Category Archives: DBS

Sound Recording

Group members met with Olly Wickes and students of DBS at Saltram House on 29 May 2014 to take sound recordings.  Unfortunately I could not attend but Ellena Simpson updated the rest of the group as follows:

The collaboration will be run between us, Olly and DBS student called Sam Ware (other students could not commit because of the time of year or were not reliable and didn’t show!).

All sound recordings have now been produced.

Sam is going to research into appropriate classical songs, possibly relating to the era of the building. He will also look into Baroque.

Sam is free to commence with mixing next week, and is keen for us to join him in the studio. (Simpson, 2014)


Simpson, E. (2014) Facebook Group: Saltram Exhibition [online]. Available at: (accessed 03/06/2014)

Equipment costs

On 19 May 2014 Olly Wickes emailed Ellena Simpson regarding the equipment hire:

Email to Ellena Simpson from Olly Wickes. Image by Ellena Simpson
Email to Ellena Simpson from Olly Wickes. Image by Ellena Simpson

As the email states, the cost of hiring the equipment for the duration of the exhibition (6 weeks) was £635 + VAT.  This was a huge shock to the group, as we did not foresee this and certainly didn’t get the impression from our earlier meeting with Olly that the hire costs would be this much.

After discussing this with our tutor Edith Doove and Neil Rose, Ellena replied to Olly’s message to advise that we could not afford to hire the equipment but could try to source alternative equipment from PCA’s ERC department.  Neil Rose advised that the ERC had 8 rocket speakers which may be available to hire.  I visited the ERC and spoke to Luke Broadway regarding this on 20 May 2014 and he advised that this should be ok but he would need confirmation from Edith Doove and we would probably not have access to the speakers until after the Summer Show had finished by 20 June 2014.

Following Ellena’s email, Olly replied with the following response on 22 April 2014:

Email from Olly Wickes regarding equipment hire and Email from Edith Doove regarding insurance. Screenshot taken from
Email from Olly Wickes regarding equipment hire and Email from Edith Doove regarding insurance. Screenshot taken from

The fact that we could now hire the equipment free of charge subject to insurance and promotion of DBS was fantastic news.  Furthermore, following Edith’s Doove’s message to Mark Taylor, Director of Finances and Resources at Plymouth College of Art regarding insurance, she received a response saying that we would not need to pay for the insurance either.  This was a huge relief for the group as we had very little personal funds to put toward the project and needed to source furniture and make sound boards for the piece.



Meeting with Olly Wickes, Deep Blue Sound

On 9 May 2014 the group met with Olly Wickes of Deep Blue Sound to discuss our ideas regarding The Orangery exhibition at Saltram House.  He seemed extremely interested in the proposal which Reiss Portman had drafted up and thought that a few DBS students would definitely want to be involved with producing a sound piece for the exhibition.

He also advised us that DBS would be able to provide equipment but there would be a small charge for this.  We advised Olly that we had no funding but would be happy to individually put some money toward the project.  With regard to equipment, he said that DBS had some small white speakers which would be fairly subtle within the space but we also discussed placing them inside plinths for security and aesthetic reasons.

After collating all the information including dates etc, Olly advised that he would get back to us with regard to the costs of hiring equipment etc.



On 29 April 2014 Reiss Portman drafted up the following proposal for Saltram House to send to Deep Blue Sound:

Saltram House Orangerie Exhibition Proposal

A concept based around ‘experience, aura and sense of place’ has been proposed amongst the group for the upcoming summer exhibition at Saltram House.

Using furniture, text and sound recordings to explore the theme of escapism we intend to create, within the space, reflections of the ‘experience, aura and sense of place’ of the present location and historical themes relating to the surrounding vicinity.

The sound recordings will be specifically made for the exhibition, and will focus on sounds produced within the grounds of Saltram that are easily over looked, birdsong, trees in the wind and walking on gravel for example; combined into one or a number of sound pieces. By distinctly focusing on these sounds it is easier to immerse yourself within a place, situation or certain experience, which is something people desire whilst visiting.

Saltram’s historical links with literature will be explored within the show through a live book reading at the opening, relating to the idea of ‘escaping in text’. The text used will be taken from the letters exchanged between Jane Austin and The Countess of Morely, Frances Talbot. This text not only offers an insight into the history of Saltram but also offers a personal experience that can resonate with the audience, again creating a new experience, aura and sense of place.

We have established a connection with Deep Blue Sound Music College to collaborate with throughout the exhibition in order to provide work experience for the students in exchange for loaning equipment; this is currently under negotiation.

Soundboards and antique furniture will fill the space and inhabit the role of sculptures, becoming aesthetically pleasing as well as technically beneficial.

These methods will amalgamate into communication with the audience. The aim of this exhibition is to highlight the unseen yet essential contributing factors, which combine to form the Saltram Experience.