Tag Archives: sonic exploration

We are back! If Wet 2017 in the planning…

In 2015, after two full seasons of monthly events in our village hall, we delivered a mere three events throughout the year. They were events we are very proud (!) to put our name to but our regular monthly events were put on hold; due to the terminal illness of Sam’s father.

This year we have been taking stock and have decided that 2017 will see the relaunching of If Wet as an event; it may even crop up in our village hall home again at some point. The main focus of If Wet during this next phase will be to provide our distinctive strand of programming as part of other festivals. We have done this successfully in the past for the following events / establishments:

We have some festivals in mind and we will be getting in touch with them soon. We also welcome your input! If you have ideas for possible themes / host festivals / interesting artists etc…we are keen to know. Please send us your thoughts to: hello@ifwet.org.uk

We look forward to seeing you at an If Wet in 2017!

If Wet #23 – documentation

Our third If Wet of the season saw us hosting a special event as part of Three Choirs Festival. The turnout was heart-warming with the venue having to be changed twice due to over subscription.

This event focussed on the Theremin and we were delighted to have leading player and aficionado Lydia Kavina as our guest. We explored the sound of the Theremin and how other sounds / synths are sometimes mistaken for one. We then looked at similarities between the timbre of the Theremin and the human voice; culminating in a duet between Lydia and singer Emily Prosser – pictured below.

We will leave any further description of the event to The Jazz Mann, who provided this in-depth review; for which we are very grateful.

Lydia Kavina

Lydia Kavina

Lydia Kavina and Emily Prosser

Lydia Kavina and Emily Prosser – duet

Thank you to Lydia, Emily and Three Choirs for helping us put this event on. And to all those who attended! We had a great time.

If Wet #22 – documentation

Our second If Wet of the season saw us hosting a special event in our home village hall. In fact, for various reasons, it is the only event we have planned to take place in our village hall this year.

Late last year, John Doran of The Quietus got in touch to ask about us hosting him for an event as part of his tour, to launch his new book Jolly Lad. We weren’t entirely sure how this fitted with a standard If Wet but we thought we’d go for it; in part to just keep bringing exciting stuff to Callow End.

As John intended to perform readings from his book, accompanied by music from Arabrot, we decided the emphasis would be more on performance than usual at an If Wet. We also decided to try and find a selection of artists for whom storytelling was central to their work. The wonderful Sarah Angliss immediately sprang to mind but we wanted to have two further artists to accompany John and Arabrot. David and I chatted and he reminded me of Josephine Dickinson, who we had met when running If Wet at Bardsea Malt Kiln last year. I got in touch with her, and her enthusiasm to be involved was palpable…so that was our line-up sorted!

Tickets sold well and we were delighted to have a great turnout on the day as well; The hall was as full as it has ever been for an If Wet. We started by setting the scene and briefly demonstrating the headset for our latest project Amplification, before handing over to Josephine for her delightful talk, which covered studying under the tutelage of Michael Finnissy and going mushroom picking with John Cage.


Setting up.


Sarah testing. Sam helping. David supervising.


Josephine prepares.


Sarah prepares.


John and Arabrot prepare.


Sam with Amplification headset.


Josephine speaks.


Josephine speaks.


Josephine speaks.


Josephine speaks, to a full house.


Josephine soaks up the generous applause.

Next up we had Sarah Angliss, who was a delight to behold, as ever.


Sarah and Hugo.


Sarah speaks.


Sarah speaks.


Sarah plays her recorder.

Lastly it was over to John Doran and Arabrot. John read from his book; Arabrot created ambient soundscapes in accompaniment. Wonderful stuff!


John reads.


Arabrot performs.


John and Arabrot.


Arabrot tweaks.


John and Arabrot.


John reads.


John takes questions.



Thank you to our artists and to all who attended for making this such a wonderful experience! Callow End Village Hall has never witnessed anything quite like that…

Many thanks to George Benson for the wonderful photographs!

If Wet #21 – documentation

Our first event of the year took place at Maker Faire, where we were invited to programme a stage for the two days of the festival. Our plan was to have an artist on each day who would talk about their work in a slot in the morning and then perform in the afternoon. As it worked out, we just ran the whole of each day as a drop-in session, for people to come and ask questions etc…with a performance in the afternoon.

For this If Wet we invited the wonderful Graham Dunning back with his Mechanical Techno set-up and Paul Granjon with his musical robots. They both went down a storm.

Thank you to our artists, all who attended and to Maker Faire for being such wonderful hosts!


We are the Music Makers


Setting up…


Paul trying out the prototype of our latest piece Amplification

Day One featured Graham Dunning. It was wet and cold, and we were outdoors…but the show still went on!


Graham Dunning with onlookers


Graham Dunning with record


Graham Dunning adding to the stack


Graham Dunning tweaking


Graham Dunning putting a donk (cymbal) on it


Graham Dunning manipulating light-dependent synth


Graham Dunning with full stack


Graham Dunning smiling

Day Two was Paul’s day, and the sun had come out. He played his wonky dance music to an appreciative crowd.


Paul Granjon with audience


Paul Granjon with tail and ears


Paul Granjon with tail and ears


Paul Granjon readying Mofo


Paul Granjon with Mofo


Paul Granjon dancing with Mofo

Once again, huge thanks to our wonderful artists, audience and to Maker Faire!

If Wet #20 – documentation

As our Season #2 finale, If Wet #20 was never going to run totally smoothly. Last year’s finale event was delayed by a bouncy castle, so we had form. For this event, our main presenting artist, Rosanne Robertson, was severely delayed so we had to busk it somewhat.

Luckily, we had invited all of the artists from our second season to come along as our guests and some of them turned up with stuff to present. We also had a couple of great Run What Ya Brung presentations so we were kept very busy until Rosanne arrived.

After Rosanne’s wonderful presentation/performance we had a section where we read out or played back responses to If Wet from all the artists who presented in 2014. This was lovely, so we have documented that below too.

Thank you to everyone for your support this year. We have some [Kickstarter] plans for next season and we are running a radio show (starting on 28th December, 2-4pm) in the meantime. It has been a really lovely year for us.

Thank you for coming down to the hall! X


The Dynamic Duo, introducing our last If Wet of Season #2


Alan Stephen demonstrating no-input mixing (RWYB)


Richard Windley demonstrating his latest noisy units (RWYB)


Richard Windley’s latest noisy units


Paul Gittins setting up his latest addition to his Oak Apple Orchestra


Paul Gittins setting up his latest addition to his Oak Apple Orchestra


Tim Cranmore inspecting Paul’s Oak Apple Orchestra tin can instrument


Ray Lee demonstrating an Ethometric instrument


Stavroula Kounadea discussing the Ethometric Museum


Joining hands to activate the Ethometric instrument


Rosanne Roberts reading from her book of found conversation


Rosanne Roberts making noise


Rosanne Roberts making noise


Rosanne Roberts making noise


Rosanne Roberts’ instruments


As mentioned we asked all Season #2 artists to attend or send us a response of some kind regarding their experience of If Wet. Here they are:

Sebastian Hegarty
I had a great day with If Wet at the Flatpack Festival, Birmingham. Got to hear the water instrument and the wet acoustics of Trevor Cox with his wave organs, dripping stalactites and subterranean oil reservoir: Lovely people, fascinating ideas and spoiled ears. Thank you very much Sam and David.

Distant Voices: Still Raining is a short damp apology for not being there (If Wet #20). The sound includes the remains of rainfall as it drip-drops through guttering and a short soliloquy in a fragment of voice taken from a telephone conversation with my lovely mam. The piece concludes with the song, I Get the Blues, filched from Terence Davies wonderful film, Distant Voices/Still Lives.

Trevor Cox
I can think of nothing more appropriate for If Wet then to send a sound effect for everyone to enjoy.

It is from a trip to an Oslo train station. This is me chatting in the space so people can hear the effect and it describes what is going on:

And here is a balloon burst, that brings out the warble:

The secret behind the warble is that this is space made from two half-cylinders of different radius connected together.

Ryan Jordan
Enclosed his press release: “these practitioners practice dark hypnosis in psychoactive hyperventilation clubs”

Sarah Kenchington
sorry not to reply sooner , I have been a bit gobbled up by my new job working in a chocolate factory.
If wet was great super friendly and interesting. Sorry I won’t be able to make it to Callow End, sounds spooky.
A few weeks before if wet I had been to a car boot sale, and found a rather amazing pedal powered fret saw, I did my usual thing, instead of rehearsing I built a new instrument, I converted the fret saw into a machine to bow my violin. The first gig we did in front of maniac children it didn’t work and then at the If Wet gig it worked like a dream and I pretended I was a virtuoso violin player. Everyone believed me. I also included a bath tub for the first time in my orchestra. Since then I have been using the bath full of water. Getting right into watery trumpet sounds Perhaps you could play the thing I did on the Isle of Eigg. I thought it would be appropriate for an If Wet event .Wet as anything it is.

Graham Dunning
In the spirit of If Wet me and Leslie decided to make an instrument and make some sounds with it. I had a wooden box with a lid knocking about and we bought some other bits and bobs from the local 98p Store. We recorded the whole process of making and experimenting as we went, with a nod to Robert Morris’ Box With The Sound of Its Own Making – the intention was to edit that down to a short piece for you to play.

Sompting Village Hall
Leslie Deere
See above w/ Graham Dunning.


Sarah Angliss

Fitzhead Tythe Barn
Jules Bushell
“It was great fun and fascinating to meet other makers and sonic explorers at ‘If Wet’. An opportunity to meet other likeminded individuals, and a relief to realise there are people out there with similar interests. You are not alone! A chance to share ideas and take contraptions out of the workshop, even if they are still works in progress. Thanks guys, have fun, sorry not to join you there!”

Hacker Farm
Here ya go – this is what 6.00am in my house sounded like this morning.

And a separate message from KEK
“Hey. Thanks for the 2014 village-hall invite, IF-WETTERS; really enjoyed scrrra-a-a-a-aping the HTML from your website and turning it into MIDI-file music. Never played a musical web-page before. Digging those Tuh-tuh-text squirts, man; it’s the New Serialism”

Bardsea Malt Kiln
Hugs Bison

Lee Patterson (1st)
As always, I’m on the last minute, in fact it’s a wonder I made it to either of the If Wet events that I contributed to this year – Bardsea and Callow End… Anyhow, both events reminded me that, despite the isolated way in which we may consume and produce music, music always has a social element – whether implied or actual and opportunities to share with like minds are increasingly rare. So, Sam, David – keep up the good work at Callow End and elsewhere!
Right, got to rush to catch a train to Huddersfield!

Callow End Village Hall
Paddy Steer

Callow End Village Hall
Lee Patterson (2nd)
See above.

Worcester Music Festival
Paul Gittins

Ray Lee and Stav

Callow End Village Hall
Sarah Nicolls
I loved being at If Wet: an intelligent, friendly and totally engaged audience. It was a really useful and genuinely fun and encouraging experience.

Callow End Village Hall
Pete Ashton

Ben Gwilliam
If wet? not as much as it would be where I live, callow end hall dry n all.
Thanks very much for the opportunity to try out elements of current works, that although they are incomplete, at if wet I can test the metal of the idea and importantly the way it sounds.
As much as I try out sound as music, you gave me an opportunity to test visual work that confirms for me the direction that making stuff like this does: always in the opposite of what everything else is!

So I wish you all the best for this last one of the season, I do hope that season three makes it round swiftly next year. Every town should have a collective space for discussion, presentation & banter on artists work that is as informal & invaluable as if wet. Doing these activities keep the arts real. So continue to keep it real.


If Wet #19 – photo documentation

Here are a few pictures from If Wet #19, which featured two visiting artists. We were delighted to welcome Pete Ashton and Ben Gwilliam to present their latest work.

Our next event is our last of this season, featuring Rosanne Robertson! We aren’t having a big end-of-year event this year but we are planning to head to the pub to celebrate another season afterwards! JOIN US. Oh and, we have scribbled some notes on the back of a blog post regarding our plans for next year.


The odd speaker pods of our light-responsive Sonic Graffiti pieces


Starting up our light-responsive Sonic Graffiti pieces


Pete demonstrating slit-scanning


Pete demonstrating his selfie project


Pete demonstrating his Live Sonification of Photography, using images taken at If Wet

Naturally, Pete blogged his time at If Wet.


Ben demonstrating an early prototype of his latest piece


Ben’s long-form video and sound piece

Very rarely we had no Run What Ya Brung contributions this month, and ran to time!

Thank you to our guest and to all that made it down. Thanks to Team Joory for the wonderful catering and to Francis for the great cakes. Oh and St. George’s for the cracking beer. AND cheers to George Benson for taking these pictures – except those of Ben, which Our David took. Who did we miss!?

If Wet – the future…

David and Sam
We are nearly at the end of Season #2 of If Wet and we wanted to let you know our plans, as they stand.

In the short term we have one final event; our 20th! We are very much looking forward to welcoming Rosanne Robertson to the hall on Sunday the 30th of November. Last year our final event was a much extended affair with many performances and the like. This year the loose plan is a standard If Wet, with a bit more emphasis on performance than usual, and then off to the pub! We will add more details about this event when we put up a preview in due course.

The other thing our last event in 2013 served as was a fundraiser. It was a great success and – topped up by entry fees and sales of grub and tat – it has paid our visiting artists throughout this season. We are very grateful to all that came and for all the wonderful donations we had as raffle prizes and Ebay items etc. The reason we are not doing the same this year is that it was also extremely hard work and pretty inefficient. We managed to raise £1200, for which we are very grateful, but with that effort and goodwill you’d ideally hope to raise much more. We will miss the end of year celebration, which will only be partly substituted by going to the pub afterwards…but don’t hesitate to take Monday off and have a really good bash with us!

Season #3
We would like to carry on doing If Wet. This season has taught us a lot and we have resolved to do a six month (ish) season of events next year; in our village hall. We found touring village halls hard to justify from the point of view of audience numbers, because we just didn’t have the people on the ground to promote stuff sufficiently. Festival appearances might still happen if people will have us but the core would be our events in our hall.

We would like to grow If Wet a little in 2015. This year there were a couple of notable artists whom we couldn’t invite, or couldn’t ship their stuff up, because we didn’t have the funds. There will always be limits to this but we would like to kick this up a notch next year in an effort to keep bringing amazing people to Callow End. Also, our cushty deal with the people who run the village hall will end next year and we would like to pay everyone else involved – caterers, photographers, designers, us &c – some money on a monthly basis. We also need to continue to promote things so audience levels don’t drop.

We will work out what sort of sum this adds to and then we will be turning to Kickstarter. This hasn’t been an easy decision for us but the balance of possible funding to workload will hopefully be somewhat less arduous than last year. We have specifically chosen Kickstarter over other options because our plans to develop If Wet during next season are central to what we want it to be. If this doesn’t reach the funding target it wont be possible to run If Wet as we would hope and so we will stop. More on all of this soon.



We are planning a monthly radio show, to run during the If Wet off-season. The idea is that we will focus on a different musical instrument each month. This isn’t intended to be comprehensive or high-brow but to provide an opportunity for us to drive our R&D along and to play some music we like. Like any If Wet these will be “broadcast” on the last Sunday of the month; starting on the 28th of December, from 2pm. Our first show will focus on the tuba, naturally.

We also really enjoyed organising a trip to Foghorn Requiem last year. We saw it as an If Wet Outing. When people who attended Sarah Nicoll’s If Wet suggested we might organise another outing to see her perform in December we thought that was a lovely idea. Being mid-week and many hundreds of miles away may prohibit us going to Sarah’s performance but we will certainly be looking at organising more outings; where possible to see work performed by artists who have presented at If Wet.

Lastly, thanks to everyone for their support throughout this season. It has been truly heart-warming. We hope to see you at our last event of 2014, on the 30th of November, for Rosanne Robertson and pub! JOIN US.

If Wet #18 – photo documentation

Here are a few pictures from If Wet #18, which took place back in our home of Callow End Village Hall with the wonderful Sarah Nicolls talking about her Inside-Out Piano, and another great contribution from our regular Run What Ya Brunger, Richard Windley.

Our next event is our penultimate of this season, featuring Ben Gwilliam and Pete Ashton! JOIN US.


Sam demonstrating the spacial aspects of our Futuro Mantra sound art boxes


David and Sam, chuckling


Futuro Mantra box


Futuro Mantra boxes


Futuro Mantra box


Sarah Nicolls introducing the background to her Inside-Out Piano


Sarah Nicolls helping us all experience what leaning inside a grand piano is like


Sarah Nicolls presenting her Inside-Out Piano


Sarah Nicolls providing a unique insight into her latest show


Sarah Nicolls providing a unique insight into her latest show


Sarah Nicolls providing a unique insight into her latest show


Richard Windley presenting his LED light and sound display, as a RWYB.

Cheers to George Benson for taking these pictures – except that of Richard Windley, which Sam took on his phone because George needed to dash…

If Wet #17 – photo documentation

Here are a few pictures from If Wet #17, which took place at the Quaker Friends Meeting House in Worcester, as part of Worcester Music Festival. We are very grateful to our hosts, our audience and our wonderful presenters!

Next up, this Sunday, we are back in Callow End Village Hall for If Wet #18, with Sarah Kingdom Nicolls, taking us Inside the Inside-Out Piano. JOIN US.


Quaker Friends Meeting House, Worcester


Paul Gittins describing his Oak Apple Orchestra


Paul Gittins describing his Oak Apple Orchestra


Paul Gittins describing his Bakelite and oak apple visuals


Stavroula Kounadea introducing Ethometric Museum


Ray Lee conducing Ethometric Museum


Ray Lee conducing Ethometric Museum


Ray Lee conducing Ethometric Museum


Ray Lee and Stavroula Kounadea discussing Ethometric Museum

Cheers to our David (Morton) for taking pics that day!

If Wet #16 – photo documentation

Here are a few pictures from If Wet #16. Wonderful stuff once again from Lee Patterson, all in front of a typically enthusiastic and engaged audience…thank you!

Here is a preview of our next event, featuring Ray Lee and Stavroula Kounadea, and Paul Gittins – as part of Worcester Music Festival on the 31st August. JOIN US.


Descent - in use

Lee Patterson

Lee Patterson - feet

Lee Patterson - springs

Lee Patterson - salts

Lee Patterson - peanuts

Many thanks to George Benson for the photographs.