Keith Harrison, resident ceramicist at the V&A, built a wooden sound system with 10 speakers filled with liquid clay and allowed to solidify. The speakers were clad with blue and yellow ceramic tiles based on the group of vivid blue and yellow tiled tower blocks on the Bustleholme Mill Estate, West Bromwich where Harrison was born.
Napalm Death, the legendary grindcore and extremely loud band, played through a public address system using the clay to test the power of the sound they can produce.
As the four-man band started to play, the raw-energy of the sound reverberated inside the clay and caused it to slowly crack, disintegrate and explode, changing the music as it went.
Harrison said: “Napalm was my band of choice, they really understood the project. We needed a group with a lot of attitude to show the power of sound and the energy it has to destroy. It’s interesting to see how electrical power can change material, like clay. It can warm it up, break it down or completely change its state, which means the gig will be both visually and aurally entertaining.
Mark Greenway, vocalist for Napalm Death, said: “Sound as a weapon – or a weapon of change – is a very interesting concept and I think that the whole process of our sound gradually degrading clay sculptures is captivating.