‘Echo City : 30 years of Sonic Sport’. From 7th to 17th of November.

The London-based music collective Echo City is marking 30 years of Sonic Sport with a retrospective installation at Hundred Years Gallery this November.

The show will feature an extended dip into the group’s huge photographic archive; a soundtrack derived from the many recordings of gigs and workshops and, of course, the chance to look at and play some instruments. Although it was a group of playground builders first, a pioneering and alternative force in music education second, Echo City became, almost coincidentally, a great band, able to conjure extraordinary and accessible improvisations on the spot. Over the season, Echo City’s current line up of Giles Perring, Guy Evans, Paul Shearsmith, Rob Mills and Julia Farrington, along with some treasured guests will,  perform a small series of concerts.

From a moment of inspiration in 1983, when a picture of a sculpture by Australian musican Ros Bandt landed on a desk in the offices of innovative arts Charity Interlink, came a commission to create a Sound Playground in London’s Bethnal Green. That project seeded an adventure in music-making that has endured in the current line up of Echo City, in numerous festival junk and recycled instrument bands and youth projects.

Echo City is a group of musician/designers who perform and run projects that feature a range of giant self-made instruments, collectively known as sonic playgrounds. They have worked all over the world since the creation of an installation on Weavers Adventure Playground in Bethnal Green, London, in 1983. As well as creating playgrounds’ the group has worked with particular focus on the creation of participatory music-making events. They have also performed and recorded as a band, often basing their recordings around collaborations with other performers. Their most recent collaboration, with members of the Sun Ra Arkestra, was the impetus for a new set of recordings and successful London performances.


The current members of Echo City are:

Guy Evans (from 1983), Julia Farrington (1990), Rob Mills (1985), Giles Perring (1983), Paul Shearsmith (1985)

Former members are:

Giles Leaman (1983 – 86), Susie Honeyman (1985 – 92)

The Sound Playgrounds built in 1983 and 1984 at Weavers Field and the Hayward Playground in London, that became the nucleus of the Echo City brand, were also the work of West Country musical instrument designer David Sawyer.

Private view: Thursday 7th from 6.30 – with live performance.
There will be further performances on:

Saturday 9th 8.00 till 10.00
Saturday 16th 8.00 till 10.00.
On Sunday 17th from 3.00 till 5.00

Further, archival information is available on the Echo City website  www.echocity.co.uk




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