When I started to work on this art trail I knew that I wanted to write to at least capture something a sound that was very resonant. I found a photo of the dock area of Goole which I thought was beautiful, For me, the photo had vibration and reflections of light over the water. It showed a spire, a tower and a bridge. It showed the lights at dusk melting into the waves and their reflections extending over the water. I looked at this photo over and over again and began to get an idea of what my sound world could be.
When I work as an artist and a composer at the start of the process I tend to let things filter through me and will respond to the things that touch me. The photo touched me, because of its colour but also because of the way that I could see reflections of light extend themselves over the water.
I thought it would be a good idea to get some recordings from inside the church that is in the photo, St Johns, to create and resonance that extended and dissolved like the vibrations of light on the water.
The recordings were done with a zoom recorder but they could equally be done with a phone. I worked with 10min recordings in the centre of the church, the end and at the alter. I thought it would be good to work with the sound and reflections of the stone.
I have always found that churches are amazing places to take recordings. They are spaces that are both busy and quiet. When I listened to the recordings of this church it had a lot of activity but a very peaceful hum. I wanted to work with those two aspects of the sound and build up a large resonant sound and use resonance in the broadest term possible.
For the music creation, I placed the recordings on top of each other and mixed them at different frequency levels, so one could hear delicate streams of noise. I listened to the streams and found their pitch centres and then wrote big chords which I played and recorded on to my computer. For me, my process is something based on my intuition. I felt the chords against the streams of noise and then went on to produce the work.
Many thanks to the team at St John’s Church for letting us record there.
Jo Thomas is a composer and electronic music artist. She is published by several labels including NMC recordings, Naxos, and Entracte and her work has been performed internationally in Italy, France, Japan, California, Brussels, Switzerland and Austria. In 2012 Jo Thomas won the Golden Nica in Prix Ars Electronica in the Digital Music and Sound Art Category for "Crystal Sounds of a Synchrotron”
She works as a musician and composer in London and is currently Musician in Residence for a Musica.
Recent work includes MASSIVE ANGELS a work for OTO SOUND MUSEUM. Sketch of Nature, for the new grange hospital, Seeds, an orchestral work with electronic sound for the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. Her work stems from electro-acoustic, glitch based work, electronic generated signals and often new and innovative electronic instruments. In 2012 Jo Thomas won the Golden Nica in Prix Ars Electronica in the Digital Music and Sound Art Category for "Crystal Sounds of a Synchrotron”
At the end of October (28th) she has a live concert and workshop in London in the Music space Iklectic. Her electronic work “In a still place” commissioned by the IOU Theatre is going on tour next year with the Speaking Tubes. She has an imprint called Soft Apple which she releases music, publishes scores and non notated music.