The Sonic Spider

Sat 22 Jun 2024 11am - 4:30pm Normal admission applies

Come and experience the world’s first eight-legged musical instrument and enter the mind of a spider!

Premiered at the Oxford IF Science and Ideas Festival in October 2023, Sonic Spider is a
collaboration between musician/composer, Camilla Saunders, musician/designer Charlie Beresford,
and biologist and science writer Alun Anderson.

Sonic Spider is an immersive, hypnotic musical interpretation of the consciousness of the orb web
spider, alone in her web, patiently waiting and listening – for the approach of prey or predator, or
the wind and weather. Her whole world is perceived through vibrations, as she can hardly see.
Musicians playing the Spider find themselves at the centre of the web, reaching out through the
entire performance space. Spider and web are as one. It is as if a human were to lie in a large field
throughout an entire night, sensing the whole space through sound, waiting for something to
happen. No-one ever knows quite how it will turn out – including the musicians.
‘The experience of feeling part of the life of another species affects people deeply. It is rare: there
are few places where all life does not flee from humankind.’

Timetable for the Weekend

Saturday 22nd June

  • Workshop 11am – 1pm

Are you interested in improvisation? Learning to play a new instrument that is unlike anything
you’ve played before? Using your musical skills to imagine yourself into the mind of another
Then come to The Sonic Spider workshop from 11am to 1pm.
Participants will be invited to join in performances at the festival over the weekend.
Workshop is free of charge but email Camilla Saunders to secure your place in advance as space is limited.

  • Performances of The Sonic Spider are at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm

Each performance lasts 15 minutes and there’s no need to prebook.

Sunday 23rd June

  • Performances of The Sonic Spider are at 11am and 12pm

Each performance lasts 15 minutes and there’s no need to prebook.

Performances are suitable for all ages.

This event will be taking place in Theatr Botanica.

Workshop and performances are free but normal Garden admission applies.