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The Conductor


The Conductor was developed between February 2023 and May 2024 with a team of musicians, sound artists, acoustics engineers, and costume designers as part of an artist's residency at Energy House 2.0 at the University of Salford.

The Energy House is a remarkable engineering project which attempts to channel extreme planetary climate conditions into two purpose-built chambers, helping designers develop new forms of low carbon and net zero housing for the future.

The Conductor echoes the Energy House by channelling all the world's lightning strikes through a single percussionist performing inside a reverberation chamber at the University's Acoustics Laboratories. Responding to live data from the Blitzortung network of over 10,000 lightning sensors across six continents, the percussionist bangs a drum each time a strike is recorded. The result is a unique physical and sonic event that viscerally connects audiences to planetary climate events.

The first public performance of The Conductor took place at the Sounds From the Other City Festival on 5 May 2024. This graphic score captures a rehearsal on the 15 April, in which the percussionist, Jennifer Walinetski, played a range of orchestral bass drums, tubular bells, timpani, surdo drums, toms, gongs, and snares. The piece opened with a single strike of a tubular bell and closed with the strike of a gong.

Graphic Score

The Conductor was conceived and directed by Mishka Henner as part of the Energy House 2.0 Artist's Residency. Organised by the University of Salford Art Collection in partnership with Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool as part of the LOOK Photo Biennial, and Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, and generously supported by Friends of Energy House Labs.

Percussionist: Jennifer Walinetski • Technical Consultancy & Support: Joe Fowler • Data Capture: Joe Gibson • The Conductor Costume Design and Production: Maisie Drewery-Harris • Audience Guide Costume Design and Production: Georgina Harris and Liz Lock • Documentation: Sam Parker • Graphic Score Design: Mishka Henner

Mishka would like to extend his thanks to the following for their support and generosity during the Energy House 2.0 Artist's Residency and production of The Conductor: Lindsay Taylor, Richard Fitton, Sarah Fisher, Helen Wewiora, Matthew Pendergast, Max Gorbatskyi, The Friends of Energy House, Katherine Foster, Daniel Wong-Mcsweeney, Tim France, Mark Carlin, Siân Roberts, Steve Jones, Daniel Williamson, Leanne Hardacre, Mark May, Anestis Sitmalidis, Craig Tattersall, Roger McKinley, Rowan Pritchard, Stephanie Fletcher, Luke Cambridge, Max Radivan, and Sophie Hastings


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