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Laurie Tompkins

Laurie Tompkins will make 600 'songs, one for each of the proposed residential units to be built in 2020. A contemporary notion of what constitutes a song will necessary take many different forms, but at their heart each will bear witness to the realities of the lives lived in Halmstad. SOUND@NISSAN sept 9.11, 2016. Harp Art Lab, Sweden.

600 Halmstad Songs

A contemporary notion of what constitutes a song will necessarily take many different forms, but at their heart each will bear witness to the realities of the lives lived in the Harbour Town. Crucially, the spark for each song will begin with sonic, or text material gathered in Halmstad. These might be recordings of water powering under the bridge at Stottsmollan, or sections of interview material with a Halmstad inhabitant, or simply the sound of fisherman preparing for a day’s work in one of their huts. My emphasis will on how I can then make performative situations, both for myself and, for others, which ritualise Halmstad’s sonic identity, allowing a listener to reexperience the accustomed details of day to day life with a new vigour and intimacy.

As such, the time spent working at Nissan, and in between visits, will be one of constant research,
performance, composition and documentation. Rather than simply gathering material and then presenting a final piece, my interest is in how the 600 Halmstad Songs project can echo the everchangeable nature of life spent in the harbour town itself. As my time spent along the Nissan goes by, my instinct of how best to reframe the town’s raw essence will change too. As such, the final 600 pieces, when gathered, will map my own changing relationship with Halmstad and its community.

Laurie Tompkins - Testing the Sound at Nissan from HARP ARTLAB on Vimeo.

During the making process, I intend to make each ‘song’ available to listen to online, giving inhabitants and an audience beyond the locale a perspective on the work. It is, however, fundamental to my conception of the project that the 600 Halmstad Songs are not only documented online but, as the project continues, become physically documented. It is my intention that the first half of the project be completed by Harp Art Lab’s annual festival on July 1st and 2nd, and that the remaining half by the project’s final presentation sept 9-11 2016.



Laurie Tompkins is a composer, curator, and writer who splits his time between London and Berlin. Alongside regular collaborations and international engagements, he codirects the experimental imprint Slip.

Selected recent performances (chronological)

- Heat, War, Sweat, Law for electronics, voice, pitch pipes, objects.
- Bad Eating, Limp Palm for saxophone, double bass, synth, voices premiered at ddmmyy series, Sandbar, Manchester (Jan 25th).

- Solo performance at Slip show with St John’s Sessions’ Listening Club (Dec 13th)
- Ample Profanity for cello, keys, objects premiered with Oliver Coates at a Care Of Editions / Skyanpnea event at West Germany, Berlin (Dec 8th)
- Water Yam double bass, keys, objects, voices with Otto Willberg. Slip show, Cafe Oto, London (Aug 4th).
- Five solo performances of Heat, War, Sweat, Law . Radar, Aarhus (July 13th) / Del Rex, Berlin (July 10th) / Quiet Cue, Berlin (May 30th) / XB Liebig, Berlin (May 26th)
- 45th Generation Roman / European Bob for four players hitting flowerpots, singing/shouting, and
electronics. 2 performances at Del Rex, Berlin. Premiere at ACM ensemble’s Fleck tour (June 17th) and alongside music by Julia Rediy, John White, Chaines, Susie Whaites (Nov 13th).
- Camber Sands for vibrating speaker, bricks, voices and double bass with Otto Willberg, as part of a tour with Joe Snape. Harland Works, Sheffield (March 6th) / Hotspur Press, Manchester (March 3rd) / Hundred Years Gallery, London (Feb 28th).
- Ia Kanuh Ai Cayunah for flute and vibrating speaker, with accompanying projection by Susannah Whaites. Premiered by Kathryn Williams at RNCM, Manchester (Feb 12th), and repeat performance (Jan 23rd 2016).

- Dear Dope / Meeting Point for ensemble and electronics. Premiered at ddmmyy series, RNCM, Manchester (Nov 16th). Broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Hear And Now (Jan 17th 2015).
- Otto 14 four text pieces in response to photographs by Susannah Whaites. Premiered at ddmmyy series by Otto Willberg (double bass) at Sandbar, Manchester (Nov 4th)
- Right Here for flute, trumpet (with handheld speaker), violin. Piece developed in collaboration with visual artists Dori Deng and Meta Drcar. Premiered at LSO St Lukes, London, as part of the LSO Soundhub scheme (June 28th)
- HANDY a 4date, 12performance UK Tour curated with support from Sound and Music. Featuring new work Mylar for 6 string banjo and harmonica, handheld electronics, saucepans and four new commissions from Joe Snape, Tom Rose, Aaron Parker, Caroline Haines. All housed in a batterypowered light installation by Dori Deng, 3 performances per day in Bournemouth (May 23rd), London (May 24th), Oxford (May 25th), Manchester (May 26th).
- Closing record sets with Tom Rose at a Sound and Music weekend at Cafe Oto, London (March 28th/29th)

Harp Art Lab, Harplinge Väderkvarn, Sweden
July 1-2, 2016, 19.00-22.00

Nissan, Halmstad, Sweden
Sept 9-11, 2016

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