Commissioned by Luton Culture as an installation for families, this interactive, multi-channel work consists of ten record players each with a dubplate of a field recording from around the local area. Visitors were invited to play the records individually or in combination to create their own abstract soundtrack for Luton.
This recording is of the installation in use by members of the public.
Your Luton Symphony
Graham Dunning (2011)
Music is the organization of sound and silence. – John Cage
Nothing essential happens in the absence of noise. – Jacques Attali
An interactive installation consisting of ten record players and records. Each record has been cut with a different sound-snapshot of Luton. You are invited to play the records individually or in combination to create your own Luton symphony: a soundscape of the noises made by people, a bustling cacophony of Luton life.
The sounds were recorded by the creator of the installation, Graham Dunning, and local phonographer, James Hart. Each sound was chosen for its relevance to the life of the town, and for its sonic texture.
Train Station Lobby
Outside School Gates
Town Centre Busker
Planes at the Airport
Near Silence in the Library
Walkabout and Traffic
The installation is a celebration of the bustling energy of Luton’s town centre, and of the people who make the town a real place. Chattering shoppers and rushing commuters mix with the noise of transportation. Distant musics from the Carnival and a local busker blend into footsteps and birdsong. The sound made by the town’s children looks to the future while the near-silence of the library mourns the empty buildings that pock the edges of the town centre.
Above all this installation seeks to communicate the artist’s sense of wonder in the exciting, colourful energy of Luton’s everyday sounds: the sounds that usually go unnoticed or, often, are thought of as unwanted noise.
Shown at Luton Summer Festival, August 2011.