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Engine Room International Sound Art Competition winner announced

Held at London's Morley Gallery, the competition was judged by The Wire's Publisher Tony Herrington alongside sound artist/composers Annie Mahtani and Janek Schaefer

The winners of this year’s Engine Room International Sound Art Competition have been announced. Set up as an initiative of Morley College, and held at their gallery space, the competition was judged at the beginning of May by The Wire Publisher Tony Herrington, as well as sound artists Dr Annie Mahtani and Janek Schaefer.

First prize was awarded to UK artist Laura Daly's “Shadowland”, which, inspired by the destruction of Cambodia’s Sbek Thom shadow puppet theatre at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, focuses on the strength of human spirit in the face of adversity. Second prize was given to George Cloke for “Year In Review”, which uses sound samples of radio news bulletins in order to “confront listeners with the normalisation of atrocities”. Third prize went to Nolan Lem for “Autonomous Sense Object” which explores the condition of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) to look at our relationship to sound, power and control.

Daly, one of the college’s alumni to have previously studied Sound Art at its adult education centre, said: “The breadth and scope of The Engine Room’s finalists represent an exciting picture of what is happening in sound art. Situating new works on an international platform, it’s a great opportunity for emerging sound artists to raise their profile and engage with practitioners from different parts of the world. To be selected as a finalist among such strong contenders and then given first prize for “Shadowland” is a great honour.”

The 20 shortlisted pieces, whittled down from 177 entries, are now on display at Morley gallery until 1 June. Entry is free.