EAB / Digital sound artists make web-surfing a musical experience

Digital sound artists make web-surfing a musical experience

As part of the ongoing Year of the Artist (YOTA) programme of artists in residence across England, digital sound artists WorldNet are in residence on the East England Arts website of YOTA projects in East England - www.eyota.org - creating exciting and unusual sound installations that can be heard online.

The website is packed full of information about the 100 artists’ residencies in the region and also includes ‘e-cards’ of some of the artists’ work that can be e-mailed to friends, and a discussion area for visitors to make their own comments.

Steve Appleton and Paul Thompson of WorldNet are making of a series of visits to residencies that inspire creative, innovative sound pieces and web-surfers can hear them on the site as soon as each piece is finished. The sounds are a response to the artworks being created as well as the unusual settings of the residencies. They also complement the stunning images taken by photographer Martin Figura. Steve and Paul are also producing a diary of their work so surfers can read all about it.

WorldNet already have some superb pieces up on the site, and are working with other resident artists, including film-makers, writers, sculptors and painters, to create more sound installations. However, these digital sounds are not only a celebration of the region’s YOTA projects, but are also original works of art in their own right and WorldNet will be releasing them on a CD in January 2002.

WorldNet artist Steve Appleton said: “We believe it’s important that musicians in all arenas are recognised for their endeavours. Now the Internet is making that more possible than ever before. Each residency is an opportunity for us to produce a different soundbyte - some will be funny, others serious; some will be a response to a process or environment, others to the product. The important thing is that we are not trying to ‘sum up’ any of the residencies, but make concrete our personal responses to them. All we have to do is play our part as audience to convey an emotional reaction and then communicate it online.”

East England Arts has placed poets in supermarkets and on ferries, sculptors in car factories and textile artists in plane hangars. The 100 artists in residence are interacting closely with a massive array of workplace staff, customers, family and friends all over East England to stimulate creativity, a greater awareness of art and artists and to put people more in touch with their own artistic imaginations. “All of these settings will come into play in the music, and we are visiting a number of sites to record the actual ambient sounds of the place and the people there,” said WorldNet.

WorldNet hope that their music will enhance visitors’ experience of the East England Arts’ Year of the Artist website. “It’s not necessarily about thinking ‘Wow, what a great piece of music that was’, but more about setting the scene for the work the artists are doing in their residencies. It’s like a good soundtrack to a film…it works best when you don’t notice that it’s there,” they said.

WorldNet have an impressive back catalogue of recorded material, including their former mutations as seminal dance band Globo and industrial rock band Basti. They have toured nationally and internationally and have worked with the most talented performers and artists of their generation.