Sonic artist Danny Bright was commissioned as part of ‘Working with Social Haunting’ to produce work on both sides of the project: in Rochdale and in Barnsley.

His two sound pieces were planned to work as installations, where the manipulated and fractured sounds of the present would – it was hoped – give way to some interaction with the past.

In Sheffield, as part of the ‘Ghost Exchange’ event for Unite Community members in January 2016, Danny installed a sound piece made from recordings taken from the NUM headquarters in Barnsley. Unite members listened to the work on headphones, whilst sound and movement sensors collected data from the interactions of people and the room, which fed back and manipulated the sound piece further.


Unite Community participants at the Sheffield ‘Ghost Exchange’

(Image credit: Sarah McNicol)



In an explanation to the participants, Danny explained that: "The sounds you hear are composed from warped, fractured and manipulated site recordings made in the Barnsley NUM Hall, surrounding building, peripheral spaces and streets, as well as elements of electroacoutic musical instrumentation.

These sounds are further manipulated by non-linear effects driven by the sounds and movement in the room - tuning the composition to the spaces, places and people where it is heard. This, perhaps, suggests how we might listen out for the multiple layers of sonic histories - pasts, presents, futures - that are heard and un-heard in the spaces and places we occupy."


For the Rochdale piece, Danny was unable to construct an installation in the Pioneers’ Museum as planned. Instead, he took inspiration and recordings from the ‘uncovering’ - perhaps part of the town’s regeneration work – that was going on in Rochdale town, as well as using some interesting sounds behind the conversations in the Ghost Labs.

The piece of sound work from Rochdale is called ‘Underdrift’ and can be heard below

At the end of the ‘Working with Social Haunting’ project, ‘Underdrift’ was selected for the Festival Transitions Sonores, a sound art festival in France whose themes around sound ecology, listening and decay, seemed very relevant to the project’s research. ‘Underdrift’ was presented at the Paris 8 University in March 2016.