In the spring / summer of 2020, the global pandemic seemed to temporarily transform the way music is listened to in the city. In the absence of licensed premises or large corporate music festivals, all of the music that is heard in public spaces is generated by the people that live there. Using a mobile device, I have been recording the soundscapes of various squares and parks of East London, where bike-speakers and portable sound systems often create ad-hoc, community-generated listening environments. I use fragments of the recorded audio and the original tracks (identified via the music-recognition app Shazam) as counterpoints in abstract DJ performances. As well as celebrating the soundscape of the area, the work seeks to reframe portable and public music expression as a vital tool for opening up thresholds of possibility and constructive disorder in the city.
Review in The Wire (Sonic Electronics, 27/02/21)