sound space [2024]

Re-Playing it Again Symposium | Centre for Contemporary Arts | Glasgow, Scotland | May 15-18, 2024

The installation was comissioned for this symposium and is comprised of a series of field recordings and realisations from the past five years. Presented over four days in the atrium of the CCA via small speakers, the sounds shifted slightly every day, re-playing sonic memories from across my practice.

The Re-playing It Again Symposium was the culmination of a 4 year research project led by Baptiste Buob, Christophe Triau, Carl Lavery and Nathalie Cau and is part of a larger LABEX research programme, Les Passés dans le présent. The organisers would like to thank Ghislaine Glasson-Deschaumes and Emmanuel Grimaud, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (CCA), the Goethe-Institut, Glasgow, and Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow for all their support.

The symposium has been organised by Carl Lavery, Dominic Paterson and Melanie Lavery.

Review from Emma Starkey

An encounter of Kevin Leomo’s sound space

As I settle into a conversation with James and Lee, a cacophony of sounds seeps through from a nearby exhibition, fluctuating in intensity and distance, prompting me to inquire if it is a sound installation. The auditory tapestry, a blend of the familiar and the enigmatic, with tones shifting from close proximity to distant echoes, evoking a sense of bustling human presence engaged in various activities. The melange of sounds defied clear recognition, teasing my senses like a fleeting memory on the tip of my tongue, slipping away just as I felt on the cusp of deciphering its essence. At times I thought I could hear chimes, nature, strange ambience, an auditory puzzle.

In the depths of the unnoticed, hidden within the crevices of the bustling courtyard/café, lie the small devices. Within the diverse sounds of various conversations and café sounds such as the frothing of a coffee, these sounds peered in and out of depth seamlessly blending with the modern landscape. The amalgamation of these collected sounds creates a symphony of anonymity, where distinguishing one source from another becomes an elusive task. Evoking a sense of communal consciousness, these invisible recordings breathe life into the space, blurring the lines between old and new. In this present and evolving space, converges the recorded with the live; it brought spaces together, rupturing the time/space continuum. As I delve deeper into this enigmatic audio tapestry, a subtle dance of certainty and ambiguity unfold before me. Gradually, I relinquished my need for definitive answers and instead immersed myself in the beauty of uncertainty, where the rhythm of the unseen orchestrates an evolving and wonderous atmosphere.

In the symphony of life, it is in the pauses that truly resonate, making us acutely aware of our own presence in the vast expanse of space. These moments of stillness hold a mirror up to our souls, reflecting the depths of our existence with profound clarity.  These pauses linger in the air, shedding any pretence; it brought a communal freedom, an ease. We observe one another, while we become aware of our own body. It relinquishes suspicion and defence.

I found beauty in simply being, even if it was fleeting like shadows in the twilight.

This piece brought me back to Hassall’s work and the imagery of the desolate land in Dorothy Wordworth’s description, it reminds me that the stillness is valid in order to bring the soul and the body close.