‘Inherent Acoustics’ At Roald Dahl Centre

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Sadly, its nothing to do with Willy Wonka, Matilda, Giant Peaches or even Quentin Blakes artwork, though there is a Roald Dahl Museum in Bucks if you’re interested.
This place is far more serious, its full title is The Roald Dahl Haemostasis & Thrombosis Centre, it opened in 2001 and is funded by the Roald Dahl Foundation. The Centre Director, Professor CH Toh takes a keen interest in the arts and its potential healing and beneficial qualities.

So the small clinic has some very nice and interesting art, mainly by North West artists sourced through the Bluecoat Display Centre. There are ceramics by Catrin Mostyn Jones, soft sculptures by Ticky Lowe and Dahlesque wiry birds hanging from the ceiling by British-born but USA-based artist Tom Hill.

But for the Biennial, Prof Toh spotted an item on this very blog by SoundNetwork seeking commissions for sound installations. He contacted them and Sam Jones was commissioned to produce ‘Inherent Acoustics’. After consulting with staff and patients, a short period of testing and tweaking, the result is about 90 minutes of music and other sounds coming from the loudspeakers in both the waiting room and treatment room.

Its played at quite a low volume and is necessarily unobtrusive but there’s enough going on to keep it interesting.
I certainly enjoyed the bits that I heard and I’m told that patient feedback has all been positive so far though I suspect a large proportion don’t consciously notice it.

I’ll leave it Professor Toh to explain a bit about the thinking behind it.
“During our discussions, we became aware that there was an apparent commonality of language and theories within our own research in medical science and that of acoustic research. Many ideas have emerged but for this first project, we have focused on
(1) the transitional effects from a to a positive to negative effect in medicine and in sound, and
(2) exploring mutual evolutionary origins of blood clotting and sound perception. Both are crucial mechanisms for survival and this finely tuned human response has been disrupted due the consequences of modern lifestyles and the urban living.

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