Lab 38: Cathy Lane – The stories we tell….. and are told

Wednesday 6 January, 12-2pm [online via Minerva]

For a long time I considered my work to be about the relationship between sound, history and memory, using recorded spoken word and field recordings as my primary materials. However over the last decade or so, I realise that my recent work is all about stories – the stories that families pass on about themselves: what they include and what they forget and the relationship of different family members to those stories; the stories that governments and politicians tell us in order to get us to do their bidding; the lost or hidden stories that no one thought to record and stories of the everyday.

In this presentation I will try and use the frame of story and modes of storytelling in sound to discuss some recent works.


Cathy Lane is a composer, sound artist and academic. Her work uses spoken word, field recordings and archive material to explore aspects of our listening relationship with each other and the multiverse. She is currently focused on how sound relates to the past, our histories, environment and our collective and individual memories from a feminist perspective. Aspects of her creative practice have developed out of these interests and include composition and installation-based work. She also writes and lectures on these and related subjects as well as collaborating with choreographers, film makers, visual artists and other musicians.

Books include Playing with Words: The Spoken Word in Artistic Practice (RGAP, 2008) and, with Angus Carlyle, In the Field (Uniformbooks, 2013), a collection of interviews with eighteen contemporary sound artists who use field recording in their work and On Listening (2013) a collection of commissioned essays about some of the ways in which listening is used in disciplines including anthropology, community activism, bioacoustics, conflict mediation and religious studies, music, ethnomusicology and field recording.

Her CD The Hebrides Suite was released by Gruenrekorder in 2013.

Cathy is Professor of Sound Arts and University of the Arts London and co-director of CRiSAP (Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice), University of the Arts London.

For more information about Cathy, please see her website

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