© Pheobe riley Law

High Street Soundwalk Artist Talk: Jez riley French

One of the most influential Sound Artists of his generation, for this informal talk Jez will discuss his work revealing worlds of sound that are normally inaccessible to us, or that we overlook.

He will also lead us through some of the fascinating sounds from the “Breet Velvit Ake” soundwalk he has created for Whitefriargate.

A High Street Sound Walk for Hull: Breet Velvit Ake by Jez riley French, Whitefriargate
Available online from 10 September 2021

Historic England is working with the National Trust and Sound UK to launch a series of self-guided, immersive sound walks to help people discover the magic of their local high streets for Heritage Open Days.

Absolutely Cultured have been working with Sound UK in Hull, where artist Jez riley French’s soundwalk “Breet Velvit Ake” (‘bright velvet wander’ in the Yorkshire dialect) evokes Whitefriargate’s complex social, cultural and physical history.

Using a fascinating range of hidden, overlooked or usually inaudible sounds, it invites you to take time to listen, pause and discover this street in a new way. High Street Sound Walks are available via the Historic England website from 10 September: listen any time via your smartphone or other personal device: HistoricEngland.org.uk/HullSoundWalk


About Jez riley French

With a dizzying range of projects over the years, Jez has highlighted ecological issues by listening in to glaciers melting in Iceland, the Dolomites dissolving, aquatic environments and the species that inhabit them and rates of change in plant and soil systems. Other works have included buildings being vibrated by their locales or resonated by orchestral ensembles and the sounds of civic architecture in Japan. Apart from his personal work Jez acts as a lecturer, writer, researcher, curator and runs field trips globally focused on listening as an art form. He has a particular research interest in issues around gender / identity bias within sound cultures and archives. In addition, he designs and builds specialist microphones that have helped revolutionise the use of located sound in the arts, including in gallery settings, performance, location sound and sound design for film, tv, theatre and games.

His work has been shown at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, The Baltic, The Whitworth, Paradise Air (Japan), MoT – Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (Japan), Spikersuppa Lydgalleri , Oslo (Norway), Steklenik (Slovenia) & Museo Reina Sofia (Spain). During Hull UK City of Culture 2017, he was one of the artists behind the ‘Height of the Reeds’ project and also created an installation as part of the North Atlantic Flux festival, featuring the sound of the earth spinning on its axis beneath Iceland – a sound he has also now recorded below Whitefriargate for the soundwalk.  https://jezrileyfrench.co.uk/

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