Lovebytes, Sheffield, 24 March 2012

Jana will be precenting a multichannel sound installation called Spawning Ground for the Upper Chapel in Norfolk Street, Sheffield the 24th February at 11.00 - 16.00. Curated by Mark Fell and Mat Steel. Find more information and programme here:

Later the same day there will be Live performances by Bruce Gilbert, R/S and Russell Haswell.

7pm to 10.30pm in Channing Hall, 45 Surrey Street, Sheffield.

Spawning Ground, 2012, a multichannel sound installation.

Soundscapes under the surface, invisible but audible - soundscapes which have evolved from the beginning of time. The acoustic environment of the oceans, lakes and rivers is an essential component of life for the creatures inhabiting them.

Whether the sound of a Sea Urchin feeding (their ancestors date from the Ordovician period), a male Cod calling out for a mate, the sound of Haddock protecting its habitat, a Snapping Shrimp stunning its prey or the sound of a backswimmer water insect protecting its habitat in the river, water is an efficient transmitter of sound waves.

Sound travels almost five times faster in water than in air, the speed differing according to pressure, salinity, the flow of the current and temperature. Creatures living in the ocean, rivers and lakes use sound to communicate with each other, to find a mate, to hunt and to orientate themselves. Different fish and crustaceans produce different sounds for different purposes; you can identify the species by listening to the sounds they make.

Fish hear with their bodies via nerve cells directly linked to their inner ear from the lateral line and through their bone structure and swim bladder. In a complex way they sense the environment they are passing though.
Sounds from the environment, like the cracking of ice 50 meters under the surface of Disco Bay (Greenland), violent waves against the shores and beaches, announce to the fish that the shore is close by. Underwater mountain chains in the Atlantic Ocean echo the calls of sea mammals. Soundscapes provide a three-dimensional overview of their world.

As species die out so also does their sound imprint, without us knowing they were ever there, before we are even close to understanding them or their habitats.

Spawning ground is an 8.1 Ambisonic installation based on recordings made in Greenland, in rivers such as the Coquet river in Northumberland, Göta elv in Sweden, the river Ping in Thailand from rivers in Russia. You will also hear sounds of Cod, Haddock and Pollock as they are protecting their habitats recorded in Norwegian fjords.

Audio software and installation consultancy by Tony Myatt and Oliver Larkin, Music Research Centre, University of York, UK.