Hands-on music fun with Sound Playground

Sound Playground landing page

" The 108 enamel squares on its cap each trigger a different sound when touched, allowing groups to create their own patchworked compositions."

Three futuristic sound-making sculptures are set to inspire the musicians of tomorrow in Dewsbury this summer. As part of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival’s Learning and Participation strand, the Sound Playground will be open to both families and school groups from 2–11 July 2010, offering free, fun workshops for children aged between seven and 12.

Usually housed at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ concert hall in Amsterdam, the Sound Playground (or Klankspeeltuin in Dutch) combines interactive music technology with the freedom of play, allowing children to explore a world of sounds both individually and with friends. No instrumental experience is needed and children of all abilities can enjoy creating their own pieces of music at the workshops. The sessions will be led by Rob Crisp with assistance from Jess Baker, both working alongside music leaders from the Netherlands.

Each sculpture offers an innovative way of choosing and arranging sounds. Developed by Patrice Moullet, OMNI resembles a giant, multi-coloured toadstool. The 108 enamel squares on its cap each trigger a different sound when touched, allowing groups to create their own patchworked compositions. Different sets of samples can be installed, including world music, techno and recordings from professional ensembles.

The second sculpture, XenaX, was developed by Yvonne Boelens, Marien Hogerheijde and Edo Paulus and is a musical ‘pie’ divided into four segments. Each segment can be drawn on with a special pen, activating a set of abstract sounds and leading to the creation of graphic scores.

The third sculpture is new for 2010. SonOrb was developed by Edo Paulus and consists of several spheres which can be rotated, lifted and moved around a set of columns to produce and modify unique sounds.

Housed in a former disused shop opposite Dewsbury Town Hall, Sound Playground will be at 24 Longcauseway, Dewsbury, WF13 1NH. The weekday schools sessions are now fully booked, but individual families are welcome to join one of the following free weekend sessions over the weekends of

3–4 and 10–11 July:

Saturday 3 July:

10am–12 noon
1pm–3pm

Sunday 4 July:

10am–12 noon
1pm–3pm

Saturday 10 July:

10am–12 noon
1pm–3pm

Sunday 11 July:

10am–12 noon
1pm–3pm

Places are limited and should be booked in advance. To make a booking, contact Heidi Johnson on 01484 471116 or email h.johnson@hud.ac.uk stating which workshop you would like to attend. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Sound Playground is presented by hcmf// and funded by the Clore Duffield Foundation through its Clore Performing Arts Awards and Kirklees Council.