Étude for Athlète, Soprano and Viola (2012)

A work in Tinnemans’ strand of Music for Non-Musicians which are mixed discipline works incorporating techniques to create sounds or rhythms as a bi-product of the action that cause them, such as a queue of gymnasts doing their run-jump-crashmat-landing drill. The activities themselves aren’t necessarily about sound and can be produced by anyone from within this discipline. These parts are a source of formulated randomness.


During the London Olympic Games in 2012, the Cultural Olympiad was a nation-wide arts programme of events. It focused on Olympic festivities in remote communities.

After working with the concrete sound of table tennis games being played on stage in Shakespeare and Hedgeshear, see above, this Étude was a next piece involving concrete sounds generated by sport exercises in a more choreographed approach.

setting up the concert, which due to the presence of children was not allowed to be documented
Étude for Athlète, Viola and Soprano (2012)

for four gymnasts, a team of kung-fu artists, viola, soprano and sound processing

A work performed by two musicians and 27 members of various sports communities and of all ages, performed in my local leisure centre in Fishguard.

The performers were instructed starting and stopping series of exercises as the concert progressed, while the viola player and soprano singer were following the score. The performed exercises were chosen for their rhythmical or textural qualities.

Rain paints a Ricochet picture (2012)

for five basket ball players performing dribbling exercises and sound processing

The big weather of my, at the time, recently adopted home in Pembrokeshire, Wales, was a new experience in my life. Never before had I heard so much variety in wind and rain. Below is a description of rain by the late John Hull which inspired me to this work.

I processed live the prepared musique concrète sounds of five basket ball players who were instructed to continuously dribble their balls. Each dribbling sound represented a single drop of rain was sculpted into an ever-changing soundscape, as colourful as Hull’s description and at times as monumental as the big weather I witnessed myself.


“…and I would become aware of the rain. I would press my nose hard against the window, each tiny panel of glass gave a different sound. Then it was as if my consciousness gradually spread out: I realised I could hear the rain hitting the wall. It was different from where it hit the windowpanes. Where it hit the window it reverberated with little echoes. Where it hit the wall it was dull. But then I realised I could hear the water running down the wall. And now I became aware of a distant rushing sound – a spout from the corner of the house and the water was gushing down it. Beyond that, something else… yes.. the rain was falling upon a large bush, I could detect it. And what was between the bush and the spout? Yes… there was a different sound where the rain was hitting the lawn, from where it was hitting the path. The rain had turned the light on…”

John Hull illustrating his experiences of being visually impaired, taken from his lecture in Dartington, 2001

Commission Étude sports exercises production – email

Published by jobinatinnemans

Exploring sound is like exploring a new planet.

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