Aswarm (Ltd) is a transformative public arts company based in the UK. It is also the home of Artist & Sound Designer Thor McIntyre-Burnie (Aswarm’s Director).
‘Best Temporary Installation Project’ Award Winner 2015. Thor McIntyre Burnie/ Tannoy (Wind Tunnel Project) – International ProSound Awards 2015.
“The Speakers was the talking point of the Biennale” – Annoushka Hempel, Founder & Director of Colombo Art Biennale 2014
“It all hung on the extraordinary sounds captured by Chris Watson and Thor M-B, 10 years ago” – Chris Maume Independent 2012
“Acoustic art and industrial architecture make music ..and since no one is going to build cathedral-like spaces for artists like Thor McIntyre to play in, all the more reason to open up derelict and disused industrial spaces to artistic exploration.” - Trevor Cox, New Scientist 2014.
“like the sort of otherworldly space Andrei Tarkovsky conjured in his film Stalker. Much credit must go to McIntyre-Burnie’s installation, which conditions visitors to approach the space more carefully.” - D Warde-Aldam Apollo Magazine 2014.
“For that one night, something transforming happened. As young people gazed transfixed, Lyn knew that their image of Woolwich High Street would never be the same again. Just in the same way Lyn herself cannot walk down the Mall now without seeing the Sultan’s Elephant.” It was Aswarm’s “Gather”: a commission by Without Walls staged as part of the Greenwich and Docklands Festival.” – Extract from Lyn Gardner’s (Theatre Critic, the Guardian) keynote address to Arts Council England 2009.
“The Speakers” has brought to life a fascinating paradox consisting of intense emotions or complex thoughts.. .. momentarily breaking down the barrier between the digital world and the reality of human life.” – Ariane Bieou Coordinatrice IN SITU Europe.
_______________________PROJECTS COMING UP_____________________________
• Can You Hear Me? Residency on Flatholm Island over 2018 culminating in a Public Art Commission in 2019. Cardiff RSBP + Cardiff Harbour Authority + SoundLands. Focused on historic island of Flatholm 5 miles offshore, in the Bristol Channel, bringing it closer to the people of Cardiff through a new commission to be installed on Cardiff Barrier.
• Threads of the Unsaid.. Shakespeare’s BirthPlace Trust. New Summer Commission. - Developing a version of Romeo & Juliet without the script.. creating an immersive installation to explore how Shakespeare’s work resides in the public consciousness, recreating in sound and spoken word, Audio Description and stage direction, memory and reflection, a crowd-scripted play to walk within.. - Evolving over 6wks of summer ’18, featuring the Recollecta Salon. Culminating in a multi-channel sound installation giving voice to this crowd-scripted play on Sat 1st Sept. #giveascript = the digital strand of Threads of the Unsaid.. taking off on-line. check it.
• Project VEAR 2.0. The mega vocalic installation initially commissioned for Hull City of Culture 2017, is being developed into a tourable beast in collaboration with Oxford Contemporary Music, Oxford City Council, 101 Creation Space, Creative Barking & Dagenham. – Next Appearing November 2018- Watch this space!!
• Flight Paths. New production & a further Collaboration with UK’s leading visually impaired theatre company Extant. (opens Jan 2019).
• Ordinary Grief. New collaborative work with Vertical Dancer Lindsey Butcher and company Gravity & Levity.
and more to follow..
Project VEAR- A Major new Commission with Hull City of Culture 2017. ( *This project has its own PROJECT PAGE in Menu bar) - Creating a whole series of mini interventions accross Hull city over 2017, culminating in a Final Installation VOICE PARK. (* starting with some undercover pilot ventures in summer 2016 incl: Transforming a Bus Stop with ’voices’ of Hull writers, poets and folk.
Don’t Panic Chair ROAM Wandsworth Fringe Festival Public Art Commission. – A Touring Panic Chair. -Creating an interactive exhibit based around panic attacks and mental health awareness. May 2016. The chair offers 2 panic buttons: 1 relays people talking about their experiences of Panic Attacks and anxiety, the 2nd relays peoples experience of how they get themselves out of or thru an episode.
The Speakers @ Audiograft .curated by the Sonic Art Research Unit (SARU) at Oxford Brookes University and co-promoted by OCM. On the anniversary of Russia’s 1917 ‘February Revolution’ we open in Oxford.
Clang! Boom! Bang! - Collaboration with UCL Speech Hearing & Phonetic Sciences prof Valerie Hazan (Head of Research Department )& Senior research prof Outi Tuomainen, for the Bloomsbury Festival Oct 2016. Interpreting current research into how people adapt their speech when speaking in situations in which communication is difficult or with hearing loss.
Shakespeare’s Birth Place 400th Anniversary - Site-specific commission for the newly re-opening Shakespeare’s Birth Place. Produced by BOSI Dec 2016.
Voices That Take You Places. Transforming a working public bus stop in Hull (as a covert commission to sew the seeds for Hull City of Culture 2017). Over 5 days people magically found a bus stop metamorphasis into a haven, with a wood burning stove, sofa, tea, & biscuits, soundtrack selector, turf, horns that appeared to burst up from the ground spouting poets from Hull and a Bus times digital display hacked with poetry and prose especially commissioned and selected for day dreaming at a bus stop.. (*more info below)
The Speakers - in the Mandela Gardens of Wilberforce Institute for Slavery & Emancipation (WISE) & William Wilberforce House, Freedom Festival 2016. – inc work with OpenDoors Refugee Centre, WISE, A Firm of Poets Word on the Street & Hull poets.
Hugbag - People United 10th anniversary Kindness Commission. Developing an installation & system to train in the art of embracing & making connections, whilst walking amidst a neural network of sonic squeezables. Newham Big Lottery Ramsgate. Collaboration with Chloe Osborne & Katie Frances. Apr-July. (*more info below)
Dr Blighty – Collaboration with Nutkhut & designer Tom Piper. Brighton Festival 1418Now commission. Installation performance Pavilion Gardens, Brighton. May 24-29th
The Speakers Jardin de la Guirlande - New adaption themed around the notion of ‘Refuge’ in public space & the EU in partnership withLa Boutique D’Ecriture . Curated by Lieux Public, @ ZAT Festival, Montpelier, France. April 9-10th
Pod 2.0 - Guest Artistic Direction. Collaborative Development of Mike Blow & Alison Ballards Pods 1.0, Hogarth Productions and Oxford Contemporary Music – Helping redevelop sonic sculpture Pod (Pair), into Pod 2.0 a larger scale performance installation, a flock of 8. 101 space, Audiograft March, Reading Capital of Culture March, OCM Oxford dec.
A number of other projects in progress incl:
Designing a touring installation for The History of Parliament Trust • New collaboration with vertical dancer Lindsey Butcher Gravity & Levity • New aerial theatre production with Scarabaeus • Romantic Botanics with Miraculous Theatre • Developing a site-specific project with an amazing derelict paper factory with Scenekunst Østfold Norway • Site-specific project ‘Sonic Poetics’ Ioannina 2021 European Capital of Culture bid.
New 4 part Film* online of ’Flying into the Dawn’ the AWARD WINNING: – ‘Best Temporary Installation Project’ Winner 2015. Thor McIntyre Burnie/Tannoy (Wind Tunnel Project) – ProSound Awards 2015. – (*4 new films by ShyCamera)
(Video above is 1st part of my 3 building Installation, The Wind Tunnel Project here )
ReWire the Bustop - Over a 5 day period in Sept 16, a Bus Stop on Hulls Beverly Rd, began to transform over nights.. Day1: A Real Time Display appeared, featuring the words of local poets & writers composed for the hack’d device. Day2: A plush bespoke sofa fitted, a wood burner and Re-Rediffusion hosts provided fresh mint tea. whilst a Rediffusion selector switch offered a soundtrack selection.. Day 3: The bus stop grew an island of plush turf and a series of strange horns sprouted up thru the tarmac, featuring the words of locals and specially commissioned poets which combined with eh soundtrack helped you travel whilst you wait.. **More info to follow on this covert project.
•The Speakers @ Freedom Festival
- In Mandela Gardens of WISE & William Wilberforce House, for FreedomFestival 2016. - inc. work with OpenDoors Refugee Centre, Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery & Emancipation, Poets & Spoken word artists from A Firm of Poets Word on the Street (inc. Zena Edwards, Holly McNIsh, Joe Hakim, Michele D, Catherine Scott, Robert Eunson, Richard Harries, Mehdi)
• HugBag Hugbag – People United 10th anniversary Kindness Commission. Developing an installation & system to train in the art of embracing & making connections, whilst walking amidst a neural network of sonic squeezables. Developed with Newham Big Lottery, BestFest. Ramsgate. Apr-July. - Developed in collaboration with Chloe Osborne and Kati Francis.
• Dr Blighty -1418 & Brighton Festival A series of sound installations set around the Brighton Pavilion for NutCut‘s collaborative multi-platform project about the role of Indian Soldiers in WW1, when the Pavilion was turned into a Field Hospital for Indian soldiers.. Inc collaboration with Designer Tom Piper on a series of pavilions and composer Shri Sriram.
• Pod 2.0 - Guest Artistic Direction in collaboration with Alison Ballard, Mike Blow, Hogarth Productions and Oxford Contemporary Music OCM – Helping redevelop tactile sonic sculpture piece Pod (pair), into a larger touring performance installation Pod 2.0 – a flock of 8 pods. •Audiograft March • Reading Capital of Culture March • OCM Dec.2016
• The Speakers @ Montpelier ZAT festival: New adaption themed around the notion of ‘Refuge’ in public space & in the EU. In partnership with La Boutique D’Ecriture (& Refugee writing groups), curated by Lieux Public.April 9-10th.
• Stanmer Speaking: Giving voice to the role & history of a unique public park space, via one of its oldest residents, a 1000+ yr old Yew Tree. Extending the Yew branches to the ground, as they would naturally grow & re-sead up anew, copper pipes resprout vocal gourds, cyphering the many voices that use, live and work this place.. Stanmer Park, Brighton, UK. 25/26th Nov 2015. (Zap & Inroads Productions commission)
• The Speakers new commission for: Marseilles Travellings Festival by Lieux Public & INSITU, France: Opens 25-27th Sept 2015. -Content focus on question of ‘What is a refuge for you?”. Working both with local residents & users of Parc Deand the Refugee (more info on The Speakers Page)
• The Speakers new commission for Pristina, Kosova 10th -13th Sept 2015. Right in the centre of the capital Pristina , next to the PM’s office! & the national hero statue of Skenderbeu. A new commission for the first year of Kosovas’ first & only festival of Art in Public Space: HAPU - Sponsored by The British Council & INSITU (VIDEO & more info The Speakers Page)
Rites of Rubble. + The Body-less Soldier. -Site specific Installations in Gunpowder magazines of NEWHAVEN FORT, UK : - part of WW1 project Home Fires with Zap Arts & Inroads Productions. April 17-22nd 2015.
TOURING EXHIBIT _ THE BODY-LESS SOLDIER. - An exhibit Touring WW1 Museums & Centres in UK. Featuring a mix of Interviews with Blind War Veterans (WW1 Centenary Oral History Project)
BELOVED: Sound Design Collaboration with one of UK’s leading Aerial Theatre companies Scarabeus:
Touring UK: Summer Tour incl London City Festival and Autumn dates below bOing! Festival, Canterbury 29 August 2015at 1pm and 3pm South Hill Park, Bracknell 12 September 2015 at 3pm and 7pm Bell Square, Hounslow 26 September 2015 at 2pm and 6.15pm
The Wind Tunnels Project
7th June-20th July 2014.
Farnborough, London UK. – An extensive site specific solo commission to re-awaken 3 vast spaces, open to the public for the first time. http://thewindtunnelproject.com/
New Short Doc film about Flying Into The Dawn – made by ShyCamera:
THE SPEAKERS - An evolving project which adapts to each new location & time. Adding new layers of content and new forms of interventions into public space.
• 29/30th Dec 2014 @ Burns Birthplace Museum> Ana That Festival> Scotland.
• 31st Oct-2 Nov 2014 @ BELGIUM. Samhain Festival & Klankenbos Sound Art Forest, Neerplet. - Art Trail Commission by TAKT Dommelhof and Musica Impulse Centre for Music. Here long term old collaborator and artist Toby Jarvis re-enters the fold (Aswarm). - Here’s a sneak preview of the location in the midst of the worlds only sound art forest Klankenbos. incl: a sealed glass cube called Tacet, the forest around which The Speakers will occupy, along with a new element of Voice Responsive Light Fences, inspired by WW1‘s Dodendraad (‘Wire of Death’ dividing Belgium and Holland).
• 5-9th August @ LaStrada, Graz, Austria. Opening the day Britain declared war on Germany 100 yrs ago, in Arch Duke Ferdinand’s home town, in this special version I collaborated with Austria’s leading WW1 Historian Helmut Konrad, a team of 9 Historians co-ordinated by Stefan Benedik, gathering half the content from archived texts (much of which previously unpublished) from the Hinterland during WW1, contextualised with the Tweets from current zones of conflict & resistance. http://www.lastrada.at/en/programm/thor-mcintyre-burnie-gb/
• 14th-22nd June 2014. @ Oerol Festival, Island of Terschelling, Netherlands. Europe’s leading festival for site-specific art set in the environment. http://www.oerol.nl/festival/programma-a-z/
Here responding to the WW2 bomb crater forest clearing, we asked visitors a related personal question and over 10 days their input gradually replaced the content anew..
- A collaboration with Darshan Singh Bhuller, Lindsey Butcher’s Gravity & Levity and BBC Afghanistan Correspondent David Loyn.
Rites of War – Spring Tour Dates:
May 1st,2nd & 3rd at Stratford Circus, London https://www.stratford-circus.com • May 13th & 14th at The Lowry, Salford http://www.thelowry.com • June 4th & 5th The Lighthouse, Poole http://lighthousepoole.co.uk/rites-of-war • June 15th, Mobilsation Festival at Kendrew Barracks http://a4r.org.uk/events/mobilisation/ • For Autumn Tour Dates – watch this space!
Tue 28 Oct, 8pm & Wed 29 Oct, 4pm Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington
Fri 14 & Sat 15 Nov, 7.30pm The Point, Eastleigh
Sat 22 Nov, 7.30pm The Riverfront, Newport
Photographer Credits: Shaun Jackson (Flying Into the Dawn)