Laura Harrington & Kaffe Matthews

Laura Harrington & Kaffe Matthews

Laura Harrington & Kaffe Matthews joined us for a research residency in September 2011.


Here is what they worked on.........



Where are the Wild Ones? ~ an opera

by Kaffe Matthews and Laura Harrington, made in collaboration with Northumbrian school children, anglers and scientists with support from ISIS Arts, Arts Council England, Northumberland National Park and Environment Agency North East.




‘Where are the Wild Ones?’ is an immersive audio-visual opera, whose music is made from the sonification of Atlantic salmon data gathered from their migrating journeys up and down the river Tyne. Mapped over a stunning visual score made from the route and geology of the river Tyne, it is a new musical experience for wide ranging audiences.


The project was initiated by the artists meeting and working together on RIVERS, (AV10 Festival, The Sage Gateshead) who decided to further develop and process their mass of underwater recordings, film footage, fish scale and scientific data into new melodies and rhythms. At ISIS, they carried out this work also further engaging with the Environment Agency, software programmers and anglers both on the river bank and in the lab. In November they took their material to local school children to collaborate on song writing and creating the opera's libretto.

It is intended that ‘Where are the Wild Ones?’ will be performed at three unusual and interesting locations beside the river Tyne in July 2012. Conducted over a multi-layered instrumental composition with local choir and ensemble, not only will this be an extraordinary new musical experience but it will raise awareness of the lives of our rivers and the animals that live within them.




Kaffe Matthews was born in Essex, England and lives and works in London. Since 1990 she has

been making and performing new electro-acoustic music worldwide with a variety of things and places such as violin, theremin, Scottish weather, desert stretched wires, NASA scientists, melting ice in Quebec and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Currently she is researching 3D composition for outdoor enjoyment through Hammerhead sharks in Galapagos, sustainable vibratory interface design with ‘music for bodies’ and environmental song writing and performance with The Gluts. Acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of electronic improvisation and live composition, Kaffe has released 6 solo CDs on the label Annette Works. For more info, see Kaffe's website.


Laura Harrington was born in mid Wales and is an artist and creative producer based in

Newcastle upon Tyne. She works with a broad range of materials and media to make works

that are open to cross-disciplinary collaboration and numerous contexts. Projects both

temporary and permanent typically engage with ecology and environment. Her practice often

works alongside the methods of architecture and engineering within a wider cultural context

in order to explore the idea of nature and environment as a complex working of human,

natural and continuously changing forces.

Laura is currently developing a piece of work with VARC (Visual Arts in Rural Communities)

and North Pennines AONB that looks at the landscape of peatlands in Northumberland and its

natural plant, animal and human communities. A recent commission includes CURRENT with

artist Jamie Allen, a lighting intervention for 20 beach huts along the promenade in Blyth that

respond to the wind. In March 2010 Laura completed an artist residency with the Environment

Agency North East, developing a number of different projects for Northumberland. Since July

2008 she has worked part time as Exhibitions Co-ordinator with Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. For more info, see Laura's website.



‘Where are the Wild Ones? the opera’ is Supported by National Lottery through Arts Council England.


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