The Suffolk Symphony

Beginning on 16th August, 2009, Touch went on a week-long treasure hunt to unearth old records, field recordings, home-made sounds and images to help create the new Suffolk Symphony, culminating in its first performance on the 22nd August, 2009. Executive directed by Mike Harding with sound by Philip Jeck and BJNilsen and images by Jon Wozencroft, the whole week was documented on this website by Philip Marshall.

You can read our daily updates below. Visit the archives to see and hear our works-in-progress, including photography by Jon Wozencroft and audio from Jeck and Nilsen.

Touch would like to thank Jonathan Reekie plus Bella and all the team at Aldeburgh Music, and Joana Seguro from Faster Than Sound for all their hard work and assistance over the duration of our residency.

Day Six | 22nd August 2009

Day Six began bright and chilly. It has been very hot this week - beautiful conditions which promise to continue into the weekend. Setting up began in The Britten Studio [map] at 10am, with the arrival of the projector and other material. Various projectors and internet terminals were readied around the site.

At lunchtime, Sheikh Ahmed arrived to prepare for his intermission DJ sets. In the afternoon Jeck and Nilsen soundchecked.

A final audio/visual run-through is scheduled to commence at 5pm. The performance itself will start at 8pm. A programme for this evening's performance can be downloaded here.

Many thanks for following our progress this week.

Day Five | 21st August 2009

On the morning of day five, Jon Wozencroft continued to edit his DV footage. The other four travelled to Snape Maltings. Philip Jeck and BJNilsen started assembling an edit of rehearsal recordings, for broadcast on the evening of the 21st on BBC Radio 4's PM show. Radio 4's Nigel Wrench has written a entry about The Suffolk Symphony on PM's blog at

The afternoon saw BJNilsen take his recording devices locally, around Snape [map]. Philip Jeck commenced archiving his rehearsal experiments in preparation for Saturday's performance. Jon Wozencroft continued his video editing. Mike Harding and Philip Marshall liaised with Radio 4's Nigel Wrench, regards the 5.20pm PM interview.

Jeck and Nilsen spent the mid-afternoon editing rehearsal recordings for an episode of TouchRadio – Click here to download a mp3 of their edit at

At 17h25, Mike Harding, Philip Jeck and Jonathan Reekie [CEO, Aldeburgh Music] were interviewed live on BBC Radio 4's PM Show. An edit from rehearsals for The Suffolk Symphony was played [mp3].

Day Four | 20th August 2009

On the morning of Day Four of The Suffolk Symphony residency, the artists assembled at Snape Maltings [map], to commence the editing process. Philip Jeck and BJNilsen continued to experiment with the sounds they have unearthed. Jon Wozencroft commenced reviewing his video footage.

After lunch whilst Jeck and Nilsen rehearsed further Wozencroft, Harding and Marshall took a short afternoon break to Iken [map]. Jon Wozencroft's photos from this trip can be viewed in the archive.

Day Three | 19th August 2009

Entire party went to Dunwich [map], the disappearing village on the coast…

View Jon Wozencroft's images in the archive.

After filming and recording on the beach there, we stopped by the imposing Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh [map].

View Jon Wozencroft's images in the archive.

In gorgeous weather, tinder-dry conditions, Sizewell B nuclear power station [map] presented a weird backdrop to families frolicking in the surf…

Back at Snape later in the afternoon, recordings and images were downloaded, swapped, and in some cases uploaded… See the archive for audio works by BJNilsen and Philip Jeck.

Late afternoon, Jon Wozencroft travelled to Butley [map] and Boyton [map]. Photos from this trip can be viewed in the archive.

After dinner, Wozencroft, Nilsen, Marshall and Harding took a night drive to Thorpeness [map], for a late night recording session. BJNilsen recorded the empty beach, while Jon Wozencroft experimented with night-vision shooting.

Day Two | 18th August 2009

BJNilsen and Jon Wozencroft travelled to the Martello Tower [map]. Jon commenced shooting footage for The Suffolk Symphony while Benny recorded the environment. View some of Jon's images in the Archive.

Above: adjacent to the Martello Tower, Aldeburgh.

Jon and Benny then visited Orford [map].

Meanwhile, at Snape Maltings [map], Philip Jeck began to assemble his audio source material [mp3]

Mike Challis then led all five artists to Westleton [map], where Philip Jeck discovered vinyl potential: Johann Kuhnau's “Biblical Sonatas Nos 1, 3 & 5” played by Colin Tilney on harpsichord. The back cover says “pressed in transparent vinyl for ease of inspection.” Possibly one of the first uses of non-black vinyl on a classical record…

Above: a dedication found in “Spiritual Intercourse”, on sale in Chapel Books, Westleton.

Finally, Jon, Mike, Philip and Benny travelled to Tunstall Wood [map]. Photos from this trip can be found in the archive.

Day One | 17th August 2009

3 of the party arrived on Sunday 16th August, and met with John Aitchison, the wildlife photographer who works with Chris Watson.

At 5:05 am on Monday 17th August BJNilsen records the birdsong in Saxmundham. After moving to the accommodation for the week, Joana Seguro, from Faster Than Sound, took Mike Harding, Philip Jeck & Benny Nilsen to Snape Maltings. Setting up commenced at 11am. [See photos below] Philip Marshall & Jon Wozencroft arrived at 1pm.

Site visit 18th May 2009

BJNilsen & Mike Harding, accompanied by curator Joana Seguro, visited Snape Maltings on a blustery, changeable day. Here you can see photos taken by Mike Harding and two recordings by BJNilsen.

Continue reading…

Announcing The Suffolk Symphony

Faster than Sound comes to the Snape Proms for more experiments in sound and image…

Inspired by the historic coastline of Aldeburgh and its surrounding area including Aldeburgh Music's Snape Proms, Touch will create a new audio-visual symphony from scratch, using only locally sourced sounds and images. Beginning on 16th August, 2009, they will go on a week-long treasure hunt to unearth old records, field recordings, home-made sounds and images to help create the new Suffolk Symphony, culminating in its first performance on the 22nd August, 2009.

Directed by Mike Harding with sound by Philip Jeck and BJNilsen and images by Jon Wozencroft, the whole week will be documented for an interactive website by Philip Marshall. The Suffolk Symphony will be subsequently released through Touch.


On August 22nd 2009 Touch will present a multimedia perfomance of The Suffolk Symphony - the culmination of the week's work undertaken during the residency. Click here for further information.

Tickets: £10.00
Box Office: +44 (0)1728 687110
Book tickets online

Follow our progress...

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Latest Twitter update

You will be able to follow updates from Touch's residency and view the preparatory work for The Suffolk Symphony as it happens on Twitter.


Faster Than Sound have invited Touch for a residency at Snape Maltings in August 2009. Click here for further information.


Biographies of the contributing artists to The Suffolk Symphony can be read by clicking here.

© 2009+ Touch.

Built by Philip Marshall and featuring contributions from The Suffolk Symphony artists.

Faster Than Sound is
generously supported by