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Traceable Echoes projects

Traceable Echoes has become the theme for a variety of projects in which I investigate ways of causing and retaining a material trace of a sonic activity. Each project uses analogue and mechanical methods to translate sound energy in a visible way.

Please visit the dedicated pages, sites and blogs of these projects below, clicking on the images to open them.


Invited by Binaural Nodar to respond to and create work inspired by the rural village of Alva in the Videu region of Portugal, I explored ways of transducing the sonic energy of five natural sources of water to be translated as material traces. These springs still serve to provide water to the inhabitants in various ways.

Locally sourced clay was used to make square tiles and the sound was fed through a discarded motor, adapted with a stylus. The movement caused the stylus to inscribe patterns in the surface of the clay - to become the writing of the fountains.

A Escrita das Fontes

This series of works was developed during a residency in 2018 at Château de Sacy, Picardie, France, alongside other works that were the result of exploring the local environment over four weeks.

The solo exhibition of the works created was titled 'Translation' as each was an interpretation in some way.

For 'Elemental Paintings' I recorded the sound of the wind, but as a visible trace rather than a digital file. Microphones, amplifiers and speakers were used in the process, translating the sound as drawings or paintings.

Elemental Paintings series

The two pieces were commissioned by Tsonami XI Festival, Valparaíso, Chile in 2017 to be shown in the Casaplan Gallery alongside other visual sound works by the invited artists.

Chile supplies lime to the global construction industry. I also discovered when lime is mixed with water it corrodes aluminium.

I recorded the sound of corrosion using lime, water and aluminium foil. The sounds were then played through a speaker containing this solution that was placed on two aluminium sheets. The mixture sprayed out and was left to attack the surface of the metal.

Trace of Lime diptych

The Jeonnam International Ink Art Pre-Biennale of Mokpo, South Korea invited me to join a group of local and international artists to make a visual work. My invitation came about through previous projects in Korea where I had used traditional Korean ink and paper with speakers to create paintings.

I recorded the underwater sounds of the harbour which although almost completely abandoned still has much activity beneath the surface of the water. These sounds were played through a collection of salvaged speakers to create the works.

Trace of Mokpo Harbour
Trace Storm 01.jpg

During a residency in Busan, South Korea I made a work using Korean ink and paper, in part inspired by the director of OpenArts project, Sung Baeg. In performance he pours ink into his mouth and then sprays it out, often leaving outlines of his hand or covering some significant object.

I made one piece but then had a second set up to show the process. Under supervision the public could pour ink into the speaker, helping create the work.

Trace of the Storm

Fortunate to be invited to the annual nature art project organised by Tsukuba Art Center a third time, I wanted to make a land art piece using sound recording and playback equipment as tools.

Along the course of the stream that runs through the park Fureai-no-Sato on Mount Tsukuba I found small cascades. I placed a hydrophone in each and amplified the sound through a speaker that sat on a rock in the stream. I alternately filled the speaker with water and soil so the layers built up and created temporary land forms.

Vestiges of Discomposure
2016 trace of water series, korea.JPG

Simon participated in the Yatoo International Project at the Nature Art House in the small village of Wongol, near the headquarters in Gongju, South Korea. During the project he first explored methods of visualising the effects and traces of sound from nature.

The sound of storm water running through the site was played through speakers in various ways but the most successful was an adapted speaker that had stiff wires attached that traced lines in soil as it moved through the force of the sound. The works were also displayed in the Artist Residency Festival, South Korea, 2016.

Trace of Water
2016 trace of water, korea.JPG

One of three artists selected by OSR Projects in West Coker, UK, I spent a great deal of time onsite at Dawe's Twine Works, a Victorian twine producing factory that is being slowly and lovingly restored.

I was informed that the grooves worn into various surfaces made fo metal, wood and glass were from the years of contact with the twine while in production. The focus of the project became to retrace all of these marks with twine to recreate the sound that would have been made 100 years earlier.

Trace Evidence
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