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Sounds and Guts



Visual & installation work with theatre company Tender Buttons


In the 1970s 17% of the UK’s population lived alone. Today it is 31%.


Sounds & Guts takes us on a theatrical tour through a labyrinth of archive film, field recordings and collected stories of solitude.


Sounds & Guts started as a question about why solitude is “good” and loneliness is bad, and about whether it is possible to have one without the other.


We were interested in the increasing number of national surveys, news reports, books and articles about loneliness over the last couple of years and the idea that more people live alone now than ever before in the UK.


Given the choice would we all live alone?


Is solitude something we are thinking about differently today and if so, how? Why?


Text by Tender Buttons

Invited to create an installation for Tender Buttons performance Sound and Guts, this work mixes analogue and digital technologies to bring together source material from popular culture, archive footage, academic texts and personal testimonies. 

As the performance unfolds, objects transform and moments of activity are preserved - a bowl becomes the sea, the performers position is shadowed in salt - tracing time and forming links across a collage of stories and ideas.

Developed, produced and performed by Tess Denman-Cleaver (Tender Buttons)
Sound design by Tim Shaw
Photographs by Keith Pattison
Film & installation by Taryn Edmonds

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