1 October 2008

DING>>D0NG ends the year with whistles, bangs and electronic noise. Liverpool music icon Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) teams up with internationally renowned graphic designer Peter Saville (Factory, Manchester) and Liverpool based video artist Hambi Haralambous to create the new work, Energy Suite. Meanwhile the winners of the PRS Foundation's New Music Award 2008, The Fragmented Orchestra, turn the UK into a vast musical brain. Both commissions will be shown alongside the work of artists and musicians from Liverpool, a city synonymous with music and sound.

Electronic music pioneers OMD have had a long association with graphic designer Peter Saville, beginning in 1979 with the band's first release on Factory Records. In this audio visual installation, McCluskey and Saville return to the iconic images of their youth in the north west - the industrial landscape of power stations embedded in picturesque, pastoral beauty - fulfilling an early ambition of the pair to create what was originally to be a work based on Stanlow Oil Refinery in Cheshire (OMD wrote a song about Stanlow, using ambient sounds recorded in the refinery in 1980). Energy Suite captures the architecture and sounds of five electricity generating power facilities; Heysham Nuclear Power Site, Dinorwig Hydro-Electric Power Station (Electric Mountain), North Hoyle Bank Wind Turbine Farm, Fiddler's Ferry Coal Fired Power Station, and Point of Ayr/Connah's Quay Gas Terminal and Power Station.

In Gallery 1, FACT presents the world premiere of The Fragmented Orchestra, winners of the PRS Foundation's New Music Award 2008. Artist Jane Grant, composer-musician-physicist John Matthias and BAFTA winning composer-sound designer Nick Ryan have created a work that mirrors the function of the human brain and the way it processes sound. 24 neuron 'units' are placed across the UK in locations chosen for their inherent sonic rhythms. A microphone picks up elemental or human made sound at each location and, connected together over the internet, these microphones create a neural network leading back to FACT. 24 speakers in the gallery allow visitors to listen to the collective sounds from each site around the country and their interaction with each other. An evolving piece, The Fragmented Orchestra mimics the ebb and flow of sound through the human brain; the sound also transmits from the central hub at FACT back to the 24 neuron units, allowing listeners there to hear how their own input changes the piece's composition.

In the Media Lounge, visitors can rewire instruments and hack into the way we make music and sound letting the audience have a go themselves. Three interactive works become new musical instruments; your performances recorded and played on FACT TV alongside the work of leading Liverpool and UK talent. Tetsuaki Baba's Freqtric Drums allows the body to become a drum trigger; use your friend as a drumkit and play an interactive drum game. Artists and Developers Julian Oliver and Pix, present Fijuu, a gamepad controlled 3D interactive musical object. Use the controller to make improvised electronic rhythms and textures by changing the shape of a virtual object onscreen.

The Owl Project (Anthony Hall, Simon Blackmore, Steve Symons) launch the new mLog, a hand held wooden interface that allows you control the award winning 'IXI' audio software. Stand up, close your laptop, and generate intricate rhythms or simply kick back in a forest and manipulate the ambient sound around you. The mLog puts the power of electronic music into your hands and seamlessly integrates into your digital lifestyle.

Music and sound can be heard and played anywhere and DING>>D0NG is not limited to gallery spaces or opening times. Throughout the exhibition one off performances will create an unforgettable experience. Acclaimed composer and improviser Philip Jeck unveils CODA, a new live piece commissioned for DING>>D0NG, reflecting on the end of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture. Jeck has collaborated with a range of artists from Gavin Bryars to Jah Wobble; his subtle and sublime manipulation of old vinyl records is a world away from their use in hip-hop yet equally arresting and important musically: a key final work of 2008.

Artist Ray Lee presents Swarm an interactive sculptural installation in the main Atrium, featuring spinning speakers that react to people walking beneath, generating a tone that can build into a giant chord; playing the building itself!Another atrium work is Steve Symon's Aura : wearing a backpack and headphones, immerse yourself in a virtual sound world in the vicinity of FACT and the Ropewalks area, your every move tracked by GPS and mapped on a screen in the building.

Luke Jerram is the artist behind Dream Director, discovering how far sound and music can define what you dream. Originally commissioned by Watershed in Bristol, Dream Director will invite members of the public to sleep in the Box at FACT overnight wearing an eye mask that detects the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) indicating dreaming sleep. Once in REM, a computer triggers sound affecting the nature and content of your dreams.

All the while FACT TV, FACTs new online television channel, will be documenting audiences playing on these new instruments alongside a range of performances and residencies from local and international artists on a dedicated DING>>D0NG channel.