Lee Patterson

Tuesday 29th August

live-to-air performances

Lee Patterson – “Terrain”

CCA Theatre, from 7pm Tuesday 29th August.
Tickets: Pay what you can from the CCA Box Office

When considered in detail, the tabletop could be viewed as a kind of miniature landscape, a plateau upon which specific activities are to take place. Terrain: for amplified objects and devices makes use of the table as impromptu stage where Patterson will open up and play the often inaudible sound world emitted by otherwise mute devices and objects. 

It is an improvised musical work that draws upon his live, studio and landscape based practice of the last 20 years, during which he has used sound recording and amplification to explore the potential of places, to probe everyday materials and uncover the sound associated with the transformation of energy. 

Scavenging and foraging, scouring streets, woodlands, second hand shops, fly tipping sites as well as his own domestic environment, he has harnessed the objects and sonic phenomena discovered to devise the range of processes, techniques and unique sound making devices with which he performs live.

As he activates the objects and instruments arrayed upon the table, he makes liberal use of contact microphones, pick ups and amplification as his sole method of electronic manipulation. Thus creating a range of timbres, rudimentary tones and sympathetic vibrations, periodic and aperiodic events, imperfect loops and disrupted drones, which reflect and draw upon his interests in early and traditional music, techno, industrial music, improvised music and power electronics as well as field/location recording.

As a live, improvised music work, Terrain is an experiment in chemical and mechanical sound synthesis, it may or may not feature the amplification and activation of materials ranging from rock chalk to burning nuts and seeds; old cd players and their motors; effervescent salts to amplified springs and vibrating metal to buzzing ampoules.


Through using sound recording to train his ears, Patterson has developed a dual practice that includes live performance and fixed works. By exploiting chemical and mechanical synthesis, he has created a range of amplified devices and processes that produce or uncover complex sound in unexpected places.

From rock chalk to springs, from burning nuts to aquatic life and insect chants inside plants, he eavesdrops upon and makes a novelty of playing objects and situations otherwise considered mute.

His collaborators have included Mika Vainio, Jennifer Walshe, Vanessa Rossetto, David Toop, Rhodri Davies and John Butcher, Greg Pope, Benedict Drew, Luke Fowler, Lucio Capece, Rie Nakajima, Angharad Davies, Keith Rowe, John Tilbury, Xavier Charles and Tetsuya Umeda.

His works have featured on UK television, BBC Radios 3, 4 and 6, Resonance FM and on radio stations worldwide.

He lives and works in Prestwich, Manchester, UK.