A programme of art, architecture and infrastructure to mark the centenary of the UK’s biggest council housing estate

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Brian Eno, Sumayya Vally, and Joe Namy

Becontree Broadcasting Station Launch

First broadcast November 2021

The inaugural launch of the Becontree Broadcasting Station, a partnership between Serpentine Galleries and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham as part of Radio Ballads, with a special livestream listening session with Serpentine 2021 Pavilion architect Sumayya Vally and artists Brian Eno and Joe Namy recorded on Saturday 6 November, 2021 at Valence Library.

This listening session featured a selection of tracks, archival recordings and sound works that suggest an alternative way to experience our changing cities through collective listening. Eno, Vally and Namy each presented a series of sounds comprising music, personal and public archives and broadcasts, to create alternative genealogies and narratives of the city that unravel layers of sonic histories. Vibes were provided by Becontree’s DJ Tati.

The live audience for the listening session was made up of community groups and residents of Barking and Dagenham.

Brian Eno is a musician, producer, visual artist, activist, who first came to prominence as co-founder of Roxy Music before releasing solo works and collaborating with the likes of Harold Budd, David Byrne, David Bowie, U2, Laurie Anderson & Coldplay among others. His visual experiments with light and video have been seen in installations all over the globe. He is a founding member of the Long Now Foundation, trustee of Client Earth and patron of Videre est Credere.

Joe Namy (UK/Lebanon/USA) is an artist, educator, and composer, often working collaboratively and across mediums – in sound, performance, photography, text, video, and installation. Joe’s projects often focus on the social constructs of music and organised sound, such as the pageantry and geo-politics of opera, the noise laws and gender dynamics of bass, the colours and tones of militarisation, the migration patterns of instruments and songs, and the complexities of translation in all this – from language to language, from score to sound, from drum to dance.

Sumayya Vally (b. 1990, South Africa) carries an obsession for Johannesburg and her work around narrative, identity and memory in the city have admitted her into a host of conceptual and investigatory projects. She is presently based between Johannesburg and London as the lead designer for the Serpentine Pavilion 2021.

Photograph of the Becontree Estate in East London.