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The Listening Room: SALTINGS and Sean Addicott

I’ve built up something of a backlog of photographs to post from St George’s Listening Room, now that it’s finished for the season. The final gig in the series featured two separate artists: SALTINGS (in collaboration with Sophie Jackson) and Sean Addicott. Both musicians create ambient soundscapes, and experiencing them together made for an amazing contrast. SALTINGS create sounds that have a real sense of menace to them; the music was jarring and eerie, with a palpable feeling of discomfort running through it. By contrast, Addicott’s performance filled me with utter calm – to me it was as though he was expressing, through music, how it feels to sit still and breathe. I really, really enjoyed both performances.

As an audience member I’d been looking forward to this gig a lot, but as a photographer I was feeling semi-wary! A few weeks prior to the gig, I had a conversation with Sean Addicott in which he told me that he and Andrew [Cooke, of SALTINGS] were hoping to make St George’s Glass Studio as dark as possible. It sounded like a fantastic way to experience the music, but as a photographer I found myself cursing the fact that gigs tend to happen in such dark environments!

It’s always a fantastic learning experience to take photographs in that kind of environment though. I think low light conditions have started pushing me to be more creative with my composition, and given me a much better understanding of light in general. And I’m really pleased to say that I got some photos from this gig that I absolutely love!

In the end though, I was so drawn in by the soundscapes that I actually didn’t take too many. I spent more of my time thinking about composition, taking in the feel of the room, and trying to experience the music. I don’t really think I have any regrets about that.


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