Wildhart Radio presents
A 12 week course exploring the creation of audio art through Ashdown Forest’s natural sounds
Sat 10am-1pm April 15th-June 17th 2023
Students will, through audio that they will record in the forest environment, create both individual and / or group audio artefacts that will comprise a cohesive suite of pieces, aimed at being broadcast or released to the public.
Guidance will come in the form of weekly Saturday morning talks, recording sessions and hands-on workshops, 10am-1pm talks and workshops on both technical and artistic processes. Participants will be expected to work independently or in groups, for a recommended minimum of 1-2 hours per week directed time outside of these hours, to create their pieces. There will be an opportunity to broadcast these on Wildhart Radio along with any other documentary that can comprise a podcast.
The course will have content for all those with an interest in audio and natural world: no prior experience with audio technology is necessary; however, a reasonable ability to navigate and find solutions within a digital environment will be important. Recording equipment will be provided; however, students will need to source their own medium for working on the audio, typically a laptop and headphones. Links to appropriate software will be provided so no additional expense should be necessary to complete the course.
Who can apply?
We have limited places for a group of 18 -21 years old, living in or within access of Forest Row, East Sussex.
The course is funded by the Community Lottery and is being offered at no cost to the student. Following an initial conversation to confirm applicants suitability, a deposit of £100 to secure a place will be refunded upon completion of the course. Donations are welcome.
Sessions will be based at Ashdown Forest Centre Community Barn, RH18 5AQ. Recording sessions will take place in and around the forest. Students will need to arrange transport there and back each week.
Applications are now closed
“Primal Sounds” Course Schedule
(subject to change)
Week 1 – April 15th
- Introduction to the radio and mentors, feedback form
- Agreements: how we communicate, house-keeping
- Aims, objectives and outcomes of course
- Introductions from students: experience, ambitions, facilities
Introduction to the technology:
- Resources provided for the course and student equipment required
- Introduction to microphones and microphone technique
- Hearing: the structure of the ear, how and what humans and animals hear, ultrasound, infrasound
- Recording formats, frequency response, bit depth
- What sounds to capture or create in nature
- Very brief introduction to convolution
- Sound exemplars
Week 2 – April 22th
- FIELD RECORDING
- Uploading to the cloud and downloading audio onto computers at end of session
Week 3 – April 29th
- FIELD RECORDING
- Sharing of previous week, new ideas for sounds and approach to recording
- Uploading to the cloud and downloading audio onto computers at end of session
Week 4 – 6th May
- Computers and other production platforms
- Sound editors and Digital Audio Workstations (daws)
- Creative processing introduction: time; level; pitch; spectral (harmonic)
- Introduction to plugins
- Types of audio artefacts
- Importing audio
- De-noising and sound restoration / repair
Week 5 -13th May
- Sound layering
- Pitch / noise
- Samplers and sampling- musical and rhythmic
- Beat creation with found sounds
Week 6 – 20th May
- Spoken word
Week 7 – 27th May
- Creative audio journey through visual art creation
Week 8 – 3rd June
- Dynamic processing: gates, compressors
- Harmonic processing, equalisation, filtering, distortion…
Week 9 – 10th June
More creative production techniques that include:
- Granular synthesis
- Time-based effects
- Convolution reverberation
- Production values: focus, interest
Week 10 -17th June
- Mixing, frequency masking
Week 11 – 24th June
- Entrepreneurship / starting a business
- Branding /ai art
- From product to marketing
- Social media / web-sites
Week 12 – 1st July
- Project playback- sharing, feedback & review
- Sharing (leadership)
- Potential student future involvement in the radio moving forward
By the end of the course students will
- Have acquired foundational skills in recording, using editing suites, digital audio workstations (DAWs) and appropriate processing software
- Be able to create innovative and technically-competent audio pieces
- Be better versed to work both independently and in groups
- Connect AUDIO and NATURE in conversation, based on listening
- Complete a creative process and understand the connection between inner and outer art – the creative self, listening and technology
- Be able to present work and to be able communicate and feedback ideas with confidence
- Have a basic understanding of how to create a brand, market and promote work
Course leader, mentor & content creator
Is an audio technology pioneer with sound with 40 years as a professional recording engineer, musician, synthesiser programmer and a platinum-selling record producer with several international no 1s. He spent ten years as an external lecturer in Music Technology at the University of West London and is now director of Wildhart Radio.
Mentor & content creator
Having loved dancing and singing to The Rolling Stones, Queen, Jean-Michel Jarre, the Star Wars soundtrack and Grease (??) as a small child, (can you guess the decade?!) Toby’s musical adventures began for real when he joined his school choir aged 11, which coincided with him taking up the clarinet. The stint in the choir taught him how to translate notes on a page to music in his head (a skill sadly lost!) and also meant he got to experience the power of singing choral music in a few cathedrals in northern England. It was around then that the record buying began, and the endless search for new and interesting music and sounds.
Skip a few years of teenage listening and dancing and Toby is at art college in London where he meets like-minded curious creative types into music. They go out to gigs, clubbing, buy more records, buy decks, start DJing (because they think they can do it just as well as any of the DJs they hear), and eventually promote their own club nights. Toby starts buying cheap music making equipment around this time and teaches himself how to use sequencers, samplers and synthesisers. Toby’s DJing took him all around the world.
Toby managed & worked as a sound engineer at Headroom recording studios in Notting Hill, where they were still recording with reel to reel tape machines. He composed music for various multi-media projects and websites and his music appears on the BBC, ITV, National Geographic and The Discovery Channel, amongst others. He also composes sound design and soundtrack compositions for the National Museum of Football and Urbis in Manchester, and releases several of his own tracks and remixes as SOTO.
Toby’s interest and enthusiasm for recording and producing and general knob-twiddling remains as strong as ever, and he has been furthering his technical repertoire by exploring the dark arts of modular synthesis and discovering un-heard and found sounds the last few years, whilst continuing to expand his collection of knobs, buttons and sliders with which he finds great joy manipulating recordings and creating other-worldly new sounds. New music adventures are afoot, with exciting nature/field recording projects ongoing for the Royal Parks and a new label and new audio-visual releases in the near future.
Is a DJ and electronic music producer, with around 9 years experience and a bachelor’s degree in music production and sound engineering from dBs music in Bristol. He has a good knowledge of various DAWS, microphone recording techniques and sound design techniques. He also prides himself on his clean mixes and loud masters.
Coordinator, mentor & content creator
is a founding director of Wildhart Radio and has been the stations programmer, social media manager/promoter, recruiter and conceptual catalyst. She has worked in London for 18 years, creating party and multi-media events for social causes. She has been known to write fanzines for a new future.
She has been involved in creating community social centres, music & DJ events,
hosting talks, lectures and debates, working on prisoner campaigns for miscarriage of justice cases, as well as work with domestic abuse survivors & people with mental health problems & learning disabilities.
She has worked with artists, performers & musicians in various settings. She was part of the Reclaim the Streets movement in the early 90’s finding ways to effectively communicate through symbolic & real action messages for change and actively transforming the places we live and work. She works with ‘social art’ (where everyone is an artist), the creative personal & collective process with people as well as 20 years studying & part-time working in the field of energy psychology & psychic healing
Iis a creative artist that works with nature for inspiration and collaboration. She has been a creative arts teacher for five years and has taught all ages. She currently runs art and nature wellbeing workshops in schools, organisations and with individuals. She is a presenter on Wildhart Radio
Ned Spall is an ethical entrepreneur with 20 years of experience building high functioning teams with diverse abilities and a researcher with experience in human psychology, building sustaining organisations, health, natural science and culture. He is renowned as a networker, project inception planner and mind mapper. On the station he works as our head of Talent and Strategy and as a DJ on the Saturday Night Ritual (Wildhart’s 4 hour weekly Saturday Night Show) and in club environments where he plays underground music performing at venues including Fabric, International Clubs in Spain and Czech Republic.
Philip Demuth is a DJ / Musician / Designer that has been making music for over 15 years. He has released a number of EPs under different aliases, but currently is working on a project by the name ‘What Kingdom’. Also a keen Vinyl collector, he likes to find weird and obscure music from around the world and playing this on his Friday night show on Wildhart Radio. The show, World Rythym, has been going for around 2 years now, spinning only records. Sets are improvised as to what sort of music will feature; there can be anything from unusual disco to hard techno. You never know where it will end..?
He’s also a husband to wife Sam and has 2 amazing daughters, the next generation on this musical journey in the forest..