Kate Carr (Electronic Music, 2023)Kate Carr. Photo Jonathan Crabb

Kate Carr

Shortlisted in 2023 for Electronic Music

Kate Carr is a sound artist and field recordist whose practice investigates the relationship between the soundscapes we collectively create and how we experience our shared public spaces. She works across composition, performance and installation. Everything from vibrations caused by cars and footfalls, to overheard murmurs, public speeches, music in public spaces, and the roar of distant sporting events has found its way into her compositions, and live performances. Inspired by the layers, minglings and silences in our collective soundscapes, Kate is interested in composing works that probe the soundscape for clues as to how we negotiate living together. She is particularly focused on hybrid soundscapes: where the forest meets town, nuclear power plant meets wetland, and booming car stereo meets the residential street. 

In her live work, Kate examines some of the ambiguities of field recording, pursuing a practice which blurs live foley work with field recording techniques. As such her instruments move from scientific rockers, massage guns, bird horns, frog rattles, and watering cans to bug clickers in compositions which aim to trouble the associations of authenticity often attached to field recording, versus the sonic fictions of foley work. 

In 2022 Kate also began composing and performing as part of the duo RUBBISH MUSIC with Iain Chambers where the pair built soundscapes from discarded objects. This live work has seen Kate and Iain performing with shampoo bottles, toilet plungers, oven grills and rusty saucepans. 

Her most recent commissions include: a new composition for The Coventry Biennial and the development of a live performance for Listening to Place at the Barbican. She has also been commissioned to produce new work for Late Junction and The Verb on BBC Radio 3 and interviewed on BBC Radio 6, The World Service and BBC Radio 3. In print, her work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Telegraph, Pitchfork and The Wire among other publications. 

Recent live performances in 2022 in addition to the Barbican include Oscillations Festival (Brussels), Sonic Territories (Vienna) and Supernormal in the UK, and previously at, Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, Instants Chavires (Paris) AB Salon (Brussels) and The Long Now at Kraftwerk (Berlin).

As part of her practice, Kate also runs the sound art imprint Flaming Pines. Her music can be found on the labels Helen Scarsdale (US), Hasana Editions (Indonesia), Rivertones (UK), Longform Editions (Australia) Galaverna (Italy) as well as Flaming Pines. Kate is Australian and lives in London.