Anna Meredith's Bumps Per Minute microsite shows an 8-bit rendering of Somerset House and dodgems, which can be moved around the screen

Anna Meredith's Bumps Per Minute

22 Jul 2021

Bumps Per Minute has been commissioned as part of Dodge, a new and unique outdoor experience at Somerset House this summer, from 15 Jul - 22 Aug 2021.

On-site, Bumps Per Minute is an installation that sees the traditional fairground dodgems ride reinvented into a high-octane interactive sensory experience that takes place once an hour before 18.00 and twice an hour after 18.00. As visitors to Dodge race their bumper cars around the track, bumps, scratches and jolts are tracked by bespoke wireless technology, designed in collaboration with BAFTA-winning interaction sound artist and fellow Studios resident Nick Ryan. The frenetic, random movements of the cars generate a one-off audio-visual composition, resulting in an explosive three-minute sonic display across the courtyard, featuring a new suite of 18 pieces of music composed by Anna Meredith.

The accompanying microsite allows you to play, interact and listen to this latest work from the Mercury nominated composer and musician. Featuring an 8-bit aesthetic, you can manually crash the dodgems into each other to generate your own Bumps Per Minute mix. 

They’re also less about musical development than my orchestral work or material in my studio albums, these tracks are only themselves and unapologetically so, and that freed me up to unleash some pretty bonkers ideas, knowing it’s about these bold switches – like a sort of musical Wacky Races

Anna Meredith

There's also a physical release of the compositions via Moshi Moshi Records titled Bumps Per Minute (18 Studies for Dodgems) which comes with five different sleeve options for vinyl lovers.

Anna Meredith, Bumps Per Minute album cover shows Anna sitting in a dodgem amongst some sand dunes © Mike Massaro
Anna Meredith, Bumps Per Minute © Mike Massaro

The experience is an adrenaline burst, each aspect of the music functioning together to provide a high-octane antidote to the previous year’s dirge of lockdowns and restrictions. It’s a total sensory hit. 

Loud & Quiet