Sonic Explorations Family Workshop

"Two family-friendly workshops in which you are invited to create, develop and manipulate your own sounds. Playing with a mixture of hi-fi and low-fi technology (including Nintendo Wii remotes and short wave radios!), you'll get the chance to mix it up with live sounds from world-class London Sinfonietta musicians to create new music that is truly unique.

Each workshop lasts one hour and is limited to 30 people.

These workshops are most suitable for children aged 8 and above, plus parents/carers. Younger siblings are of course welcome!"

This project involved unleashing a bunch of children on an interesting selection of instruments, and then recording the resulting chaos.

Patrick Furness and I were approached by the London Sinfonietta Orchestra (with whom we had worked before on the audio newspapers), and asked to produce a couple of family-orientated sound exploration workshops.

We assembled a collection of saucepans, tin cans, ping pong balls, whistles, microphones, effects pedals, drums, electronic instruments, a ukulele, a zither and two musical stepladders, and then piled the whole lot into a taxi.

The children had been invited to visit the Sinfonietta headquarters in Kings Cross, where they had a great time making as much noise as they possibly could.

It was interesting that one of the simplest but most popular activities were the microphones - the kids really enjoyed hearing their own voice. Pat fed the microphones through his laptop to add reverb and live pitch altering etc.

After exploring the different sounds, the children worked together to create a composition that they named "Sinister Weird Aliens Travel to Another Dimension Known as the Robot Dimension".