Experimental Words pairs some of the UK’s most exciting spoken word artists with leading scientists – and challenges them to create performance poetry that explores their worlds.
Experimental Words was originally devised by public engagement expert Dr. Sam Illingworth (Associate Professor in Academic Practice, Napier University) and highly-regarded poet Dan Simpson (poet-in-residence Glastonbury Festival, Imperial College London, St Albans Cathedral). After successful live gigs in Manchester, Edinburgh, London, and Chicago, the science communication duo turned to a recorded format during the pandemic. Now, they launch ten new spoken word tracks in an extravaganza of rhyme, rhythm, and reason!
The Experimental Words album features world-renowned scientists such as BBC Radio 4’s Professor Adam Hart, Professor Hannah Cloke OBE, and author of ;Expert’, Professor Roger Kneebone. Amongst those representing the poets are BBC regular Joelle Taylor, London Laureate Momtaza Mehri, and Off West End award winner Desree.
Along with spoken word performances from poets and scientists, the tracks on the Experimental Words album use music and sound effects for an epic exploration of the creative power of the performing arts and science. The album will be available on all major music streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Music-video style short films will also be created to accompany three of the tracks – and the album artwork is also an experiment itself, generated by an algorithm influenced by the words from the poems. Experimental Words is funded by Arts Council England, with the album produced by spoken word record label Nymphs & Thugs.
Scientist Dr. Sam Illingworth says: “Science and poetry offer complementary ways of trying to make sense of the world in which we live. I am so excited to share this album, and to listen to the conversations that I know it will start about how the sciences and the arts can work together for the benefit of society.”
Poet Dan Simpson says: “science and poetry have historically had a tricky relationship, but both disciplines come from the same place of inspiration and communication. Having heard the incredible power, depth, and beauty of the tracks our collaborators have created, I can’t wait to launch this unique spoken word album!”