Oak Apple Orchestra

by Paul Gittins.

3rd August - 8th September, 2018

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Oak Apple Orchestra is an installation of self-playing instruments that create a meditative soundscape. An infinite range of rhythmic patterns is produced by Oak apples, attached to the second hand of the clock, they hit the strings at two second intervals, they strike and fall back. Each instrument has several clock motors which are positioned to select the desired notes, this selection then repeats to create an endless rhythm. The structure of intervals between the notes is essentially random, the moment when each battery is connected determines its position in the two second sequence, this structure provides the temporal framework for the recurring motif.


Over a period of time subtle changes occur in the sound of the rhythm, as variations of temperature and humidity affect the tension of strings. More recent work uses switches to change the sequence of the notes being played, an Ardiuno circuit can be used to change the composition via an app on a mobile phone. Microphones and pick ups can be used to further amplify the music. The resulting music has a a mesmerising quality, minimal compositions that reveal harmonics and intriguing rhythm. When the instruments are spaced apart the listener will hear different aspects of the composition as they change their their position. The clock motors are powered by 1.5 volt batteries and will play for at least 12 months. The latest works use lead crystal glass ware designed for outdoor use.

Throughout August and September we will invite musicians to respond to the artwork in improvised sets. Keep an eye out for the dates to follow.

A Field In Stirchley by Mark Dennis & Michael Lightborne

Part of Paul Gittin's Oak Apple Orchestra

10th August, 2018.

Join us for an evening dedicated to the playing of field recordings and found sounds, in which all of the rooms and garden of Artefact are transformed by two and four channel installations of themed recordings, gathered from a wide array of sources. 

PART 1: Forests and Machines

For the special first edition, on the theme of forests and machines, the recordings will be joined by the modified instruments and audio sculptures of Paul Gittins' Oak Apple Orchestra. 

The event is free. Recordings will be played from 7pm, but feel free to drop in anytime.

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Open-Mic Night with Live Performance from Steve Lawson and others

Part of Paul Gittin's Oak Apple Orchestra

17th August, 2018.

As part of Paul Gittin's Oak Apple Orchestra, we are holding an open mic night with a special performance from Solo Bassist, Steve Lawson.

Bring your instrument, laptop, voice, synthesizer, squeaky toy or robot music-making device for our open mic night with the Oak Apple Orchestra. The orchestra is always ready to go, so just turn up, tune in and wig out. Open to anyone who wants to do individual or group improvisations, try stuff out alongside the Oak Apple Orchestra (which can be re-tuned/ set up in various ways).

You don't have to bring an instrument, its open to anyone who wants to come and listen to the various improvisations and interventions.

For more information on Paul Gittin's work go to

And for more information regarding Steve Lawson go to

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LIVE! Giant Axe Field/ Dorcha/ Rebecca Lee & Marie Thompson/ Bobby Cotterill

The Closing Party of Paul Gittin's Oak Apple Orchestra

24th August, 2018.

For our closing event of the Oak Apple Orchestra we're having another great line up to interact with the trundling rhythms of the orchestra. In no particular order we welcome four fresh and diverse approaches to the show:


Giant Axe Field
In the guise of VJ's for a day. Present new Videos in altered states.

Rebecca Lee & Marie Thompson
Sound makers based in Nottingham. Combining oboe and flute, they are interested in the constraints and opportunities offered by woodwind instruments in noisy musical spaces

Bobby Cotterill
Bobby will reprise his fantastic semi-improvised piece for bassoon, devised to played with a section of the orchestra.

The evening will hopefully end with a performance of the incredibly open-ended third part of Christian Wolff's Burdocks.

Music should be starting soon after 7. The gig is free, but donations would be most welcome.​