Somerset House Studios resident

Sam Williams + Roly Porter

Visual artist Sam Williams and composer Roly Porter collaborate for the first time on a live performance and moving image work.

Somerset House Studios
New Wing

Sam Williams is a visual artist working in moving image, installation and performance. Sam’s work and research takes place in the “spaces between” – between the cinematic and the somatic, the inner and the outer, the body and the landscape. He is motivated by the uncertainty and unpredictability of encounters, and how by looking at what happens in these spaces can open up new possibilities.

Roly is a composer and sound designer working in electronic music for installation, performance, film and game. His work is an attempt to combine sound design, the aggression of sound system music and the compositional structure and instrumentation of classical music. After leaving the functional constraints of working in dance music he now works towards music without obvious function but which occupies a coherent universe with its own rules. He looks for inspiration and collaboration in dance, film, acoustic and classical music or folk traditions. His current research project is focused on immersive spaces and virtual realities.

“To listen politically is to detect the traces of not-yet-articulated common agendas.”

Anna Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World

“Salvage Rhythms” is a performance combining the language and systems of archaeological excavations, mycelial networks, compost, fungus and non-human relationships to explore new possibilities of survival and connection in this current time of political and environmental precarity. 

Three bodies occupy a space, engaged in individual tasks. As time passes they encounter one another and as they do so, they struggle and learn to survive in new conditions – sometimes successfully birthing a new way of living and other times failing and falling apart. Much like a compost heap or wormery, this structure erodes and the boundaries between bodies and once-rigid boundaries become liquid.

The live sound score will be affected by movement, position, touch and interaction, where we can deliver a different musical outcome in real time, allowing performers to respond directly - affecting harmony, pace and intensity in a feedback cycle. A system where energy is mirrored and returned in another form.

Performed by and developed with Samir Kennedy, Leah Marojevic & Karen Callaghan.