Listening through Holy Week
The piece focuses on sounds recorded during Seville’s Holy Week processions in 2007 and 2008. The sounds of the processions are interleaved with unscripted (conversational) dialogue between the producers recorded during Holy Week 2008. The subjectivity of the conversational excerpts raises questions about the objectivity of recorded sound within the documentary process.
Taking the Holy Week processions of Seville as subject matter, the listener is invited to explore acoustic communication within a specific human social context. The piece sets out to reveal the underlying syntax of sound within processions: musical elements, symbolic uses of sound, aural and verbal cues, crowd dynamics and performance features.
The complete field recordings from which the submitted work draws are to be archived as a new collection by the British Library.
Whitley and Wyness began collaborating on the Seville 2007 project following a lengthy period of research. Their collaboration was based on a mutual interest in investigating archive and documentary forms through the medium of sound. This, combined with experience in different areas of sonic art research, led to the development of multi-channel field recording techniques adapted to the specific conditions of public processions.
For Holy Week: Seville 2007 (scenes) Whitley and Wyness adopted the use of two customised portable and mobile field recording rigs. The recordists took up carefully selected positions on the streets which offered the flexibility of capturing both the larger movement of the processions through time and space and the minutiae of specific details.
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