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Guildhall Yard, London
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iain chambers

The House of Sound

Iain Chambers’ new radiophonic composition for Open House London takes us time-travelling back to the sound of medieval London through to the present day, in 25 minutes. Composed from the changing sounds of the City, The House of Sound is a walk through history performed hourly by live musicians and a huge array of loudspeakers in Guildhall Yard.

This groundbreaking work tells the story of the City of London through its sounds, revealing the impact of its changing built and social environment. It reinstates the sounds the City has known and then lost, from the daily work of the Guilds, the tightly-packed residential life of people and animals living cheek by jowl, the street vendors’ cries heard in Tudor London, the lost waterways that criss-crossed the City, to the evolving sound of Londoners’ conversations, and the impact the City’s fast changing architecture had on the sound panorama they could hear.

Over 25 minutes, this piece allows us to experience the London of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, and T. S. Eliot, allowing audiences to create their own individual impression of the work through the way they navigate an outdoor surround sound loudspeaker array.
The House of Sound challenges us to experience the City in a new way; using sound to reconnect locations with their previous functions. It encourages us to pay more attention to environmental sounds, and to hear the music within everyday life.

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