Simon WhethamContact


Crónica 107~2016 download

Release date: 31 March 2016


  1. Contact (27:16)

1. the state of physical touching.
2. the action of communicating or meeting.

It is thought that objects are relatively unaffected by time, in some way atemporal, whereas human action is temporally unstable or ephemeral. Perhaps to test this theory, to counter it, we need to intervene, to cause objects to vibrate, to resonate, to act.

When causing an object to make sound, to resonate and vibrate, or even when listening to it, we are in some way allowing it to speak. But in this, are we making audible an internal sound from within ourselves? Or at least making audible an intended action? If so, then which voice is the one that is heard — that of the object or that of the intervener?

What then occurs when a number of creative individuals respond to a space and the objects within?

There would undoubtedly be some dialogue, a conversation between all those present, even if being included simply means listening and experiencing the events unfolding. This may even be the initiation of a dialogue that continues infinitely, being transferred between the individuals, the objects and the space, and from them to other individuals, objects and spaces.

In this work, you will hear dialogue such as that described above, but in listening to the piece, you will also be part of that dialogue. You will have emotional responses, interest and disinterest as the conversation unravels, and you will of course have questions, but do not allow yourself to be frustrated by this. After all, the conversation has just begun…

Simon Whetham has developed a characteristic practice of working with sound recordings as raw materials for composition and performance. These are often environmental sounds he has captured employing a variety of methods and techniques, in order to reveal discreet or obscured sonic phenomena. When presenting work in a performance or installation, for him the space and the objects within become instruments to be played.

Simon has a large number of works published through many specialist organisations, including Helen Scarsdale Agency, Crónica, Line and Dragon's Eye; has performed extensively internationally; collaborated with artists from musicians to performance artists, painters to video artists, dancers to poets; has run listening and field recording workshops in UK, Estonia, Czech Republic, Colombia, Chile, Australia and South Korea; and received a large number of commissions and awards for projects and installations – notably for his own project 'Active Crossover'.

Supported by the Arts Council England and PRS for Music Foundation, the project combines sound installation, performance, collaboration and workshops. 'Active Crossover' toured six cities in the UK and has been hosted in Estonia, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Australia, Germany and Norway.

Most recently the project ran as a two-month collaborative residency, supported by Arts Council England and the British Council, hosted by MoKS in Estonia, with participating artists from UK, Estonia, Latvia, Korea, Australia, USA, Austria, Finland, Norway and Chile.

As a further development of Simon's practice, he gives workshops sessions for groups of children and young people. This began with the participation in the arts education project RED Artes Visuales de Medellín in Colombia, where he ran workshop sessions for youths, exploring listening exercises, recording techniques, microphone construction, public intervention, and instrument and kinetic sculpture building. This has led to workshop sessions with children in Norway, Australia and South Korea and with unaccompanied minors in a refugee camp in Munich, Germany.

This is the third release in the series Corollaries that will span 2016, compiling works resulting from Active Crossover: Mooste, a cross-cultural collaborative residency curated by Simon Whetham and hosted by MoKS, in April and May 2015. All works are composed from material compiled in a collective archive during the project.


Press release