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Electric Sound Palace | Chris Timpson (Aurelia Soundworks) and collaborators

  • Paignton Picture House Torbay Road Paignton TQ4 6AA (map)

Full dates, times & location

Friday 7th June - Sunday 16th June
Paignton Picture House, Torbay Road, Paignton TQ4 6AA.

Friday 7th June, 5pm - 8pm

Saturday 8th - Saturday 15th June, 12 noon - 8pm

Sunday 16th June, 12noon - 6pm.

Performances on the hour.

Find out more about the artist:

Artist bio | Artist Website | Artist Social Media

Access info

Paignton Picture House has ramped access into the main auditorium (stalls).

This building is currently in a pre-restoration condition and audiences should expect a modest level of dust particles that may be inappropriate for those with severe allergies.

An historic cinema brought to life by sound designer Chris Timpson who re-imagines the cinema’s original 21-piece orchestra in an installation combining historical references with immersive sound technology. Paignton Picture House opened in 1914, is believed to be the oldest surviving purpose-built cinema in Europe. In its early days it featured a 21-piece orchestra, with each member paid a guinea to perform. 

Drawing on archive materials of Paignton Picture House Trust and local memories, Chris Timpson, working with Carmen Talbot and collaborators have created a new site-specific work, inspired by the original accompanying orchestra, transporting audiences into an Electric Sound Palace. Through this, Chris has been exploring the tension and excitement of a period when silent film worked with live orchestral music. 

The work features the Torbay Symphony Orchestra performing music from Beethoven and Shostakovich, who have kindly welcomed Chris into their performance rehearsals to capture their live orchestral sound.  

Where the 21 piece orchestra once was, we find 21 loudspeakers. But Chris, working with technologist Tim Dollimore (The Media Workshop) re-introduces the live element, giving the audience the chance to ‘play’ and collaborate with each other to influence a section of score, with music by accomplished composer KK (Kevin Kerrigan). 

 “One of the things we are interested in is giving the audience some control over parts of the creative experience. For them to recreate some of that tension that might have existed at the time this orchestra was here. We’ve done this by actually giving the audience some control of the orchestra. What will the audience do? Will they collaborate or will they make a cacophany?”

Chris Timpson is a sound designer with a specialism in 3D spatial audio for both multi-speaker and headphone listening. His experience in this area is unique, having worked with immersive sound projects for several years, he is one of the leading specialists in ambisonic and 3D audio mixing. You can find out more about his work here.

Suitable for all ages.

Booking info

Audiences can book as an ‘orchestra’ member to join the playable part of the performance, or as an ‘audience’ if you prefer to sit back and listen.

Performances are free, but we encourage donations to Paignton Picture House Trust on the door to support the future restoration of this important building.

Friday 7th June, 5pm - 8pm

Saturday 8th - Saturday 15th June, 12 noon - 8pm

Sunday 16th June, 12noon - 6pm.

Performances on the hour.

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