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The Matter of the Soul | Symphony

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Howard Assembly Room

46 New Briggate

Leeds

LS1 6NU

United Kingdom

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The Matter of the Soul is a sound, sculpture and performance work by Kat Austen, Cultural Fellow in Art and Science at the University of Leeds’ Cultural Institute. Austen will perform the three-part symphony for the first time, alongside sculptural components of the work, accompanied by acclaimed pianist Matthew Bourne and trumpeter Alex Bonney.

The Matter of the Soul combines music and form to engender empathy in humans with the process of dispersal and transformation in the Arctic region. The work interweaves narratives of human migration, the movement of water from ice to ocean in the Arctic and changing identity online to create a deeply compelling work raising questions about value and climate change.

Austen will perform live using samples of Arctic water, playing them using hacked pH and conductivity meters. The properties of saltiness and acidity of the water samples vary depending on the melting of ice that increases the amount of fresh liquid water in the Arctic. By measuring these properties, and by taking sounds from these measurements, the work captures the way that climate change is affecting this fragile region.

Kat began The Matter of the Soul during an Artist in the Arctic residency with Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute in 2017. During a residency on the ship the Akademik Sergei Vavilov, sailing through the Canadian High Arctic, she made field recordings of the acidity and salinity of Arctic waters using hacked pH and conductivity meters. She has continued its development during her Cultural Fellowship in Art and Science at the University of Leeds’ Cultural Institute, in collaboration with researchers from the Priestley International Centre for Climate.

The raw material and compositions from the project are released online under CC-BY-SA 4.0, and limited edition cassettes are available at Kat Austen’s Bandcamp.


Kat Austen

Kat Austen is a succession of experiences and an assemblage of aspirations. She creates artworks that explore multiple knowledges, from music to embodied knowledge to DIY science, focusing on emotional connections between what we consider internal and external. Kat is Cultural Fellow in Art and Science at the University of Leeds, lectures on UCL's Arts and Sciences BASc, and is Artist in Residence in UCL's Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences. Previous residencies include Artist in the Arctic (Friends of SPRI, One Ocean Expeditionss and Bonhams), NYU Shanghai Gallery and ArtOxygen. Kat was an inaugural member of the London Creative Network programme. She is based in Berlin. http://katausten.bandcamp.com

Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne is a recipient of numerous awards and accolades, and possesses an inventive and unique artistic approach for bringing infirm pianos back to life in Songs From A Lost Piano, collaborating with classical musicians of the London Sinfonietta in Written/Unwritten, the acclaimed solo piano album, Montauk Variations; and reinterpretations of Amon Tobin’s work for Ninja Tune. Current projects include Radioland; a live reworking of Kraftwerk’s Radio-Activity album (in collaboration with Franck Vigroux (electronics) and Antoine Schmitt (generative video)), solo synthesiser album, moogmemory; and Isotach, Bourne’s latest solo album for The Leaf Label. More recently, Bourne has been collaborating with pianist Keith Tippett - working towards a series of forthcoming two-piano concerts in Spring 2019.

Alex Bonney

Alex Bonney is a trumpeter, electronic musician and recording/mix engineer and producer based in London. He was born in Reading in 1978 and grew up in the flight path of Concorde, instilling a deep attachment to subsonic frequencies. He leads the Alex Bonney Quartet, is a member of Splice, Leverton Fox, BABs, Golden Age of Steam, Sefiroth, plays in a duo with bassist Dave Kane, performs solo with electronics and in a variety of other improvising ensembles. When not performing Alex works with a variety of artists producing and engineering music for leading jazz, improvised and contemporary music record labels including ECM, HCR, Two Rivers, Whirlwind, Babel, Loop, Jellymould, Not Applicable and Edition. He also works as a music educator and photographer

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Howard Assembly Room

46 New Briggate

Leeds

LS1 6NU

United Kingdom

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