This radio work has been conceived as an ambient form of narration. The idea was to take the recorder with me, while walking late at night through different environments. Mostly habitual environments. But while nightwalking I discovered more interesting “location” sounds, than anything else, and turned the project into a resonance-oriented gathering of different specific local events, bounded by a narrative structure. These “local” events had to do with three main categories of sonic phenomena: ambiences, electric hums, resonances. And several times these categories evidently overlap. Hence all sounds are “natural” sounds. Therefore the old question is: what is “natural”? And natural in comparison/opposition to what? Unnatural? Artificial? Cultural? In effect, all phenomena you can hear in this work are properly as they presented themselves in their environment (editing has been the only technique employed in composition). Yet they derive from the interaction of the “local events” (the resonant materials) with the microphone system. If what we hear is a “natural sound”, and a “natural sound” is what we hear, there is a paradox here, because actually many of these sounds wouldn’t be usually heard in normal conditions; sometimes masked by louder sounds, other times they simply pass unnoticed and mingled as background, or they only stem from the interaction between a resonant material and the microphone. Of course, several of these sounds could be labelled as “anthropic” phenomena, but phenomena mostly not aimed at the generation of any acoustics, which results as a by-product of the main goal of the system in action.
Thus we are confronted with a new question: are all sounds cultural? Because we define them (by hearing, and then recording, selecting, editing and framing and listening to). But mostly because we decide to define them, give them a name, a source, a “representation”. Even, when we do this, we separate them from their background, thus applying a certain (acoustic) meaning to them as local forms, and consequently by forming categories, and filling them. And in the end coming to something like the “natural” vs. “cultural” opposition. And yet, the background itself is not inert.
All recordings are from my home town, Udine, and mostly from my own surroundings, mainly gathered late at night. All sounds are generated within (or captured by) the interaction/relationship between “natural” acoustics of diverse kinds, with a hidden resonant character, and the microphone system. Small sonic microclimates, “naturally” resonating (due to many reasons, including wind, mechanic vibrations, and the interaction between systems). As said, as a radio work, it tries to “exploit” the medium in its possibilities and probabilities, and in its intrinsic narrative nature, as I see it, not necessarily linear, but nevertheless consistent.
Sources: environmental sounds (steps, cars, dogs, pavement, bicycle, crickets, doors, barriers, hooters, airplane, rings, wind, voices, manhole covers, bats, crockery, motorbikes, shutters, trapdoors, trains, raindrops, bus, rubble, level-crossings, birds, leaves, brakes, metal chains), resonances from various metallic structures (gates, grating, fences, handrail, wires, bicycle racks), drones from air conditioning stations, a pedestrian wooden bridge, the town water channels, a large city fountain, a theatre outdoor hall, the microphonic systems, several electric hums from streetlights and UPS street stations, a stone wall.
Equipment: portable dat recorder, condenser microphones (80%), self-built contact microphones (20%).
No analogic or digital treatment (no eq). Digitally edited.
Recorded 23-31 may 2009, in Udine, Italy. Composed and mixed down 1-14 june 2009 in ‘the black room’, Udine.
Title is in Ladakhi, Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Ladakhi district of Jammu-Kashmir state, India.
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