Thembi Soddell

THEMBI SODDELL will spend three weeks at The SUBSTATION developing a new multi-channel sound installation as part of her practice-led PhD research, which examines how sound might be used to convey firsthand experiences of mental illness and emotional distress. This development period will involve experiments with how listener’s perceive ambiguous and emotionally charged sound material while listening in complete darkness.


THEMBI SODDELL (b.1980) is an Australian sound artist, electroacoustic composer and practice-led researcher with an interest in psychology, perception, extreme emotion and the subjectivity of experience. She works primarily with the sampler, generating sounds from field recordings, instrument textures, played found objects and synthesis to form surreal and ambiguous realisations of place and experience. These volatile, filmic sound worlds often exploit the dynamic extremes, toying with a listener’s sense of expectation and disquiet.

She creates work for recording, installation, live performance and concert presentation. Her CV includes the release of four major composition works for CD; guest curation for the National Gallery of Victoria’s Melbourne Now sound program (Melbourne 2014); works exhibited at the Wellington Art Gallery (Wellington 2013), Parisonic Festival (Paris 2011), National Gallery of Australia (Online 2004) and SFMOMA (San Francisco 2002); solo performances at Australian experimental music festivals such as the Totally Huge New Music Festival (Perth 2009), What Is Music? (Melbourne 2004), Liquid Architecture (Auckland 2006, Sydney 2005, Melbourne 2001); and two European tours in duo with ANTHEA CADDY including performances at the Hörkunstfestival (Erlangen 2006), Biegungen Festival (Berlin 2009) and Instants Chavirés (Paris 2006).

SODDELL has a BA in Media Arts (2002) and first-class honours in Sound Art (2005) from RMIT University, where she is now a PhD candidate. Her research focuses on the articulation of firsthand experiences of mental illness and psychological distress in sound art practice, using sound as a means to provoke thought around issues related to health and emotional wellbeing. She also assisted in running Australian experimental music label, cajid media, has an ongoing duo with cellist, ANTHEA CADDY, and has worked as sound designer and dramaturg for choreographer, TIM DARBYSHIRE.

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