Simon Whetham Lightyears    

Bristol UK based artist Kathryn Thomas commissioned a soundtrack by Simon Whetham to accomopany her exhibition Kathryn Thomas Lightyears 2009.

For the exhibition the composition was experienced as a 7.1 surround sound installation comprising elements of music Kathryn has found inspirational over her 20 years as an artist, in addition to field recordings from research trips to Iceland, the sounds of Kathryn painting in her studio and other less obvious sources…

These include recordings of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), shipping forecasts and transmissions from NASA.

The composition provides an immersive soundtrack to the Darkspace element of Lightyears.
Now you can experience this music in the gorgeous surroundings of Paris.

In my work I attempt to bring the listener’s attention to sounds not normally noticed. It is easy to miss, or dismiss, beautiful and strange sounds that constantly surround us - dripping melt water on a wooden porch, the whistle of wind through grass, the crack of thawing ice, the whirr of a cable car.
The eye being the primary receptor of information is a concept I work against. A sound without a visual context becomes an abstract, often unidentifiable entity, leading one to reconsider the importance of sound in an environment.
Sound can trigger memories and emotions beyond our control, and it is difficult to shut sound out. Unlike closing or averting our eyes when we do not want to see, we are unable to close our ears, such is the power of sound.

Simon Whetham has been capturing and composing with field recordings since taklng part in a research trip to Iceland in 2005. Since then he has been gaining a steadily increasing profile: exhibiting in Iceland; recording in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil; performing at various festivals and events, both nationally and internationally; having a large amount of work accepted for release; and being commissioned by Creative Labs to build a surround sound installation to demonstrate their equipment and software.

Website :
Active Crossover - A project in Tallinn (Estonia), exhibition in Brighton (february 2010)
Sounds to listen online