The forest of plasticity

ForestWelcome to the Forest of Plasticity, a place of transformation and mutability. Where sound is plastic and plastic is sound. Sound art and experimental music by local and international artistes, exploring sonic responses to ocean plastic. Featuring kinetic sculptures of ocean detritus sourced from Dorset beaches, by Lynn Davy and Adrian Newton. Plus headphone concert and live performances, detailed below. Installed on Bournemouth Beach, October 24th, 2017, as part of the Arts by the Sea Festival.

Details of artistes

ON1The Plastic Oh No! Band

Interactive sound explorations featuring plastic objects collected from the Bournemouth shoreline


Sound artist based in Dorset, investigating deep ecology. Improvised live performance featuring sounds entirely sourced from plastic objects collected from Bournemouth beach.

IODR1David Rogers and Ivon Oates

Kate Moran, recording the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Canada, speaks on Radio 4 of the detrimental effects by humans of sound on whales. David Rogers and Ivon Oates  play a mix of ‘plastic sounds’ as a response to recordings of whales and dolphins, using the very same materials that pollute the oceans, to highlight the impending catastrophic imbalance to the environment. All sounds are plastic, no aquatic sounds are used in this performance.
‘…. we are on the way to have the same weight of plastics in the global oceans, in 2050, as the weight of fish …’
Erik Solheim (executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme)

Max1Max Bellancourt

For his set, Max Bellancourt manipulated field recordings of the sea, and coaxing an evolving textural counterpoint from plastic detritus found on Chesil beach.

Ingrid2Ingrid Plum

Improvised performance using found plastic objects. Plum uses her voice with extended technique, improvisation, field recordings and electronics, to create layered soundscapes, spoken word and songs. Having performed and exhibited installation sound art and visual art since 2002, she creates work that sits between sound art, improvisation, multi-media installation, neo-classical and contemporary Nordic folk music. The intimacy Plum creates in her recordings and live performance has the honesty of a confessional with the sonic scope of the forests and open coastlines of her native Denmark, that inspire much of her music. With installations that create meditative, sensory stimulative environments and performing stripped back, minimal gigs, she entices you into her hushed world.

Tansy1Tansy Spinks

Tansy Spinks is an artist whose research is currently located in sound and performance- often using everyday objects as sonic devices. She runs the MA Fine Art at Middlesex University and uses voice and violin in a number of different sites and contexts. Works can be seen and heard at  Here she contributed an improvised performance using plastic bottles.


Improvising ensemble from Dorset, specialising in interpretations of works by experimental composers including John Cage, La Monte Young, Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff, Pauline Oliveros, etc. Here the group played Oliveros’ piece ‘Sound fishes’ (1992).

Pre-recorded works

Matthew Shaw
The Plasti-cene age. Recorded using hydrophones and plastic. The Plasti-cene age is a piece of dystopian sound art. The gentle swishing of the sea, with a surface covered in plastic waste. A lifeless mass of our own making. A comment on the acceleration of human convenience creating the outcome of a barren oceanic world.

Marcus Leadley

Hidden Sounds is a studio composition using material collected in and around Whitstable in Kent using Hydrophones, coil and contact mics.  Installation For An Imaginary Beach, is sort of concrete montage created using field recordings from Whitstable and a Max/MSP patch containing multiple layers of sound file players. Playback triggering was orchestrated by the ASCII codes of the letters in a text score (a poem, what I wrote…) which cycles, unheard, for the duration of the piece:

I practiced here in the early 80s.
Alex could sing like Bono – but – we made
More money busking Beatles songs.
More than pumping gas on a Sunday.
Or working at the chipboard factory:
Gotta love that 20p coin.
I’d drive over from Herne Bay for parties:
Intimate, run down little houses packed with life.
Narrow gardens overgrow, a distant sound of surf.
Purple Hipsters in the kitchen,
Red Squares on the stairs,
And the late-night scent of Rothmans
Hanging in the air.

Halsey Burgund

Sound artist Halsey Burgund and marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols joined forces to collect the voices of people around the world recounting their personal experiences with the ocean. Combined with music written by Halsey, these voices become an integral part of a new musical composition and audio collages which listeners can modify to suit their own preferences.

Ocean Voices has both artistic and conservation goals to bring together a global community to emphasize how ocean conservation is a global issue to focus on the individual and the individual’s thoughts about the ocean, making it very personal and therefore more impactful to bring together the creative/musical/artistic world with the environmental world, thereby broadening the audience and increasing accessibility to actively solicit grassroots participation from a wide variety of geographic and demographic groups and encourage cross-pollination of ideas.

Ocean Voices had its premiere performance at the California Academy of Sciences in June 2010 in celebration of World Ocean Day as well as the 100th anniversary of Jacques Cousteau’s birth. The piece was subsequently performed at the Museum of Science in Boston as well as the Carnegie Institute of Science in Washington, DC as part of Celine Cousteau’s Ocean Inspiration event.

Programme of pre-recorded works curated by DIVAcontemporary STUDIO

sonic coast :: sounding shore 2016; performed on the beach at Whitstable Biennale, 2016

Xylitol – improvisation 20:44
Hydrophone recordings taken in the Medway – live laptop treatments.

Nemeton [Adrian Newton] – Dark Fruit 14:08
Performance using found sounds sourced from the location itself, focusing on using refuse washed up on beach as a sound source.

The Lab of Sonic Possibilities [Tansy Spinks and Iris Garrelfs] -
improvisation for microphone and beach
Tansy and Iris continued their Lab of Sonic Possibilities with a performance for microphone and beach. The Lab explores locations through listening and sound related activities, uncovering the different perspectives on site specificity this reveals.

Greg McLaren – Glissando 03:13 I
This is a recording of a phone call to the coast from the water. The text is a poem, Promenade of Solitary Death by Édouard Glissant (1928 – 2011, Martinique), a suicide note of sorts from one way of life overcome by another.

Emmanual Spinelli – Bregenz by Cycle 18:32
Live mixing and treatments of coastal recordings.

Luke Scott and Lewis Wolstanholme – elements 21:08
Ableton Live software, laptop and field recordings.

Douglas Benford – Flamethrower absence bit chap 13:17
Harmonium and beachcombing.

Daniel Ross – Oysters and Icecream 22:45
Custom built software and field recording.

Ingrid Plum – Mariculture 16:18
Field recordings, cassette playback, looping pedals and voice.

Charles Vaughan and Tim Gardiner – 51°21-1°01 Partia No.1
11:50Sea, beach, violin and electronics.