Noisy Toys can be found at public events throughout the UK, see below for a list of upcoming events.
If you are hosting your own event and would like Noisy Toys to come along get in touch. We have different options for large busy festivals, community festivals, birthday parties or any other kind of event. You decide on the balance between entertainment and education but be aware: we always include plenty of both…
Drop-in activities including Nose Testing, Bass Buzz, non-Newtonian Goop
This will be the first public presentation of the new Gurgle Splosher
A playful and interactive sound-sculpture model of the water cycle.
At the top of the Gurgle Splosher is the upper ‘cloud’ reservoir which is a large, clear tank filled with water. At the bottom is the ‘sea’ reservoir; a painted old-fashioned metal bath-tub. Water is pumped from the lower to the upper reservoirs when needed, and can then take several routes back down through the system, as determined by the actions of the visitors.
Many different water sounds are produced; rain, flowing streams, drips, sudden deluges, bubbles, splashes and of course Gurgles and Sploshes. As well as these beautiful watery sounds, the moving mechanical parts, flowing water, drips and bubbling tubs will be fascinating to watch; the appearance of the Gurgle Splosher will combine elements of Victorian pumping stations with modern domestic guttering systems, and a healthy dose of Heath Robinson.
Water flow systems
All of these systems can be regulated by visitors turning taps, pulling levers and blowing into bubble hoses.
Two Shower-heads scatter water from the upper reservoir either side onto ‘rain plates’ which have various items of cutlery, pots and pans on them. Visitors (if they don’t mind getting wet!) can rearrange these to change the sounds of rain hitting the objects.
Centrally placed on the system is a large ‘Shishi Odishi’ tube. Unlike the traditional Japanese bamboo water feature this is a large clear plastic tube, but just like the originals, it gradually fills, until the weight of the water reaches a tipping point and the whole tube tips and disgorges suddenly into the lower reservoir. This results in a large Splosh sound, and minor splashes to nearby visitors.
A gutter system splits smaller channels of water off through holes to drip and cascade past various suspended acoustic objects (teaspoons etc) that tinkle and chime in response.
Amplification & Recording
Hydrophones (water microphones) contact and acoustic microphones are placed throughout the systems as well as positioned to pick up people’s reactions as they play. The sounds are sent to a mixing desk and sound processors, from where they are mixed by a sound engineer (that’s me), amplified through a powerful PA system and recorded multi-channel. Afterwards the recordings are edited and made available for free download.
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Our fourth STEAM workshop!
Come along and find out how to make instruments with Noisy Toys! Learn what’s inside computers and other electronic items by destroying them, and using their innards to create new instruments.
We will also be experimenting with circuits, discovering hidden acoustic properties of objects, improving our use of tools, making instruments and then playing around with them to finish off with a lovely Noise Jam.
As well as technical and creative content, there is a strong message of sustainability here as we address issues around electronic waste: the true cost of the products, consequences of obtaining and disposing of the materials, built-in obsolescence and the disposability of consumer electronics. Despite these weighty themes, we will have a lot of fun as everyone loves taking stuff apart, building circuits and making some noise!
Steve Summers (Noisy Toys)
The workshop is part of ‘Bringing STEAM into Hulme’, a 2 month programme of art and science events at the Old Abbey. The series is funded by The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, and is coordinated by Jana Wendler and Sam Illingworth.
more info soon…
Screwdrivers in hand we will demolish old computers and scavenge any useful bits from their innards for up-cycling into Noisy instruments.