Making music with Light and Electronics

Join us for a weekend with Sound Artist Vicky Clarke. You will have the opportunity to build your own noise machine and compose music with light, electronics and radios.

Vicky Clarke and her Noise Machine

Register here

Age: 11+ (upper age limit is 22)
Prior experience: 
University of Huddersfield
When: 17 – 18th August 2019
10am – 3pm

Course Description

Day 1: Build a Noise Machine

A hands on DIY audio electronics session for beginners where you will build your very own Noise Machine, which translates light into sound! What’s a Noise Machine? A simple synthesizer circuit that makes a buzzing droning electronic sound. The light sensor changes the tone of the sound. In the first part of this session, you’ll learn about electronic components, how a circuit works and build your own instrument. In the afternoon, we will experiment with turntables, light and paper to generate noise rhythms with your newly built machine and record the sounds.

Day 2: Radio Sampling Experiments and Soundscape

You will learn sampling techniques by recording audio content from radios and youtube and use this sonic material along with our light recordings from Day 1 to create your own soundscape. You will learn how to record into Ableton music software and use the Push controller to sequence and chop up the audio to create your own soundscape piece.


  • Learn about electronic circuits, signal flow and components
  • Experience DIY approaches to music making
  • Study and discuss Sound Art History, links to Russian avantgarde – Theremin/Noise machines and Radio Art
  • Learn to use Ableton and the Albeton Push Controller and develop insight into production software to create soundscapes
  • Learn sampling techniques using Ableton Push Controller: Chopping, looping, sequencing

On completion of this course, participants will have created a short showreel that may be submitted as part of an Arts Award or ASDAN qualification.

Vicky Clarke is a sound artist and electronic musician working with handmade electronic instruments and sound sculpture. Her practice encompasses a range of audio formats, technologies, sound objects and archive material to create sound that explores noise, space and human-machine interaction. Recent project MATERIALITY saw her explore sound sculpture to interface the physical and digital in music making, collaborating with researchers at the National Graphene Institute to create a Graphene musical interface for Ableton.

She has undertaken residencies and performed in the UK and Internationally including CTM Festival, Berlin, STEIM, Q02, National Science and Media Museum and Pervasive Media Studios, her ‘Waves around Edges’ a live composition responding to the Delia Derbyshire archive for Manchester After Hours at John Rylands Library. As co-founder of Noise Orchestra a project developing electronic Noise Machines that translate light into sound; their recent project ‘SWARM: Play the light of the city’ was awarded the ENLIGHT: European Light Expression Network residency to develop portable synthesizers to play in urban environments, which premiered at Rome Media Art festival in 2018.

* these workshops are for young women and non-binary gender people