The aim of the project was to create a new live electronic music set up that explored the possibilities of blending physical materials and digital processes. I wanted to create a live set that involved improvisation, gesture and an explicit use of tangible materials in the form of sound sculptures and the field recordings of metal, glass and tape.  Below is the proposed block diagram I made at the very start of the project, using the Ableton Connection Kit as an interface between the sculptures/live electronics and the Ableton Live/PUSH. I developed a live set based on the following sonic areas

-use of field recordings to create musique concrete drum kits

-blending acoustic and digital textures for example multi-layered drums

-sampling and sequencing material textures

-live improvisation with sound sculpture

-visual/gestural experience for the audience

block diagram


First Live Gig: Access Space, Sheffield

The first live outing was as Access Space in Sheffied, part of the ‘Mini Festival of the Apocalypse’ it was a suitably themed evening being the luna eclipse also, so the setting was dark, and very warm!! The live set consisted of the following set up

  • 2 x Sound Sculptures (gong & triangle)
  • Laptop + Ableton Live
  • 3D printed/Copper pipe gestural interface to use with Ableton Connection Kit
  • Push2

Audience feedback

“I enjoyed the resonating metallic sounds. Their manipulation through the digital software gave a fascinating sonic exploration revealing some beautiful textures.” TB
“Some of the metal sculptures Vicky Clarke was playing looked like objects from abstract paintings. The pink connectors she created for the plumbing apparatus she played (it was domestic water pipe wasn’t it?) were fun! Nice mix of sonic textures too.” TO
“Vicky Clarke’s performance apparatus reminded me a little of the Baschet Brothers. I liked the way she was using gesture. The physical nature of the performance, as opposed to it being simply software and a laptop, was refreshing.” MC
“Marvelous! Really expressive. The interfaces were very interesting. What came across was emotion and depth. By implication there seemed to be feminist and post-industrial critiques within the digital medium.” JC

“I like what she has done with the construction, the principle of the whole thing, and the voice part of the set. I liked that it was a woman doing the music!” SP


“It was banging! We are used to a-rhythmic music here, great to dance, really brilliant!” 


“Good to see physical electronic music, it took me on a journey”


Identified areas of development

With the first performance under the belt, I am now going to evolve the set;

Develop key segments into longer more dynamic beat driven sections

Work on the musique concrete drum kit (I had a second one I didn’t use)

>Develop my performance skills with the metal sound sculptures to extend range

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