Folkestone is becoming one of the cultural hubs of southern England, but many of the young people we know don’t engage with the local arts scene. We decided to do something about that, and Arts Council England agreed to fund a unique Sound Art project – we’re very grateful to them for their open-mindedness and interest in our project.
We run weekly after-school sessions for 6-11 year-olds, and they love it. Their art lessons at school are almost always based around paint, crayons or clay – we challenge their creativity in new ways and they take home recording equipment to create ‘sound stories’ using noises around their homes and neighbourhoods, voices and props.
We also ran a club in the school holidays, working with sound artists to create amazing ‘audio postcards’ of Folkestone - Hannah Silva used her LoopStation to give a new interpretation to the children’s recordings, and Jez Riley French used underwater microphones and captured some amazing sounds.
“I have never known my son engage in any thing as much as the Sound ArtClub. He comes home and relives the whole session to us!”
“Isaac is very proud that his work is going to be used in an art piece”.
"My son struggles with confidence sometimes and this club really helped him".
The children created a live installation to open the town’s ‘Profound Sound’ festival - they created sounds of the sea, wind, seagulls and harbour. The ‘Sound of Folkestone’ was performed to a packed audience of sound artists and the public to great acclaim.
Helen Sharp is creating 9 themed programmes, presented by the children, for broadcast on Academy FM during the 2017 Folkestone Triennial. The children’s sounds will also be used in a live sound art installation on the town’s Harbour Arm - there will be drum pads programmed with the children’s sounds for visitors to create unique compositions for radio broadcast.