Deja View



Real feeling of deja vu, looking thru' the old 1831 RIOT! files from 2003/04. Still astounded by the quality of the recordings with a fantastic cast of actors (made out at the old Hewlett-Packard Labs site in Frenchay/Bristol in the sound studio). So much material! I think it took me 3 days of solid work to even schedule the recordings. Where are you today Peter Townsend, Ben Tinniswood, Chris McCalphy, Christine West, Leona Walker, Tim Prior - what a crew of professionals!

So, we've started (as of August 2017) re-making 1831 RIOT!, 'the world's first located audio-play for an intelligent environment' (The Guardian). The original was created in 2013-2014 after an idea of mine - I went to a seminar on new digital media and Hewlett-Packard Labs were talking about their new software which allowed content to be linked to specific locations. 'Wow,' I thought, 'that could be used to allow the very stones and multiple layers of the City to talk to you!' I went back home and immediately phoned HP in Palo Alto in Sunny California (always best to take the bold approach!). 'Did you know Hewlett-Packard have research labs just outside Bristol,' the woman said (can't remember who she was!), 'why don't you talk to them?'

I did. They happened to be keen to let artists destruction-test their creations and use them in weird ways never before thought of by personkind ... and Mobile Bristol had some money. Right idea, right place, right time ... now what did I need to make some sort of located soundscape? Why - a film-maker. Liz Crow. No-brainer. Just up the road, too.

The rest is herstory: Liz and I wrote the scripts, leaning for the research on such luminaries as Steve Poole/UWE historian keen on the underdog's role in 'history'; we auditioned and contracted the above fabulous team of actors; we spent 3 exhausting days recording at HP Labs out in Frenchay, we drove the HP team to distraction with stupid questions such as 'hey, can you make the software do THIS??? Oh, why not?', the scape was built and, in early 2004, trialled for 3 weeks on Queen Square where the actual 1831 Reform Riots took place (I'll post the background to the actual riots, why they happened etc later...). You had to have an HP iPaq palmtop thingy (remember them?) to access the content. Those were Ye Olde Days Before Smartphones (remember them? If you wanted to talk to someone you had to go home and ring them on the blower!).

 An Historical Document (Soundscape1) for 1831 RIOT!


And this is what we're doing 13 years later (work-in-progress):



The main culprits:

Writers and producers: Liz Crow and Ralph Hoyte; Sound Design: Armin Elsaesser
Original idea: Ralph Hoyte
; Cast : Chris McCalphy, Tim Prior, Ben Tinniswood, Peter Townsend, Leona Walker, Christine West; Musicians: Stefan Hoyte, Simon Toomer; historical background: Steve Poole, University of the West of England; Mobile Bristol Team: Project Manager : Jo Reid; Software Architect: Richard Hull; Authoring Tools : Ben Clayton; Logic Implementation : Kirsten Cater; Media Enhancements : Greg Jablonski; Supported by: DTI, Mobile Bristol, HP Labs, University of Bristol Computing Department, Appliance Studio, Yucca Media 


 

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