13.11 > 06.12.2022 | Tommy Lawson (TG/Fr) – European Pepinieres Residency | Transcultures – Transonic Lab (Be)

13.11 > 06.12.2022 | Tommy Lawson (TG/Fr) – European Pepinieres Residency | Transcultures – Transonic Lab (Be)

This residency of Tommy Lawson – laureate 2022 European Pepinieres of Creation for Transcultures/Federation Wallonia-Brussels – at the Transonic Lab will aim at the writing and the realization of several projects with different architectures and contents but at the same time complementary, like several facets of the worlds sounds that he likes to explore and produce. Whether for live performance, the performing arts or the many in situ projects and productions that this multi-sound creator has carried out in recent years, he has never ceased to consider sound as a sensitive and poetic material for building constantly renewed listening experiences.

In the projects he has launched with Zone Libre (festival of sound arts and cultural association he initiated in 2008 in Bastia to promote contemporary audio creation), there are sounds that are collected, those that are made by upstream protocols that are revisited in the studio by the band, by the microphone, a range of varied electronic instruments.

The form that all this takes (diffusion, performances, installations, digital medium) depends essentially on the sound material itself. When it makes sense, the space or the context of dissemination can also determine things. The complexity of the materials (sound), their assembly is the backstory of all these projects: a grip between realism of appearance and the desire for the greatest blur, the search for a tension.

Tommy Lawson also leaves a lot of room for improvisation and chance in his work:

“I try to grind the sounds, scramble the melodies to bring out an interesting harmony, an intensity. The patterns are treated randomly, like seductive sound accidents. I also like to act on the technical possibilities of instruments, virtual or real, to add effects to produce changes in density, in the expressiveness of certain melodic or rhythmic sounds”.

Working from recordings gleaned from my daily life, selected for their acoustic qualities, I create a very controlled sound chaos that transgresses the syntax of field recording. The recorded elements are superimposed in a constant movement of sound generation, injection and redistribution. Sounds behave in surprisingly organic ways forming contemplative snapshots of imaginary landscapes that blur the line between sound synthesis and field recording.”

This European Pepinieres residency at Transcultures will also be partly devoted to the final mixing and pre-mastering work for an audio cassette release linked to a new project resulting from this approach. The nature, the grain and the envelope of the sound pieces correspond to this somewhat “vintage” texture that can be found when listening to an audio cassette. This creation will be part of a series of which this will be the first issue.

Tommy Lawson will also use his working and research time at Transcultures to explore the territory of the city of La Louvière (where Transcultures is based)  with a view to creating a next geolocated route which will be finalized and offered to the public in Louvière for the start of the summer 2023. It is a question of apprehending the territory, the daily surrounding world, in a different way, by mobilizing and sharpening the sense of listening, in order to generate, through a process of sound phenomenology, new representations which reveal new landscapes. , of a richness and a remarkable sensitivity.

From sound fragments recorded in situ, Tommy Lawson arranges mini-stories, or rather sound “postcards”, whose augmented listening through headphones reveals the great musicality and the landscape dimension.

The artist will carry out a survey on the site, both meticulous and poetic, by drawing a “map of the territory” woven with sounds. Guided by this map, he will listen to and collect sounds, natural noises, and noises produced by human activity, he will do interviews with residents and/or users of the chosen perimeter. He will awaken his sensitivity to flush out the sound, unveil, reveal unsuspected sound spaces. These collected materials will constitute the raw material of the creation. Then will come the work of elaboration in the studio: selection, editing, mixing, transformation of the material into arranged sound forms, building new perspectives, from carefully chosen points of hearing and drawing astonishing landscapes, both poetic and moving. The final result is delivered in the form of a geolocated sound walk, under headphones, via the Soundways application, which the participants experience under the guidance of the artist.

Tommy Lawson

sound artist, sound designer, digital art performer. He is also a producer and curator of events for the promotion of electronic music. He develops projects combining electronic and electroacoustic music. Deeply attached to the idea of ​​transversality between the arts, he produces numerous music and soundtracks in collaboration with the plastic arts, video-art and contemporary dance. He develops in collaboration with Armand Lesecq tools for digital audio creations and computer lutherie in the field of sound spatialization. He regularly carries out geolocated sound walks towards the public in order to allow them to live an augmented sound experience in connection with the intangible heritage of a territory. He is at the initiative of the first video mapping carried out in Corsica with the Tunisian collective Design Lab on the occasion of the reopening of the Bastia museum in 2009 of a series of video mapping as part of the European Heritage Days.

In 2008, he created Zone Libre, a  structure dedicated to creation, production and distribution through which he has organized the eponymous Festival of Sound Arts since 2019, between art, science and new technologies. This event of support for creation emphasizes the development of transdisciplinary and hypermedia experiences in the field of sound and visual arts.