Sounding City: A musical map of Bristol

What does the architecture of Bristol sound like? Sounding City explored notions of place, memory and identity.

In 2016 as part of the celebrations around our 20th birthday, and as part of the Bristol800 Weekender programme, the Architecture Centre commissioned artist Jennie Savage to engage in a playful and social artistic process.

Sounding City was a process-driven artwork that mapped the city of Bristol through music. Over the summer artist Jennie Savage collected hundreds of responses from local Bristolians about their place, at local community festivals across the city including the Southmead Festival, Lockleaze Festival, Redfest and the Islamic Cultural Fayre.

Jennie worked with local musicians who turned the anecdotes into songs to be performed at the Architecture Centre’s anniversary street party on 25 September 2016.  A specially commissioned stage was designed and built by UWE Masters of Architecture students. Visit their blog about the stage here.

The artists who performed were:

  • Last Hyena
  • Gill Simmons and Paul Lawless (Bold Brave Drama)
  • Aaron Nandi
  • Alex Hamilton Ayres
  • Sharon Lazibyrd
  • Jane Thomason
  • Simon McSweeney (McSweeney Kings)
  • Joe Walker and Lewis Toghill
  • Julian Welsh
  • Martin Urmson
  • Craig Keane
  • compered by George Williams
  • with live illustrations by Nic Finch.

Visit the blog for more information about the development of the project:

Sounding City blog

A special printing of a Sounding City LP has been created from the performances, and was launched at a special event and presented in an exhibition in winter 2016. Listen to artist Jennie Savage speak at the launch here, in conversation with UWE’s Professor Rachel Sara.

Listen to the LP recording here:

Sounding City was commissioned by the Architecture Centre as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations with support from Bristol800. Bristol800 is a programme throughout 2016 marking significant anniversaries in the city and what they mean for Bristol now and into the future. Bristol800 is an initiative of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership (Arts Council England, Bristol City Council and Business West). www.ideasfestival.co.uk


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