The soundscape of our everyday lives often goes unnoticed. Bursts of white noise, buzzing, bleeping, blaring barking and burping all conspire to create a miasma-like soundtrack for our times. But dig around your aural memory bank and some sounds provoke a jolt of recognition and even comfort. As a pre-cursor to Sonica Glasgow 2019, an 11-day festival of "sonic art for the visually minded", Japanese sound artist Yuri Suzuki's Furniture Music has been running at The Lighthouse in Glasgow for the last month. (It continues until January 6 next year).

Walk into the space and you are struck by the sound of lapping waves. Look closely and the noise is actually coming from revolving rainsticks with turn at rates determined by tidal data around the world.

Elsewhere there is a Guitar Acoustic Chamber Table made of three conjoined guitars. The idea is that it amplifies ambient noise to make conversation easier. And then we get to my favourite… the Mobile Music Box consisting of a brick-style white mobile on a plinth with a phone number to call written in market pen. Reader, I called it. And it played Edelweiss. Immediately, I was charmed; transported back to childhood and memories of my favourite wind-up music box. Not to mention a favourite LP; the soundtrack to the Sound of Music.

Sonica Glasgow 2019 blasted off on Thursday night at Tramway when, for one night only, musician, scientist and producer Max Cooper, together with design collective Architecture Social Club, presented Aether. This one-off event illuminated Tramway with thousands of pulsing, moving points of light which responded to Cooper’s electronic soundtrack to create a surreal vortex swirling overhead.

For the next eight days, the fifth edition of Glasgow-based art house Cryptic’s festival of visual sonic arts will reverberate around the city and beyond.

This year's festival, the fifth edition since it started in 2012, is presenting four world premieres, 13 UK premieres and seven Scottish premieres over 11 days. Artists have travelled from Argentina, Belgium, Catalonia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Québec, Slovenia and Sweden. They will join more than 30 UK artists to present over 180 events and performances city-wide.

Last night saw a special out-of-town event in Greenock. As a grand finale to the Inverclyde's own Galoshans Festival, a takeover of the town's historic Tobacco Warehouse took place in collaboration with the Scottish Alternative Music Awards. Spectators were treated to an evening of experimental music from Rev Magnetic and Callum Easter, accompanied by visuals from VAJ.Power and work from Robbie Thomson, SUE ZUKI, Kleft and Jack Wrigley.

When I speak to Cryptic's Cathie Boyd a few days before the festival begins she sounds remarkably calm. I ask her what she is looking forward to and she laughs when I say it must be like choosing a favourite child. She singles out a concert by Glasgow artist, filmmaker and musician, Luke Fowler at the Hamilton Mausoleum in Hamilton, which is possessed of a world-record breaking 15-second echo. For this new performance, Fowler (winner of the 2008 Jarman Award and a Turner Prize nominee in 2012) celebrates not an individual but an overlooked genre of musical instrument. Inspired by learning about instruments carved from gourds, he has designed and built his own hybrid versions: dried, carved gourds strung with traditional catgut and "found’" strings. When activated, each produces a low, quiet note, letting Fowler build up microtonal chords he adjusts by carefully repositioning each instrument.

"This is a purely acoustic concert," says Boyd. "The venue is incredible and Luke is doing something quite special here."

Other highlights she picks out include a celebration of the culture of Catalonia at the CCA. Featuring four works by Barcelona-based sound artists, cabosanroque, it pays tribute to Catalan writer Joan Brossa in this kinetic response to his poetry and prose works. "I was blown away when I saw this for the first time," says Boyd. "Audiences here will love it. This is a big work brought to Scotland in an 11 metre-long truck so to have support from Institut Ramon Llull, Joan Brossa Foundation, ICEC and Eufònic Festival in Catalonia has been key to showing it to new audiences here for free."

Another showstopper, she says, will be Dumfries and Galloway artist and composer Katie J Anderson’s Sound Horn in the Parterre Garden at Pollok House on Glasgow's south side. "This is a very popular space with the public and I'm really excited to see and hear it in the garden. The Sound Horn sees six giant upturned gramophones cluster like alien flowers in the immaculate gardens. Each plays a hypnotic soundtrack drawn from field recordings, choral notes and spoken word."

Cryptic's Below the Blanket at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh was a hypnotic hit during this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe and several elements of that are reprised for Sonica.

Audiences will be given another chance to experience work by Kathy Hinde, Matthew Olden and Heather Lander in Tramway's Hidden Gardens. This work was created during residencies at the RSPB’s research centre at Forsinard in The Flow Country in Caithness and Sutherland as a response to the world’s largest continuous blanket bog and its role in the global fight against climate change.

If you like tweeting minus the social media but with added poetry, Kathy Hinde’s Twittering Machines will be in action in the Hidden Gardens today. This playful performance uses birdsong imitation, translation, message sending, encryption, interference, miscommunications, and mappings. Hinde translates a vinyl recording of Keat’s Ode to a Nightingale into Morse Code which software visualises as text. If that doesn't send out the message that sonic art is pushing out boundaries beyond time and space, I don't know what does.

Sonica Glasgow 2019, venues across Glasgow, see for all details. Until November 10

Critic's Choice

There's been a real buzz around the opening today of Hello, Robot at the V&A Dundee. When R2-D2 – arguably the most famous robots in popular culture – was removed from his packing case by art technicians last week there was a welcoming committee of media colleagues on hand to record the moment. This original model from the first Star Wars film was played by British actor Kenny Baker in the 1977 film, later renamed Episode IV: A New Hope, but was moved in some scenes by remote control or computer animation.

For many people, it was the first time a robot had ever entered their consciousness, but as this exhibition reveals, Fritz Lang’s pioneering science fiction film, Metropolis, tackled the subject of automation as far back as 1926. One of the exhibits in the show is a poster for the film, which tells the story of Freder, the son of a rich businessman who is seeking to unify class divisions, and Maria, an activist who is kidnapped and replaced with a robot.

The V&A Dundee exhibition will see the first and only UK showing of Hello, Robot, which has been created by Vitra Design Museum, MAK Vienna and Design Museum Gent.

With new technological developments being made every day and robots increasingly finding their way into our homes, our workplaces and even our pockets, it has never been more important to understand and shape the relationships between humans and machines.

Hello, Robot takes visitors through four stages of robot influence and evolution, asking seemingly simple questions along the way. The first section – in which our favourite droid features – focuses on the science and fiction of robots, tracing our fascination with artificial humans and looking at how popular culture has shaped our feelings about them.

From the Björk music video, All is Full of Love, by Chris Cunningham in 1999 to 3D-printed platform Molecule Shoes created by Francis Bitonti in New York in 2015, this exhibition will put your gas at a digital beep.

Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine, V&A Dundee, Riverside Esplanade, Dundee, DD1 4EZ, 01382 411 611, Opens today and runs until February 9 2020. Open daily, 10am–5pm. Tickets £6–£12, prices shown online include a £1 discount per ticket.

Don't Miss

Next year marks the 150th anniversary of the Arlington Baths in Glasgow. The oldest member-run baths club in Europe, this category 'A' listed building, designed by renowned Glasgow architect Sir John James Burnet, continues to be a welcoming and peaceful sanctuary in the heart of the city. To mark the anniversary, award-winning artist and club member, Marion Gardyne, along with 30 artist members and invited guest artists, are staging an exhibition to raise funds for the club's refurbishment fund. The exhibition features; painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and collage. All artwork is for sale. Participating artists include; Lesley Banks, Lynn Howarth, Melanie O’Donnell and Adrian McMurchie.

Arlington Baths Club Exhibition of Artworks by Members, The Arlington Baths Club, 61 Arlington Street, Glasgow, G3 6DT, 0141 332 6021,, November 8 – November 22. Free. (Phone club for exhibition opening times)