Tyneside Sounds Society

with Michael Mchugh

The Tyneside Sounds Society is a monthly broadcast dedicated to the recording and reinterpretation of the sonic environment and sound heritage of Tyneside in the North East of England.

Previous episodes

Tyneside Sounds Society #18 - Gateshead Garden Festival 1990 (Part 1)

Sunday 24th March 2019 22:00 - 23:00 GMT

From 1984 until 1992 five National Garden Festivals were held in the UK. One of them was in Gateshead in the North East of England in 1990. It lasted 157 days across that summer and received over three million visitors.

The Garden Festivals were the idea of UK Conservative environment secretary Michael Heseltine in 1980. They were based on the German post-war Bundesgartenschau concept for reclaiming large areas of derelict land in cities.

All the festivals were held in designated areas — reclaimed land that had become derelict and poisonous in the wake of industrial decline. Other festivals were held in Liverpool, Stoke and Glasgow. They each cost between £25 — £70 million.

Michael McHugh is joined by artists and mytho-geosonic experts Tim Shaw and John Bowers for an exhaustive journey along the River Team and through the landscape and footpaths of the former festival on the eve of this years vernal equinox.

It's very different to how it was in 1990 and if you look closely, in amongst the empty bottles of white cider, 30 years of lager cans, discarded laptops, torn suitcases, condoms and nitrous oxide bulbs you’ll find remnants of the festival’s sculptures, landscaping and foundations.

It's an eerie interzone and that makes the aspiration and ambition of the 1990 festival feel somewhat unreal.

This is a two part broadcast with Part 2 broadcast in April.

Tyneside Sounds Society #17 - No 54 to Ravetown

Sunday 24th February 2019 22:00 - 23:00 GMT

This month's Tyneside Sounds Society is a temporal diversion from the usual field recordings, reportage and journeying around the North East. A personal inner world excursion and exploration of a heritage techno vibe that includes tracks from Railway Raver, DMX Krew, Autechre, Drexciya, Gescom amongst some other mad oddities that have been picked up over the years. Purchase a day rider and hop on board!

Tyneside Sounds Society #16 - Chopwell, Communists & Dead Anglo Saxons

Sunday 27th January 2019 22:00 - 23:00 GMT

Chopwell is an isolated rural village in West Gateshead with a really interesting heritage. Enduring bitter 50 mph winds and below freezing wind chill TSS venture out to unearth the occult sounds of Anglo Saxon burial mounds and explore the communist roots of this erstwhile industrialised Tyneside village. Less slow radio and more of a sludge sonic escapade - Thanks to Chopwell residents John & Nina who served as our guides and Tim Shaw for the sonic paranormal investigative apparatus.

Tyneside Sounds Society #15 - Tim Shaw - 'River Tyne'

Sunday 25th November 2018 22:00 - 23:00 GMT

Tim Shaw is a sound artist based in North East of England - he gave me access to field recordings he's made in and around River Tyne in the North East of England over the last 12 months - I've mixed an hours worth of material that offers a slow meditation on this once busy and heavily industrialised river.

It presents a dense portrait of marginalised and liminal spaces along, in and on the river. On board dredgers, underneath bridges and down manholes Tim used hydrophones, contact mics, electromagnetic pick ups and more traditional sound recording. Much of this material was used in collaboration with film maker Leah E Millar for her 16mm film Un.s.scene.

Tyneside Sounds Society #14 - Running

Sunday 28th October 2018 22:00 - 23:00 GMT

"There is likewise a wind on the heath, life is very sweet brother" - George Borrow

This month's show is a straight up DJ mix dedicated to dark brooding wind swept moors and the end of British Summer Time

Tyneside Sounds Society #13 - Tynedale Sounds

Sunday 26th August 2018 22:00 - 23:00 BST

This month's show is dedicated to the sounds of Tynedale in the North East of England.

Tynedale is to the west of Tyneside in South West Northumberland and is marked by the spilt in the River Tyne - which turns intro River Tyne North & South. It's main centre is Hexham, it includes towns and villages like Wylam, Corbridge, St John Lee, Juniper, Haltwhistle and Bardon Mill. Part of Hadrian's Wall runs through it. It was a former local government district with a population of 58,000 it's now part of Northumberland.

The show is a mix of field recordings made by participants of number of Record-A-Thons in Hexham and around Tynedale.

There'll be an exhibition dedicated to Tynedale Sounds at Queen's Hall Arts Centre in Hexham that opens 4 August and runs until 8 September.

Thanks to Dom, Jim, Jimmy, Chris, Sally + Core Music Collective & the Hexham Village Band.

Tyneside Sounds Society #10 - Muhammad Ali

Sunday 25th February 2018 22:00 - 23:00 GMT

40 years ago during the Summer of 1977 Muhammad Ali visited South Shields and Tyneside in the North East of England, touring South Shields in an open top bus and having his marriage blessed at the Al-Ahzar Mosque in the town. In November last year with first snow of winter blowing in we took a life size image of Ali around Jarrow, South Shields and South Tyneside retracing the route he took. We used quotes from the outspoken world champion as prompts to ask people questions about life; South Shields, South Tyneside, their dreams, masculinity and identity. Interviews recorded with Sarah Cotton, Keeper of Contemporary Collecting, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

Tyneside Sounds Society #9 - Lost Horizons

Sunday 28th January 2018 22:00 - 23:00 GMT

This month: Tyneside Sounds Society is a DJ mix by yours truly that combines field recordings from Tyneside in the North East of England and sounds sourced from the global sound map aporee with a dense and emotional selection of tracks for high altitudes and arcane practices.

Tyneside Sounds Society #8 - Museum Failures

Sunday 24th December 2017 22:00 - 23:00 GMT

For this months Tyneside Sounds Society we went on an excursion out of Tyneside in November and joined the delegates at the Museums Association annual conference and exhibition.

The conference is a big deal for museums in the UK, there are 100s of delegates who attend from all over the country representing different museums. The conference and exhibition also includes many companies and organisations that are connected to what is called the heritage industry or museum sector; designers, consultants and people selling things to museums. This year it took place at the Manchester Conference Centre in the North of England.

We went round with a roving mic and asked delegates about failure. Why don't museums talk about it? Why don't they admit failure? Or do they? What is failure to them?

This is an edit of some of the interviews mixed together with an emotional and fun playlist of failure themed tracks.

Thanks to Katy Swift and Jessica Turtle from Museums Association Transformers programme and Festival of Change

Tyneside Sounds Society #7 - The Ashington Mix

Sunday 26th November 2017 22:00 - 23:00 GMT

Ashington is in the North East of England with a population of roughly 27,000 . It’s a former mining town and was once one of the largest colliery sites in Europe. Woodhorn Museum is based on the site of the former Woodhorn Colliery.


We were invited by Woodhorn Museum to work with the young people at the YMCA group based in Ashington town centre and help connect the museum to the different communities and cultures in Ashington and South East Northumberland.


We created mixtapes of their favourite music using compact cassettes, made sounds with samplers and DIY synthesisers, used time coded vinyl to create cut and paste mixes and remixes of the music they love.

We introduced them to the culture of field recording and taught them interview techniques and how to use digital recorders.

As part of a national takeover day of museums in england on 17th November. The group, who are all aged between 13 - 17, donned hi vis jackets and hardhats, interviewed visitors and made recordings around the Woodhorn Museum site, we also played their mixes and sounds we recorded in the galleries and buildings of the museum

The Ashington Mix is a fun and energetic composite of all the mixes, interviews and sounds they made.


Tyneside Sounds Society #3 - Vale of Derwent

Sunday 25th June 2017 22:00 - 23:00 BST

This month: the Derwent Valley in Gateshead and ‘Vale of Derwent’ Manuscript of Frank Kojay held in the archives of Gateshead Central Library on Prince Consort Road.

Frank Kojay’s ”Vale of Derwent“ is a 300 page hand-made and bound book. Roughly A2 in size it contains an obscure, often incoherent mix of local history, wildlife, collage and personal writings. It is almost completely hand-drawn and written.

After Frank Kojay's death in 1971 the book was bequeathed to Gateshead Central Library with instructions that it never be reprinted or made available publicly. To see the book one has to request a viewing at the library.

It’s an unusual, deeply personal and idiosyncratic collection of observations and descriptions of the Derwent Valley in the 1950s.

The River Derwent is a tributary of the River Tyne, it flows for 35 miles from Beldon Burn on the edge of County Durham and Northumberland into the River Tyne at Derwenthuagh next to the large Metrocentre retail park.

Sound artist Ben Freeth invited Tyneside Sounds Society to join him on a series of sound explorations of the Derwent Valley in response to the Frank Kojay book. Along with Gateshead producer Andy Hokano, field recordings were made over the course of 24 hours on 16th & 17th June this year.

Tyneside Sounds Society #2 - Record-A-Thon

Sunday 28th May 2017 22:00 - 23:00 BST

This month: Record-A-Thon.

On the 6th May this year Tyneside’s very first Record-A-Thon took place. This was a flash participatory event designed to quickly captures the sounds of Newcastle City Centre on one given day. Phonographers and field recording enthusiasts; skilled and beginner were invited to George Street Social in the city centre and from their were given a coffee, briefing, map of the centre and asked to go out and record the sounds of the city. Across a 2 hour period from 11am - 1pm they made over 150 recording which were then uploaded to the online sound map Aporee.

15 people attended, including families and young people. This months broadcast is a highlight of the recordings made. Thanks to Dominic Smith; Sally Adams, Jimmy Kipple, Odette Johnson, Lindsay Duncanson, Marek & Lukas Gabrysch, Simon Gregory, Tim Shaw, Alex Boyd, Nat and Solomon Evans and John & Nina Coburn. Some recordings were made in binaural so a headphone listen might be needed for a fuller listening experience.

Tyneside Sounds Society #1 - King George V

Sunday 23rd April 2017 22:00 - 23:00 BST

Now: the first show in the series is dedicated to a gramophone recording from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, featuring a speech by King George V made in the Shipley Art Gallery on 10th October 1928 to mark the opening of the Tyne Bridge. Originally recorded by Columbia Records and featuring additional addresses by Gateshead Town Clerk W. Swinburne, the recordings were published by Columbia as a souvenir of the event. The Shipley Art Gallery celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year.

To mark the centenary, Tyneside Sounds Society orchestrated a Call Out for artists to interpret and rework the original speech into new works for broadcast. With the exception of the creative use of the voice, artists were requested to use only the original recordings, manipulated as they saw fit. The results will be broadcast on Resonance Extra, but you can heard all submissions in full over in a specially curated set on the Tyneside Sounds Society Soundcloud page.

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