Sam Mitchell

About Sam Mitchell

Sam Mitchell is a composer, sound designer and sound artist currently studying a PhD in Acousmatic Composition. He is based in Farsley and much of his work involves engagement with the changing sound environment of this village, especially the sounds that naturally occur as the seasons change. He lives within five minutes’ walk of the gallery and is intimately connected to both the immediately local environment, and the natural sounds of wider Yorkshire. In creating this sound piece, Sam has collected as much information as possible, (both sonic in the form of recordings over time, and historical, anecdotal and impressionistic) and has spent time tailoring a sound installation to fit with the site.

Acousmatic is music without obvious source and involves recording sounds from nature/the environment and presenting them removed from their sources through loudspeakers. He is particularly interested in the liminal zone between recorded and synthetic sound, and often works with found sound, acoustic instruments, analogue and digital electronics. He’s also interested in the meeting point between generative composition and textiles, where repeating but changing patterns can be achieved from small seed events or templates.

As a composer he has written for film and dance, as well as acousmatic diffusion concerts. Highlights include dance/installation Luminescence (2015), folk-horror movie Blood Myth (2019), and more tradional acousmatic pieces The Time For Evening Songs is Over (PowerSERG Aberdeen, 2019), and Do Androids Dream of Procedural Raindrops (2020, recently chosen for the NottFAR Midlands New Music Symposium).


Content made on Kapwing

The background soundscape is underpinned by a lengthy field recording made during the lockdown in the spring last year, when the ring road was quiet and birdsong and the natural sounds could be appreciated in an almost otherworldly way, as if nature was reclaiming very urbanised suburb.  More domestic and natural sounds were added to give a sense of motion through time, and some archive recordings tried to give a slightly deeper sense of time passing through a village with two centuries of our industrial heritage.

Because I was quite excited to have the opportunity to exhibit sound work in my own local community, I chose the pieces to play because they were constructed from very simple sonic materials (in this case mostly sine waves, white noise and metallic percussion), in the same way that the processes used by textile manufacturing involved creating complex woven materials from simple source – wool, water, technology and human craftmanship.

However, this collection of sounds isn’t intended to a be an historical document, but perhaps my own personal response to living here, and imagining my own fantastical version of Farsley’s past.