Research Seminar and Performance: Tim Shaw & John Bowers

Mythogeonsonic Report

John Bowers & Tim Shaw, Newcastle University

Thursday 14th February 5pm Wee Red Bar, 74 Lauriston Place

Research Talk by Tim Shaw and John Bowers 5-6pm

Sound performance by Tim Shaw and John Bowers followed by Unrivalled Jetsam gig 6-8pm

Everyone is welcome to attend both the talk and performances or just the talk or performance. Free tickets available on Eventbrite


John Bowers and Tim Shaw have been developing a creative practice they have come to call ‘mythogeosonics’ since 2015. They study the many, layered significances which can be attached to places and investigate their traces by working with sound. Adapting the concept of mythogeography, they acknowledge the multiple and contested characters of place and the value there is in creatively juxtaposing them, making this friction audible.

They work with multiple and extended timescales. Think of the simultaneity of cosmology, geology, landscape, history, biography, fiction.

They resist fixed uniform ideologies of the sort that can be found in heritage discourse. Rather than ‘responding’ to a space, they prefer to participate within it, unfixing and reformulating its many meanings. Think of this place as a noisy transmission that can be tuned in to and played with/in.

Mythogeosonics works with an extended conception of field recording to incorporate such diverse practices as geophysical data sonification and paranormal investigation. Think of all the fields: radio, magnetic, electric, esoteric. 

They cross between on-site investigation, installation-making, soundwalks, and an improvisatory performance practice combining soundscapes, documentary recordings, film, text, and process material using modular synthesizers, resonant found objects, DIY software and self-made instruments. Think of all the ways that the mythogeosonic can be heard, witnessed, appreciated and transformed.

Tim and John work in the Digital Cultures Research Group, Culture Lab and Fine Art, Newcastle University. Their practice crosses between art, design, music, computing and critical theory and creates performances and installations in addition to academic writing.





The Research Seminar will be followed by a sound performance by Tim and John as well as a gig by Unrivalled Jetsam.


Unrivalled Jetsam

Unrivalled Jetsam is a new collaboration between Martin Parker, Jules Rawlinson and Dave Murray-Rust. Jules and Dave play together with Owen Green as Raw Green Rust, a laptop trio that makes gnarly glitch-dub by exploiting the interconnectedness of its constituent members & technical ecosystems. A founding principle of the trio when it formed in 2008 was to try and make a virtue of the confusion of agency that collective laptop music can exhibit. To this end, an important aspect of our improvising approach is to be constantly sampling and transforming each other, in pursuit of an organic, shifting sound mass. We can embellish this basic approach with various technical mediations that, for instance, (mis)use machine listening technologies to promote or disrupt the continual co-tuning of the three humans on stage. For this concert, we are exploring what happens when we collaborate with Martin’s very own brand of growling, honking and expressive noise making to find new accommodations between people and technology.

In the words of Martin Parker “I think sound is at its best when you know what you’re doing but you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Jules Rawlinson designs sounds, visuals and interactions, and performs with live electronics. His output includes ‘A Requiem for Edward Snowden’, a collaboration with Matthew Collings which blends live electronics with a chamber trio and realtime visuals. He is a founding member of the LLEAPP network which has fostered an ongoing series of events at UK institutions. Jules has a PhD in Composition from the University of Edinburgh, where he is a lecturer in Digital Design.

Dave Murray-Rust is a Lecturer in Design Informatics at Edinburgh University, researching the messy areas between humans and computational systems. Musically, he improvises using laptops and controllers, trying to make computer performance as responsive and generous as possible. As well as Raw Green Rust, he is a core member of Edimpro and Grey Area, exploring how computers, acoustic instruments and scores can all be layered around improvisational practice.

Martin Parker www.tinpark.com

Jules Rawlinson www.pixelmechanics.com

Dave Murray-Rust www.mo-seph.com/


Wee Red Bar, 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9DF