The Texture of Air is a collective memoir of two NHS hospitals and the extraordinary perceptual worlds within them. It unfolds in the last days of the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, located at no. 330 Grays Inn Road for nearly 150 years, and the Eastman Dental Hospital, a few doors down, established 1930.
Vignettes of the staff and patients spill into psychedelic corridors, waiting rooms and walnut gardens, in this rarely screened short film, (recently nominated for an award in Short to the Point film festival). Aural histories and fly-on-the-wall recordings unravel on literally out-of-date 16mm film. The stock was discovered in a drawer - a nod to the quixotic Kodak billionaire who founded one of the hospitals. The film bleeds through repurposed microscope lenses into futuristic 3D-scan animation, as if the dental technicians were dreaming of the technology that will replace them.
An original live score brings the stochastic rhythm of the Eastman’s fountain, the resonant frequencies of the ‘Spiderman’ lift and other acoustic oddities of the old hospitals into the cinema.
The film was awarded the winning prize in Soundwalk September's sonic arts competition in 2020, and was nominated for awards at two short film festivals in 2020.