Sound Before Symbol

21 Jun 2018 – 16 Sep 2018

Regular hours

10:00 – 20:00
10:00 – 20:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 20:00
10:00 – 20:00
10:00 – 20:00

Save Event: Sound Before Symbol17

I've seen this3

People who have saved this event:



England, United Kingdom

Event map

DKUK is pleased to present Sound Before Symbol, an exhibition of new works by Fay Nicolson.


Sound Before Symbol emerges from a long term exploration of aesthetic education and its transformative potential as a hands-on method of learning. Fay focuses on embodied knowledge and ways it can be accumulated, shared and valued. Over the past two years Fay’s practice has expanded from­ image and performance to explore the voice and polyphony. Whether visual, spatial or sonic, gestural and physical modes of making inform each other to establish an aesthetic project which exists beyond the autonomy of any single object.

In Sound Before Symbol Fay re-imagines the DKUK salon as an expanded musical score, using the room’s horizontal display system to host clusters of abstract musical visualisations. This gestural language depicts elements of Fay’s compositions and the ways she will teach them to a group of performers.

Sound Before Symbol aims to visualise and choreograph musical relationships emphasising the value of experience and experimentation in developing musical understanding. In preparation for this project Fay has researched pedagogical methods, specifically The Dalcroze and Kodály methods. The title of the exhibition refers to the Kodály methods key principle. Supported by an a-n bursary Fay has undertaken a course in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, focusing on developing innate musicality through rhythmic movement, ear training and improvisation.

Spa Songs, a new performance will be taking place at the Brunel Museum 10 September, 2018. 

Spa Songs is a work of voice and movement arranged for 8 performers. Fay composed this song cycle as an intuitive and abstract response to Bermondsey and certain motifs that recur throughout its history (communities of retreat, tidal rhythms of flooding and burning, polyphony and palimpsest).  Fay adopted a unique acoustic perspective to respond to this place; imagining Motets spilt from the Cluniac Abbey, Folk from the dock in bloom, Punk from its decay, and melancholy House from the Woodmill a decade ago. These influences have been melted and channelled into a sensitive polyphonic work that offers a personal perspective on place and voice.


Fay (b. Derby 1984) graduated from the Royal College of Art 2011 and CSM 2006. She lives and works in London.

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Fay Nicolson

Related events


Have you been to this event? Share your insights and give it a review below.