holocaust Centre North & Heritage Quay into the evening on 21st September, 26th October, and 23rd November.
To support and encourage audiences, artists and organisers to enjoy what’s on and make the most of the amazing venues, organisations and talents in the area, the University for this final quarter of the programme in 2023 has produced a printed brochure which includes listings from friends and partners across the local area, as well as Cultures of Sound exhibitions and events. The brochure can be found in venues around Kirklees.
Find documentation and reflection on the programme so far here