Discover the Sounds of Brentford

Local musician and BRAG member Doug Benford has created a sound installation, with sculptor Rob Olins, that is currently up in the Riverside Gallery at the Watermans Art Centre until 23rd November.

The work comprises a series of acoustic mirrors and speakers created by Rob that are arranged in such a way as to create a soundscape through which the audience can navigate. The sound is focused all around you when you stand in the right spot.

This show features purely sounds from Brentford and environs which Doug has been gathering over the years: from sparrows (rather rare now!) and other birds, the musical and steam museums, the market, the sounds under/from umpteen bridges, planes, lawn mowers, the various trains including steam trains, fireworks, bats, church bells, the football stadium, footsteps in the snow, parks, building works, to other river/canal sounds.

Dough said “it’s a nice ‘snapshot’ of Brentford today, with many of its hidden quirks, I think”.

Previously Rob and Doug have had similar shows – again using sounds from specific areas – in Swansea (featured on BBC Radio Wales), Clacton-On-Sea, Stroud and Chelmsford, as well as smaller installation in South Kensington and Shoreditch.

The artists will both be there for a ‘special viewing / listening’ on Wednesday 13th Nov, from 6.30-8.30pm; do come down then if you like, for a drink in the next door bar, or visit anytime.


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Preparations for a stall

A heavily canvassed stall at Boston Manor Park in January 2003, followed by preparations for a stall at the Watermans Arts Centre, with nappy displays and lots of leaflet folding interrupted by needed cups of tea.

Watermans in July?

Sonic Recycler, June 2003



Sonic Recycler at Watermans Art Centre was a fantastic success – an evening of interesting music with a recycling theme. We had bunch of people come down, and there was a really nice ‘vibe’ (I think that’s the phrase these youngsters use)…

Andrew of BRAG had his chain of refuse bags set up, BRAG had a neat table stall that got a lot of attention, (as did the council stall as well), there were some short films, great visuals, the art installation in the gallery by Iris Garrelfs was super, but a big ‘shout-out’, I think, to all the musicians and DJs who played such wonderful music…they went down a storm.



We had a lot people coming from all over London (and further!) to see the event (who, when they all saw the centre and venue, said ‘What a great place!’), and lots of nice press in the local papers, Time Out, The Guardian Guide and MetroLife…The nicest thing for me personally was the emails the next day from many of the artists saying how much they enjoyed it and what a great riverside venue as well. My only minor gripe was – where were you local people?

Needless to say, Watermans have approached me about doing a bigger and better SonicRecycler 2 next year!

Douglas Benford, treasurer, BRAG

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