Sound Portal

Sound Portal

Project, Exhibition and Workshops

2013 (Exhibition: 17 - 21st June)

Lead by Angus Carlyle. Compositions by Cathy Lane, Iris Garrelfs with Peter McKerrow,  
Robbie Judkins & Charlotte Rose Desborough, Mark Peter Wright, Nye Parry and Tansy Spinks.

Artist-led workshops by Jez riley French, Daniela Cascella and Felicity Ford.

London College of Communication and Chelsea College of Arts

A collaboration between University of the Arts London and BE OPEN

University of the Arts London (UAL) collaborated with BE OPEN in 2013, hosting the Sound Portal at Chelsea College of Arts and conducting a six month interdisciplinary university wide art-collaboration on the topic of urban soundscapes.

Three of UAL's colleges participated in the collaboration - Chelsea College of Arts, Central Saint Martins and London College of Communication. Each college explored a specific thematic within the overarching concept of urban soundscapes, by bringing together previously unrelated disciplines in order to explore the sonic terrain of spatial environments. The composed outcomes were showcased in the Sound Portal, a travelling pavilion conceived and designed by Arup containing finely-tuned audio technologies that deliver an immersive acoustic experience. The Sound Portal exhibition was supported by the program of events, lectures and a two day symposium 'Sounding Space'.

CRiSAP represented London College of Communication (LCC) and explored the topic of ‘Sound, Place, Memory’.

During the six month collaboration LCC's partner colleges Chelsea College of Arts and Central Saint Martins explored separate themes within the urban environment; 'Sound as Measure' and 'Nomad Lab’.


Project leader Angus Carlyle organised a series of artist-led workshops by Jez riley French, Daniela Cascella and Felicity Ford. The workshop themes were chosen to scope the field of potential responses to our heard world and its inhabitants – the vibrations of molecules through materials, water and the air and how we can capture these and record with them; the rendering of acoustic experience and remembered association into words that make sense of the idea of ‘sonic distance’ and meaning; and the sounds of the everyday as narratives that can be negotiated through the human voice. LCC's MA Sound Arts students, BA Sound Arts and Design students and CRiSAP's PhD students participated: Luis Gutierrez Arias, Emanuele Cendron, Sunil Chandy, Robbie Judkins, Kevin Logan, Sophie Mallett, Aurélie Mermod, Iste Noreikaite, Georgio Oniani, Maria Papadomanolaki, Anne Wainwright, Daniel Ruba, Yiorgis Sakellariou, Jenna Whelan.



Five composition works were created for the Sound Portal:


Where Once Were Whales by Cathy Lane

Where Once Where Whales uses monologues, field recordings and interviews collected during a number of trips to the Outer Hebrides as well as material from existing oral history archives.


Remembering Worlds by Iris Garrelfs with Peter McKerrow, Robbie Judkins & Charlotte Rose Desborough.

Sound Portal Designer Stephen Philips said that the main inspiration for the design of the structure was Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey [1]. Coincidentally London College of Communication holds the Stanley Kubrick archive and when combined with a love of sci-fi in general this seemed the perfect embarkation point for the sound artists’ sonic explorations. Read more...


Strata by Mark Peter Wright

A collaborative sound work structured as a vertical journey through some of London’s most evocative and memorable sounds. The piece utilised the three tiered, spiraled speaker structure of the Sound Portal as a structuring device for the overall composition. Read more...


ATC Zero by Nye Parry

Taking as its starting point two recordings I made in London after the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which left all air traffic grounded for several days (a condition known as ATC Zero), the piece moves through an invented landscape of exterior and interior spaces (including that of the Portal itself) and explores the simultaneous feelings of openness and enclosure experienced in that time. Read more...


Sounding the Portal by Tansy Spinks

If the Be Open Sound Portal is considered to be in effect, a giant speaker that we enter, then what would happen if we inverted its role and gave the structure the ability to be a sound producing device? Read more...


The Sounding Space symposium took place on 6th and 7th June 2013, it brought together the practice and research based projects of the three UAL colleges to a wider discussion on 'Sounding Space'. Read more about the symposium on the Sounding Space tumblr:


The five composition works and the workshops are documented on the CRiSAP Sound Portal website.




Related Projects:



For more videos about the Sound Portal, Sounding Space and the collaboration, visit BE OPEN on Vimeo.


Image Credits

Elaine Perks