Once Heard Before

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Commission
Eileen Simpson and Ben White (Open Music Archive): Once Heard Before

Whitechapel Gallery
77-82 Whitechapel High St
London
E1 7QX

27 August 2019 – 5 January 2020

Once Heard Before has been developed with a group of young beat-makers and MCs from east London, who mutate fragments of sounds and lyrics ripped from top ten records from the 1950s and 1960s. Their sound work features on a series of lathe-cut records, presented alongside a video of their rap performances.

Filmed inside an anechoic chamber and composed of sounds gleaned from chart hit records from 1962, Auditory Learning focuses on the materiality of voice. Due to copyright laws, only auditory sound has been used and juxtaposed with improvised vocalisations. Everything I Have Is Yours brings together musicians connected to the Manchester music scene, now in their 70s and 80s, inviting them to respond to samples that have been extracted from UK chart hits of their teenage years.

In these works, source material morphs into new creative outputs: artists and performers imagine a new music vocabulary, across generations and technologies, towards an archive of future sounds.