Bringing the foremost mechanical musical instrument makers and performers to Worcester.

Soundings is a yearlong programme of events funded through Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants and will run as part of Worcester Music Festival 2022-23.

The event series, hosted in St Swithun’s Church, will welcome a number of artists who will deliver a series of ‘Show & Tell’ sessions, as well as evening performances.

We are also inviting you to join the action through our workshops, giving you the chance to get hands-on and craft your own mechanical instruments.

A number of events will take place over the coming twelve months, with the first kicking off on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th, September, before the series culminates in September 2023.

Soundings | Saturday 17th September 2022

The first event will see an incredible line-up of performers deliver a Show & Tell session from 3 pm – 5 pm, where the artists will discuss and demonstrate their creations.

Then, the artists will return for a second session at 7 pm, when an evening of performances will begin!

Tickets are available for both the Show & Tell session and evening performances individually or as a combined All Day Ticket. If you are low/unwaged, you are invited to pay what you can by donating upon arrival, subject to availability. No questions asked.

The incredible line-up:

Sarah Kenchington

Sarah Kenchington will bring her remarkable and constantly evolving semi-mechanical, human-powered orchestra. Designed to be played by one person and create music that is dictated, in part, by the uncontrollable nature of the instruments in the set-up. These include a pedal-powered double-ended hurdy-gurdy banjo, a mechanical sequencer, and a brass band section which uses balloon membranes.

Photo of Sarah Kenchington at Full of Noises

Sarah Kenchington at Full of Noises



Lee Patterson

Lee Patterson’s highly distinctive work exploits mechanical and chemical synthesis. Using sound making and recording to devise performances with a selection of amplified objects, devices and processes, from rock chalk to springs, from burning nuts to vibrating metal, he creates a novelty of playing objects and situations otherwise considered mute.


Lee Patterson in Samo_s hayloft Bucno Fest Photo credit Natasa Serec

Lee Patterson in Samo’s hayloft, Bucno Fest
Photo: Natasa Serec



Mammoth Beat Organ

Mammoth Beat Organ is a modular, mechanical music contraption created by Sam Underwood and Graham Dunning. This two-player, semi-autonomous musical instrument plays unusual, sometimes erratic compositions drawing on drone music, minimalist repetition and fairground organ techniques.

Mammoth Beat Organ at Supersonic Festival 2018 Credit Joe Singh

Mammoth Beat Organ at Supersonic Festival 2018
Photo: Joe Singh

*Please note, both of these events will be filmed throughout.

We are also interested in hearing from any local musical instrument makers who might be interested in showing their work as part of a short ‘open session’ at each event. Please complete the contact form to register your interest.



Soundings | Sunday 18th September 2022

The event series continues on Sunday 18th September with a group workshop in the afternoon with the artists behind the Mammoth Beat Organ. Together, budding makers and performers will create a series of new instruments which can be played independently and as part of the wider machine.

Once these are built, the group will develop a performance together, planning and rehearsing the pieces to be played before a live performance takes place in front of an audience in the evening, showcasing the instruments and music created.

Times workshop 2-5pm, with the performance at 7pm, please complete the enquiry form below to register your interest.


Support for this project has come from Severn Arts with investment from the Arches Worcester project, which is funded by the Cultural Development Fund – a DCMS / Arts Council England fund.

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