#283: 2010.05.09 [felicity ford]

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this edition of framework:afield has been produced in the uk by regular contributor felicity ford, and is a radio version of her interpretation of alvin lucier‘s gentle fire:

This radio show has been based around recordings made by Felicity Ford for a recent performance of Alvin Lucier’s Gentle Fire. Gentle Fire is a score written by Alvin Lucier in 1971, and it explicitly details the process of collecting sounds that is familiar to all field-recordists.

Collect, on tape, examples of ambient sound events such as those made by

Screeching Brakes, Chattering Guests, Warring Gangs, Rioting Prisoners, Stalling Motors etc.

Using an electronic music synthesizer or any equivalent configuration of electronic components, process the examples in such a way that they become transformed into what could be perceived as sound events of different origin such as those made by

Ocean Waves, Wind in Trees, Flowing Streams, Boiling Tea, Cooing Doves etc.

For example, Snarling Dogs become Crunching Snow; Crashing Planes, Laughing Girls; and Manoeuvring Tanks, Ocean Waves.

Record these transformations…in any sequence or any number of channels, using any manner of mixing, overlapping…taking care only that the process of change from each original sound event to its final state of transformation is slowly, gradually and clearly heard…

–    excerpt from the prose score, Gentle Fire

Using the prose score as a guide, Felicity Ford has been collecting sounds for Gentle Fire for two and a half years.

Trying to change one sound into another is a process that makes us think about surface quality and texture, space and duration. To make Droning Turbines sound like Sounding Dolphins is not easy, and so far methods for collecting such sounds as Frowning Clowns and Spurting Blood have proved elusive. However, hopefully trying to change sounds in this way, searching for rare or potentially inaudible sounds, or even imagining what such sources would sound like, expands our ideas of what the mind’s ear is capable of.

THE RECORDING MAY CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING SOUNDS AND TRANSFORMATIONS*

SOURCE SOUND        TRANSFORMED SOUND

TEARING PAPER             SCUTTLING CRABS
SCREECHING BRAKES      HONKING GEESE
CREAKING DOOR            CROAKING FROGS
DRONING TURBINES        BLOWING GALES
BUZZING SAWS             SWAYING PALMS
FRYING EGGS             FALLING RAIN
POPPING CORN             DRIFTING SANDS
RAGING FIRES             BOILING TEA
ROARING TRAINS         PASSING SHIPS
SPINNING WHEELS         CREAKING BOATS
SNORTING HOGS             WHOOPING CRANES
MELTING SNOW             CRACKLING FIRE
STOMPING BOOTS         RUNNING BOYS
DRAINING DREGS         SWIMMING TUNA
CRACKING ICE             SPOUTING WHALES
BARKING DOGS             WARBLING BIRDS

*THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST AND YOU MAY HEAR OR IMAGINE YOU HEAR SOMETHING ELSE.

A version of this show was mixed live at Sonic Art Oxford earlier this year, and you can read more about this score and the process of working with it at www.thedomesticsoundscape.com/wordpress

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