ESP events series: Tuning

Over the next few months, the Extra Sonic Practice research group will be hosting a series of events around the cross-disciplinary theme ‘Tuning’. Thinking and doing with ‘Tuning’ will take us from accents to autotune, eavesdropping to organs. Our first event will feature a performance talk and workshop by artist and lecturer Rebecca Collins at 4pm on Wednesday 10th April 2019. All welcome!

Necessary Note is the title of a sonic detective novel written by Rebecca Collins and Johanna Linsley (forthcoming Copy Press, 2019). Working as Stolen Voices, Collins and Linsley have been engaged in an extended eavesdropping practice along the coast of the UK since 2014.

A core motivation for this listening process is a semi-fictional story we tell ourselves (and anyone else who is listening): some ‘event’ has taken place and we have been tasked with the job of figuring out what that is. We currently conceive of this as a methodology of sonic detection which uses techniques of extraction and abstraction to undertake a deep investigation of place. This process is informed by an extended ‘on the ground’ consultation with specific geographical locations along the east coast of the UK and further explored through key literary, socio-political readings. The urgency of the investigation is fuelled by concrete concerns found in heightened forms at the border/margin of the country: the uncertain future of the UK’s relationship to Europe; the effects of climate change on coastal landscapes; the waning of industries like manufacturing and coal extraction; the development of globalised logistics. By using a semi-fictional framework, we move away from mapping techniques like data sonification and towards a methodology that embraces gaps and inventive excesses. Unfolding over a number of years, in response to what we hear, the investigation proceeds slowly, in the opened up and hollowed out spaces of ‘sonorous time’ (Jean-Luc Nancy, 2007).

Part performance, part methodological exposition, for the extra sonic practice research group at the University of Lincoln Rebecca invites you to listen in on a sequence of eavesdropped extracts from the coast of the UK and will share extracts from the forthcoming publication. This will be followed by a series of eavesdropping exercises that have informed the development of this investigation.


Rebecca Collins is an artist researcher working at the intersection between contemporary performance and sound. Her practice, grounded in specific sites or communities, investigates the relationships between social, political and cultural phenomena. Rebecca is a lecturer in contemporary art theory at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh.

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