M5 Mile Artists: Samuel Rodgers

Author: Pooja Raj

MADE is delighted to announce the M5 Mile team have now commissioned 5 artists to work on our special takeover day on July 16th.

The aim of the commission is to give the smallest of flavour of what a place which is ‘taken-over’ by creative communities may look like, it will temporarily enliven and animate the space, be an exemplar, an inspiration, a curiosity which willprovide a snapshot of potential of forgotten, neglected and unused spaces.  

The artists brief is simply to respond to the site.  On the day their work will be documented through photography and video and this will be exhibited around the region at a later date.

We will be featuring each of the artists in turn.  Here we look at Samuel Rodgers:

Samuel Rodgers is an artist, musician and audio engineer based in Stourbridge, West Midlands. His practice encompasses performance, installation and phonography, and explores the material and spatial aspects of sound and listening.

Samuel studied BA Music Composition at Dartington College of Arts, during which time he primarily wrote music for acoustic instruments exploring microtonal turnings, inharmonicity and subtle interactions of tone and harmonics. During this time he also improvised extensively, and towards the end of his BA he went on to lead an improvisation group for non-musicians interested in exploring sound through their practices. During his masters, Samuel's focus shifted towards expanded notions of performance (site-responsive, durational and semi-structured); the sonic and acoustic properties of different spaces and sites; and the acoustic mediation of materials, objects and sound reproduction technologies.

More recently, Samuel has been exploring his interest in glass as a material. He is attracted to glass for a number of reasons: its resonance, which is often 'pure' but inharmonic; its refraction and reflection of light; and the contingent nature of its formation/production, which leads to wonderful visible and audible 'imperfections'.

Having seen the space under the M5 Mile, Samuel proposed an installation/durational performance working with field recordings gathered on site and in its immediate vicinity. Using contact microphones on surfaces and microphones positioned in relation to the architecture of the overpass, he will make a series of recordings that he will make into cassette loops. These loops will be played back on battery-powered cassette players with modified loudspeakers, enabling sound to propagate through a number of glass objects. These objects will be distributed across the space under the overpass, bringing out resonant frequencies from the surrounding field of traffic noise, creating an immersive soundscape that merges with and emerges from the environment.

For more information about M5 Mile contact Sally Robertshaw Community Programmes Manager on 0121 348 7980 orsally@made.org.uk