Graphic designer Malcolm Garrett and musician Martyn Ware are collaborating on a sonic art installation in London’s Leicester Square.
Sound Life will be ‘A threedimensional soundscape, a distillation of the essence of London’, according to Ware, who has recruited Garrett to create an identity for the event.
Ware, a founder member of pop groups The Human League and Heaven 17, is the creative force behind Future of Sound, which specialises in sound installation projects.
Ware and Garrett have a long-standing working relationship. The pair met when Garrett designed cover art for the first Human League album, Reproduction.
Garrett didn’t work to a formal brief on the Sound Life project, but says ‘an ongoing dialogue was maintained’.
Ware says Garrett needed to ‘create a visual representation of what has been created sonically’.
The logo is a ‘literal interpretation’ of the event, according to Garrett, who says, ‘It’s a difficult concept to get to grips with as there will be noise coming from all directions.’
Composed by Ware, the event gathers recordings of London-centric songs, captured noises made by London wildlife and clipped ‘historical’ London sounds. The resulting soundscape will also include licensed recordings of politicians Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone and the sound of the G20 riots.
Members of the community across all ethnic groups and age ranges, including nursery school pupils, were engaged and encouraged to gather sounds of their own for the project. ‘We gave them recording equipment and trained them on what to look for in their environment,’ says Ware.
The event, supported by the Arts Council and Westminster Council, has been planned for two years and will run from 4-14 June in Leicester Square Gardens, where Ware hopes it will pick up the 240 000 daily footfall through the square. Sounds will be played on a repeated hour-long loop, from 9am-7pm over the ten consecutive days.