Graham Graham Beck

art – sound

'SITES UNSEEN' video - Chrissy Collinson & 'SOUNDS FROM THE TENFOOT' audio - Graham Graham Beck from Graham Graham Beck on Vimeo.

Video/slideshow by Chrissy Collinson, with accompanying audio soundscape by myself.

Sounds From The Tenfoot (2018):

A soundtrack/soundscape, recorded to accompany Chrissy Collinson's photographic images (for her touring exhibition, 'Sites Unseen', 2018 & 2019). Using ambient sounds, recorded in the 'tenfoots' (backways behind the houses, measuring ten foot across & unique to Hull), I added electronic musical content to give it more interest & mood. The video becomes a piece in itself.

The Spoken Word (2008):

An internet-based project, using 10 musicians/audio artists from around the world, it had the simple premise of using/incorporating the spoken phrase 'The spoken word', & a sung version of the same, into an audio compostion. Each participant could interpret the phrase as they liked, sending me their contribution via email (& in some cases, a CD in the post.....& even a telephone message!). Divided into two movements, 'Spoken' & 'Sung', the phrases were mixed together to form an interweaving structure, that is hypnotic, as it is quirky.

Listen to both parts 1 & 2 on this page (opposite). Contributors included: Sunshine Gray (Lincoln, UK) , Dave Ellis (Hull, UK), Steph Anne Best (Seattle, Washington) , The Analog Girl (Singapore) & Bruno Perosa (Italy/Portugal).

Completely Stuft In 5 & 3/4 Minutes (June-July 2007):

A sound piece for ‘Stuft’ exhibition at Red Gallery, Hull, June/July 2004 – an audio mix of my ‘musical career’ from 1976-present day, in under 6 minutes.

Radio, Radio (April 2007):

Using an old Marconi valve radio, & a cheap, tinny transistor radio, I set myself the goal of producing a composition from these two opposing pieces of old & new technology. I wanted to capture the quirks, crackles, hiss, clicks, pops, white noise, other-worldly sounds, disembodied voices, disjointed words, meaningless phrases, fragments of music, repetition (hence the loops), the warmth, the cosiness, the lulling, soothing, comforting, annoying, oscillating, humming, buzzing cacophony of sound – & yet retain a coherent confusion that brings out the qualities of these two radios.

Awakening, Play, Sleep (2006):

‘Awakening’, ‘Play’ & ‘Sleep’ were created to evoke mood & atmosphere, rather than imitating the given titles. Recorded, using the Moog Theremin*, they are soundscapes, & can be listened to individually, or seen as one work in three movements – linked by their subject matter – the themes describe a cycle of events, much like our day.

*NB – The Theremin was invented by Leon Theremin in 1919, & is the only instrument that is played without touching it!

Elipsilence (Nov. 2006):

Originally a field recording of my neighbourhood, during the eclipse of the sun (11.8.99.). The result was 12' 18" of activity, inactivity, bees buzzing around in the lavender, semi-darkness & pure silence. I added a ‘musical response’ to try & evoke the emotions of the great event. In 2006, I decided to remove the original outside recording, & added more musical content, to see if it could work on its own. The original field recording still remains as a separate piece.

The Spoken Whisper (Nov. 2000):

A sound installation at Quay Art Gallery, Hull, Nov. 2000 – sixteen people reading from their own chosen literature, the voices, woven into a three-part composition.

The Passing Of Time (4th April 2002):

Recording sound in 'analogue', is playing with time. The tape stretches with each successive play, elongating real time. Recorded events become exaggerated, distorted. Time slows down.

In 'The Passing Of Time', I combined the three days of recording at the Hull School Of Art & Design - the Anlaby Road site - & condensed a total of six hours into a continuous forty-five minute recording (the length of one side of a cassette tape). There was one recording on each floor, for the basement, ground, first & second floors, that played throughout the day of the installation. I tried to capture the sounds, activity, atmosphere & the sense of history inside the building.

The sound installation brought together four different 'levels' of events & time periods within the building. Consequently, footsteps & voices travelled from one floor to another & pass themselves heading at a different time, on a different day. By moving through the various levels of sound (that collected in the vast central stairwell/entrance hall), you became more aware of the diverse qualities of the space, & the unique ambience to each floor. There were moments of frantic activity & moments of calm. Real time events also became part of the installation - but what was real at the time & what was recorded?

The Passing Of Time 2:

Taking the initial recordings of all four levels of the Anlaby Road Art & Design Department, I hope to combine a day’s recording into a 30-minute piece (where events, ambience & the general scale of the building’s interior, come together to produce an awareness of the historical space).


Another on-going ‘sound collage’ of recordings, of plants in my back garden. Each plant has a different sound when there is a slight breeze – from the tall ‘black bamboo’, the long, soft-leaved ‘banana’, to the sprawling ‘solanum’ – they all create individual sounds, particular to each plant (rustle, swish, crackle etc.). Combined with the ever-changing elements (of the British weather!), I’m trying to create an aural landscape snapshot.


One project that seems to be on-going, & has embraced the art/audio field, is entitled ‘Transition’. I started on a series of drawings/paintings of the human figure (life-size), that flowed from one image to the other, & gradually became more-abstract as the composition unfolded. The ‘process’ of working, including dialogue with the model, has been recorded with the intention of playing the audio with the displayed work in a gallery situation.


'Radio, Radio' – (see details above) - broadcast on 106.5FM &, 29th June - 25th July, & on from 26th July - 26th August, 2007. Also played within the Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester, from 30th June - 26th August. Event was part of the Manchester International Arts Festival 2007.

‘Four Sound Works’ – (3’ 29” each) – on 209 Radio (formerly Radiotaxi), Cambridge, 12th – 18th February, 2006.

‘The Spoken Whisper’ – (see Installations above) – on, Cambridge, 29th May 2005.

‘Completely Stuft in 5 ¾ minutes’ – ( see Installations above) – on, 12th June 2004. Part of their ‘Stuft Radio Live’ event.


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