Sarah Angliss

composer | musician | robotic artist

Sarah Angliss

composer | musician | electronic artist

Author: Sarah

Full of Noises automaton

In production: An automaton for Full of Noises Festival, Barrow-in-Furness. Covid lockdown permitting, this will be revealed to the public in summer 2021.

Songs Before and After

A new song cycle in production, developed during the UK’s second Covid lockdown. In production – details coming soon.

Giant

A new opera in production for Aldeburgh Festival 2023 – telling the story of surgeon John Hunter and his obsession with Charles Byrne – a man he would ultimately betray in one of the most disturbing acts in the era of the grave robbers

Film score: Amulet (2020)

Avenging female voices meet percussion, ancient instruments and otherwordly electronic effects, in this film score by Sarah Angliss for UK horror film Amulet, written and directed by Romola Garai. This modern gothic horror premiered at Sundance 2020 and is now on release in the US.

Hildegarde Von Bingen – The Threads of the Air

A podcast drawing on the botanical writing of Hildegard von Bingen, twelfth-century Christian mystic, exploring affinities with her time as we live through the Covid pandemic. Created for Camden Art Centre’s exhibition ‘The Botanical Mind’, with producer Alannah Chance.

Ealing Feeder – robotic, polyphonic carillon

A 28 note robotic, polyphonic carillon built by Sarah Angliss to play riffs beyond the envelope of human performance. The machine enables tangible performances of algorithmic music controlled by a laptop.

Buying the Wind

A new work coming 2022. This timely collaboration with musicians and poet Hannah Lowe explores the UK’s deep connection with wind and tide – elemental forces that make up our country’s defiantly porous border.  Ships filled with people, words, ideas and artefacts have helped to shape this island of diverse, highly connected souls. With thanks to the PRS for Music Foundation.

Ealing Feeder

London, a modern edifice on a mediaeval footprint, is the blueprint for this album, a steely, unsettled love letter to the city. Released in 2017, Ealing Feeder is an album steeped in the sounds of sirens, wrestling rings, the Thames and the London tree canopy.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Thoughts on the design of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and its minimalist Doomsday Clock which coldly measured the fluctuating risks to humanity during The Cold War and beyond. A short piece for The Wire Magazine, August 2019.

Air Loom

An album of dreamlike music from 2019, distilling Sarah Angliss’ latest work with ancient instruments and extraordinary electroacoustic techniques. Air Loom was performed along with highlights from Ealing Feeder on a UK tour in 2019, featuring vocalist Sarah Gabriel and percussionist Stephen Hiscock.

Paul Hamlyn Award For Composers

In November 2018, I was honoured to receive a composer’s award from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. This award is transformative, giving me time and funds to think more expansively about my music and explore ideas I’ve been incubating for some time.

Biography of Oram for reprint of ‘An Individual Note’

A short biography of composer Daphne Oram, co-founder of the BBC Radiophonic workshop and inventor of the Oramics ‘drawn sound’ system. For a reprint of her treatise on sound, electronics and metaphysics: An Individual Note of Music, Sound and Electronics.

Echo in a Bottle

Through music, poetry, archive and the sound engineer’s toolbox, I explore our enduring and sometimes deathly fascination with the echo. A Radio 4 documentary produced by Peregrine Andrews and Farshoreline.

The Twilight Zone

Composition and sound design for the for the first official stage production of The Twilight Zone in 2017. The play was adapted by Anne Washburn from the classic 1960s CBS television series and is directed by Richard Jones. At The Almeida Theatre and Ambassadors (West End), London.

Muriel Howorth – Atomic Gardener

In The Odditorium (Chambers, 2016) A chapter on the extraordinary life and work of Muriel Howorth, science fiction writer, composer, choreographer and pioneering atomic gardener.

The Machinery – tourable video triptych

A tourable, large-scale video triptych of The Machinery, created by Sarah Angliss, Caroline Radcliffe and video artist John Harrison in 2018. This project was supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

You Want Me to Say I Love You

A live perfomance with high-resolution stills from Brighton Rock on film, celebrating the seventieth anniversary of Brighton Rock in Brighton’s most popular cinema. This incorporated

The Hairy Ape: on noise and modernity

Some reflections on noise and 1920s modernity, as expressed in Eugene O’Neill’s ‘The Hairy Ape’. This includes some archival discoveries about early performances. These notes were made after I’d composed a score for a new production of the play and contributed to the Science Museum research forum ‘Noise, Music and Silence’.

Once in a Lifetime

Sound design for this revival of Once in a Lifetime at The Young Vic, London, directed by Richard Jones. Predating the screwball comedies of the 1930s, this play by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman was first performed only two years after The Jazz Singer became the first commercial talking picture and a worldwide hit.

Guest spots

A selection of earlier recorded work, including guest spots on other albums by Moon Wiring Club and the Ghostbox Study Series (with label co-founders Belbury Poly).

Near Mint

Digging deep into my vinyl collection with reel-to-reel tape wrangler Robin the Fog. For Resonance FM.

Material Culture and Electronic Sound

A chapter on musicians’ attitudes towards the first drum machines and samplers, in this book published by the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press (2013).

The Hairy Ape

Composition and sound design for The Hairy Ape (1922) – Eugene O’Neill’s expressionist masterpiece which uses the overwhelming sounds of the engine room on an ocean liner to explore dehumanisation and the shock of modernity. At The Old Vic, London, and Park Avenue Armory, New York. Directed by Richard Jones.

Doppler Effect

Sharing thoughts on the Leslie speaker in this show about Doppler, presented by conductor Charles Hazlewood and produced by Sara Jane Hall, BBC Radio 4 August 2017.

Unheimlich Manoeuvres

Published online by Wire Magazine (June 2014), Unheimlich Manoeuvres is a short essay on ventriloquism and the uncanny. It’s illustrated with videos of many fine ventriloquists including Ray Alan, Arthur Worsley and the great Terri Rogers.

Automatic pipe organ

A polyphonic 64-pipe self-playing table-top pipe organ, exhibited at Supersonic’s All Ears Festival, 2015. This was an attempt to make a portable automatic instrument that could play pneumatic versions of classic disco and electro hits and that was loud enough for festivals and parties.

The Machinery at Algomech Sheffield

A video of a performance of The Machinery at AlgoMech 2016, Sheffield, with performer and historian Caroline Radcliffe. The video by Jon Harrison was exhibited at Compton Verney, 2018.

The Verb

Discussing gender and creativity with writer and mythographer Marina Warner, artist Grayson Perry and singer-songwriter Zara McFarlane and the chair: poet Ian McMillan. BBC Radio 3, for International Women’s Day, March 2015.

The Effect

Composition for the first performance of The Effect – a love story set on a clinical drugs trial, possibly under the influence of mood altering drugs. Written by Lucy Prebble, this play explores sanity, neuroscience and the limits of medicine. A co-production between the National Theatre and Headlong, directed by Rupert Goold.

Sonakinatography

Recreating a 1970s algorthmic dance piece by pen and paper-based systems artist Channa Horwitz

The Midwich Cuckoos

Composing and extemporising an original underscore for a live adaptation of John Wyndham’s sci fi novel The Midwich Cuckoos. For Cinecity Festival, Brighton, 2014, in partnership with Film Archive South East, for the BFI season Sci Fi – Days of Fear and Wonder.

Reanimating submarine HMS Alliance

Researching and creating a generative 50-channel soundscape to reanimate the submarine HMS Alliance. Informed by detailed research with veteran submariners.

The Bird Fancyer’s Delight

Writing on The Bird Fancyer’s Delight for Blokflutist Magazine, The Netherlands, Spring 2013. This was the subject of an archival research project and a subsequent BBC Radio 4 documentary.

South Shields meets the sublime – a report on The Foghorn Requiem

Some reflections on The Foghorn Requiem (2013), a ceremony marking the end of service of the Souter Lighthouse and the passing of the age of foghorns on the UK coastline. This compelling musical, community ritual was created by artists Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway in collaboration with composer Orlando Gough.

Horlicks and Armageddon

Researched and devised by Sarah Angliss, this show delves into rarely seen archives and personal testimony to tell the story of Britain’s secretive nuclear survivalists. It turns swifty from an entertaining sweep through the archives to a stark reminder of the roots of many of the most disturbing trends in modern British politics. Awarded most groundbreaking show of Brighton Festival and Fringe 2013.

It Felt Like a Kiss

Experimenting with a novel, deep bass tactile sound effect for Punchdrunk, the encounter theatre company. The Manchester International Festival.

Revolution: Challenging the automaton

Thoughts on the design of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and its minimalist Doomsday Clock which coldly measured the fluctuating risks to humanity during The Cold War and beyond. A short piece for The Wire Magazine, August 2019.

Loving the Machine – TEDx talk

In this optimistic view of mechanisation for TEDx Brighton (2011), I reveal some surprising connections between two types of dance music, inspired by the relentless beat of the factory machine, which flourished two centuries apart. The earliest was devised by women working in Lancashire cotton mills.

Loving the Machine – notes

Background notes from my TEDx talk Loving the Machine. We can’t say with certainty that industrial music was born in Detroit or post-war Germany. It’s undoubtedly had many beginnings – and one of those was in the cottton mills of Lancashire, in the early nineteenth century, when women clog dancers mimicked the sounds and actions of the factory machines.

The Bird Fancyer’s Delight

Centuries before the advent of the phonograph, captured songbirds were trained to sing fashionable melodies in the home. In this documentary for BBC Radio 4, I explore the surprising history of teaching songbirds to sing. Produced by Neil McCarthy.

Ventricle

One of my earliest automata, Ventricle is an oxblood red vintage handbag about the same age as my own heart. It opens and closes continually, in the rhythm of a human heartbeat. Exhibited at Kinetica 2011 then selected for temporary display in Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis’ House of Fairytales.

Infrasonic – haunted music?

A controlled psychological experiment, in the form of two back-to-back concerts. These concerts were highly unusual because some of the music was laced with infrasound (extreme bass sound, below 20Hz in frequency). It took place in the Purcell Room, London, in 2003.

Infrasonic – the pipe

A description of the pure-tone infrasound generator, specially designed for our experiments by the UK National Physical Laboratory. This page includes a critique of the resultant method of creating infrasonic notes for experiments.

Fuller’s dance reimagined

A theremin soundtrack for a new interpretation of Loie Fuller’s butterfly dance on film. First screened at Latitude Festival, 2011, dancer Louise Colborne presented her

Hugo

Hugo – a roboticised, disembodied 1930s ventriloquist’s dummy – was one of the first automata I incorporated into my stage act, from around 2011. At the time, I made figurative pieces from modded found objects. Over the last decade I’ve moved away from these pieces in favour of automata that leave more space for the audience’s imagination. I now focus on automating sounding objects, rather than creating characters to interact with on stage.

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