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University students contribute to unique music and sound project

Students and graduates have contributed to a unique music and sound project to be showcased in Cheltenham, led by Gloucestershire composer and performer Chris Cundy in collaboration with University of Gloucestershire.

A Sound Map of the Roman Baths is a creative partnership led by Chris Cundy that combines the sounds of geo-thermal hot springs and the extraordinary history of the UNESCO world heritage site in the city of the Bath with work by Gloucestershire poet Adam Horovitz.

Sound and Music Production students gained skills and knowledge in various capacities working with Chris and some of the UK’s foremost contemporary classical and free improvisation musicians during studio sessions at the University’s purpose-built recording facilities and site installations at the Roman Baths.

University graduate and filmmaker Dominyka Vinčaitė (MA Illustration) has documented a series of short films about the project, ahead of a free exhibition at the University’s Hardwick Campus (15 April to 10 May) and a five-part season of programmes on Resonance FM throughout April.

One of the students involved in the studio sessions and site recordings, Ben Springall, is currently working with Chris on material for the series of broadcasts highlighting the project that will be released following the exhibition.

Early stagings of A Sound Map were trialled at the University’s Park Campus during the Everyday is Spatial audio conference in June 2023, which led to a sold-out full ensemble performance at the Roman Baths.

In November, the University awarded Chris an Honorary Doctorate in Music to recognise his outstanding international career in the field of contemporary classical and improvised music, and for the inspiration and support he has provided to staff and students on its Sound and Music programmes. 

Chris said: “It is always an absolute pleasure to work with students from University of Gloucestershire and it’s been another fantastic experience working with them on A Sound Map of the Roman Baths.

“The students are fully committed to our high production values and keen to contribute, while the musicians have been made to feel very comfortable during the studio sessions at the University, which provides a fantastic environment in which to work

“We’re looking forward to providing the community in and around Cheltenham with an opportunity to find out more about the project at our upcoming exhibition at Hardwick Campus.”

Tim Land, Senior Lecturer in Sound and Music Production within the University’s School of Creative Arts, said: “We’d like to thank Chris for providing our students with excellent opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge alongside an array of talented musicians.

“It’s extremely important for their future careers that we provide our students with opportunities to partner with the artistic community on exciting and high-level work, build connections and put their academic learning into practice in the real world.”

Main image: Chris Cundy (right) working on A Sound Map of the Roman Baths (© Dominyka Vinčaitė)