Shabaka Hutchings: Spitalfields Re-Sounded

This summer, Associate Artist Shabaka Hutchings is creating a new piece of music from the sounds around us. Over the last few months he’s been collecting the everyday sounds of Spitalfields and re-imaging them in a new piece for his band The Comet is Coming. At the start of the project we asked Shabaka to explain a bit more about the project, and you can follow his journey as it unfolds on the Spitalfields Re-Sounded blog.

Shabaka Hutchings

Spitalfields Re-Sounded is my attempt to chronicle the sonic landscape of the Spitalfields area and interpret the sounds recorded as inspiration for a new composition.

I will record, with the help of Resonance 104.4fm, various moments of sound from everyday life in the area and document these in a ‘sound archive’. Moments within the sounds captured will serve as direct inspiration for a new composition, premiering at Village Underground on Wednesday 10 June. This show will feature members of The Comet is Coming plus vocal sculptor Jason Singh.

The second part of this project will be me and Theon Cross on tuba walking through the parts of Spitalfields where I took inspiration from the sound recording. We will play a reduced score of the Village Underground composition and explore the relationship between the original soundscape and my interpretative composition.

My motivation for embarking on this project comes from the belief that music is present within every facet of our daily life. To listen with the intent of unravelling the potential of sonic possibilities occurring  around us opens up a wealth of fresh inspiration and attunes our music directly to the Zeitgeist of the city. Also, I will archive the recorded sounds to be referred to in future years as a gauge of the shifting sonic landscape of the city.

I will be blogging throughout my process of  formulating the composition and recording the sounds. This will chronicle what I’m listening for, the difficulties I encounter in the process and how I reconcile my compositional method with non-musical material. I will be blogging every few weeks with updates.


You can follow the project as Shabaka’s piece takes shape on the Spitalfields Re-Sounded blog and hear Shabaka with The Comet is Coming at Village Underground in June.

Spitalfields Re-Sounded
Wednesday 10 June, 8.30pm
Village Underground
Hear the sound around us reimagined >>


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