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About Sound Catchers

Sound Catchers is an outdoor show developed by dance artist Jess Murray and musician Mitch Oldham. Live percussion, dance and cutting edge creative and digital technologies are used in a roving ‘walk-about’ performance to co-create sound and movement with audiences in the moment. Performers portray ‘alien’ characters that are gathering sounds and rhythms to understand the human species through movement, sound and rhythm.  Sound Catchers is an inclusive and interactive experience for audiences, making the work of high calibre creative technologists accessible to larger scale outdoor audiences.


The existing walk-around performance uses live sound sampling and sound manipulation through a prop (the Sound Catcher), to capture audience sound bites and transform them into music that performers use to dance and play with audiences in real-time. The show has appeared at Derby Feste 2023, Grimsby Creates Noise and Beeston Light Night 2022 & 2023 as well as securing many dates with Applause Rural Touring over 2022/3.

About the Company

Jess has extensive experience of performing in outdoor arts productions such as ‘Master Juba, Wonder of the World’ with Fittings Multimedia Arts, and Stilt Batteristas. Jess worked as a dancer for the French pyrotechnic and percussion company Les Commandos Percu performing in France, Belgium, Holland and collaborating to create On the Night Shift for an audience of 20,000 at the Olympic Opening Ceremony at Windermere in 2012. She went on to perform with the company for a further year in performance in Holland, Belgium and France. More recently Jess was choreographer for outdoor performance Tappin’ In (developed by Steph Ridings and Lou Lomas) which was part of the Commonwealth Games 2022 cultural programme and Birmingham International Dance Festival. Jess is an Associate Artist of Studio Wayne McGregor through the QuestLab Network programme which supports dance artists in collaborating with creative technologists


Mitch Oldham is a drummer and percussionist skilled in playing percussion instruments from Brazil, Cuba, The Middle East as well as kit drums. He is interested in creating experimental percussion racks that also serve as performance set and props and interfacing these with digital sound technologies to create opportunities for generative and interactive performance. Mitch has performed on European and World tours as well as being a studio musician and band leader of carnival bands ‘Fat Cat Brass’ and 'Stilt Batteristas' as well as a community based Brazilian Samba group ‘Hand Made Samba’ who both regularly perform around the UK. He performs as ‘Dr.Um' - a solo drum-looper on a moveable stage which has appeared at festivals (Kendal MintFest, Blue Dot, Kendal Calling), carnival parades (Manchester Day Parade, Handmade parade) and outdoor events throughout the UK.


Jess and Mitch began working together with ‘Les Commandos Percu’ to create On The Night Shift. They have been collaborating on Sound Catchers for over 5 years, developing the project through two stages of Research and Development and one creative development and making phase that has resulted in the existing roving show. Research and Development was funded by Arts Council England, Deda OffSite and QuestLab Network and incubated by City Arts Nottingham. The creation of the walk around show was funded by Arts Council England and developed with support from Creative Producer Lou Lomas.


During the time that Sound Catchers has been developed, we have had the pleasure of collaborating with creative technologists Michael Davis, Neal Pattison, Steve Symons, David Wilson-Clarke, Designers Karsten Goodwin, Audrey Gaullard and Iola Weir and theatrical engineer Mike Pattison. 


Our wonderful performance cast features dancers Maisha Nwaria-Kungu, Rocky Serg-Widdowson, Sarah Butler, Claire Lambert, Jamal Sterrett-Phoenix and musicians Dave Boston, Benjamin Dady and Liam Hardy.

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