17 Aug 21

Sound Generator: Spotlight on Natalie Sharp

Natalie Sharp

Sound UK’s new artist development programme, Sound Generator, supports early career artists and the work they present.

In this series of Spotlight interviews, we will find out more about the artists on this year’s programme, delve deeper into their Sound Generator project and discover what the process has meant to them.

This week, we talk to Natalie Sharp, aka the Lone Taxidermist.

Can you tell us about your Sound Generator project? Where did the initial inspiration come from?

The initial inspiration was a mix of three things: 1. My fascination in fungi and mycelium networks, 2. migrational systems within ecology, humans specifically and my mothers journey to the UK, and 3. Spume, which my friend kept sending me photos of that happened to be along the coast line of cumbria. I got to thinking about these three systems combining and what might happen in the liminal space of a coastline.

How has your idea developed during this project so far? And what have you learnt?

I have had what feels like a very self indulgent time, as I wouldn’t usually be afforded so much time into research on a project.

I've been making a massive infinity scroll with a whole series of images relating to the coast line and the ecologies found therein. The development has been through discussing it with my mentors, which has made me think about not only how to present the idea in 2d and 3d form, but also about creating a new listening device.

I've been learning how micro controllers work and understanding eco-systems.

What has this opportunity meant to you?

It's a bit like going back into further education, but more within the parameters of anti-university where you get to choose your teachers and spend nice and long periods of time figuring things out with the support of Sound UK and my mentors.

So it's meant that I’ve felt visible within a unique set of creative minds. It's meant that I feel like I’m part of something.

Has it helped you to develop your creative practice? If so, how?

It certainly has. I've been able to shift away from creating performative live music to doing something more sustainable and less ephemeral.

Who are your key musical influences?

Cosey Fanni Tutti, Laurie Anderson, Eartha Kitt, Bjork, Freddie Mercury, Grace Jones, Leigh Bowery, Suzanne Ciani, Delia Derbyshire.

What have you been listening to recently? Any new music recommendations?

Lots and lots of 90s R&B, lots and lots of filthy Drum & Bass. The most recent thing to blow me away was Clipping - Vsions of Bodies Being Burned. It's fierce and it makes me feel both scared and hardcore as I'm cycling along the towpath canal. Like I'm in the apocalypse!

What are your hopes for the project? How do you see it developing beyond this initial 6-month award?

Wouldn't it be great to make a massive sea conch shell? Like a listening post the size of a lighhouse and position it on any coastline. My heroines always say dream big so that’s what I'll do!

To find out more about her work, visit Natalie Sharp's Instagram page. We look forward to sharing more information on her Sound Generator project as it develops.

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