#387: 2012.09.09 [felicity ford]

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IMGP6639felicity ford, sonic wallpaper

this edition of framework:afield has been produced in the uk by felicity ford, using interviews and field-recordings collected during the course of the sonic wallpaper project that she has been working on with the museum of design and architecture. from the producer:

I’ve been working on Sonic Wallpaper with the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture for a year, and the project is designed to expand on how we normally think about wallpaper, bringing the act of listening into a context which has historically been purely about looking. Although wallpaper is designed visually, we experience wallpapered rooms with all of our senses, and our memories are stimulated as much by sounds and smells as by sights; a cheery 1960s design might instantly remind someone of a coffee pot gurgling away on their granny’s stove, while the flowers in another design might instantly remind someone of sea-creatures or a relative who loved to garden.

Personal associations which link place, memory and sound are the basis for Sonic Wallpaper; they are what allow us to move our imaginations between what we see, and what we hear. To make Sonic Wallpaper, I interviewed several people in November 2011, showing them various designs held in the collection of the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture. I then listened through to the interviews and collected field-recordings in response to what had been said about the different designs. I wanted to celebrate the specific way that people discuss their DIY plans, and to extend the fantasies of home-creativity using the medium of sound. When someone said ‘that reminds me of church’ I wanted to introduce the sound of that church, so that a third party – a listener like you – can hear and imagine the space.

Think of the project as being like a sampler of sonic textures: a playful exploration of the question ‘what would it be like, if we could decorate our homes with sounds?’

For this framework:afield radio show, I have collaged the interviews and the sounds into a continuous stream of sound, and I hope that listening to the results will be a bit like flicking through a book of wallpaper designs with your ears, imagining where you might put them.

I am curious to know how Sonic Wallpaper translates to radio: whether the old truism ‘radio makes the best pictures’ will be borne out here. I hope that browsing through these Sonic Wallpapers will give you a thoroughly new set of rooms to imagine – rooms designed somewhere in the space between remembering, imagining, and listening.

You can hear the individual sound pieces created in response to MoDA wallpapers on Soundcloud at soundcloud.com/modamuseum and you can read a little bit about the process at sonicwallpapers.blogspot.com. We are also in the process of publishing a book about the project which you will be able to buy at some point this Autumn, and I will be joining MoDA at the Knitting and Stitching Show this October to officially launch the project. I hope you have enjoyed listening to Sonic Wallpaper.

Note: the numbers beside the wallpapers listed here in the tracklist are the accession numbers of the wallpapers held in MoDA’s collection.

(program details – in order of hearing)

Helen, Colleen and Joceline discuss wallpaper SW 1029

ink pen writing on parchment in Dr Johnson’s attic, London
Italian stove-top espresso-maker gurgling on the stove
hydrophones inside the aquariums at the Horniman Museum, London
hydrophones inside the aquariums at the The Aquatic Design Centre, London

Joceline discusses wallpaper BADDA 4856

organ at St James & St William of York church, Reading
wet brush on wallpaper
radio in the room next door
loom at The Handweaver’s Studio, London

Colleen, Annie, Jo and Mel discuss wallpaper BADDA 4384

public swimming baths on King’s Road, Reading
electric kettle boiling
cutlery drawer
rhubarb jam bubbling
1700s clock mechanism, The Clockmaker’s Museum, London
clownfish tank at the Aquatic Design Centre, London
matchbox cars on wooden floorboards

Helen and others discuss wallpaper BADDA 4377

matchbox cars on carpet
matchbox cars on concrete and grass
outdoor cafe areas and coffee shops

Joceline, Tom, Anthony, Colleen, Annie and others discuss wallpaper BADDA 4380

super8 projector
popcorn popping

Jo, Mel, Helen, Tom, Anthony and others discuss wallpaper BADDA 2301

Indian restaurant
mustard seeds popping
onions frying
an open fire

1720 clock mechanism, The Clockmaker’s Museum, London
1750 clock mechanism, The Clockmaker’s Museum, London

Colleen, Annie and others discuss BADDA 4770

Wendy Morris’s loom, London
looms at the Handweaver’s Studio, London
clock mechanisms, The Clockmaker’s Museum, London
electric kettle boiling

Colleen, Joceline, Tom, Anthony, Mel, Jo and others discuss wallpaper BADDA 4855

vintage porcelain chinaware clinking
dawn chorus birdsong, Ipsden, Oxfordshire

cattle lowing, Oxfordshire

Anthony, Tom, Colleen, Annie, Mel, Jo and others discuss wallpaper SW2097

cows shuffling about and mooing, Dippenhall
wax crayons on paper
woodblocks and wet paint printing

screenprinting at Cole & Sons Wallpaper Factory, London

Anthony, Tom, Colleen and Annie discuss wallpaper BADDA 4857

rain on the thin, plastic garage roof
ascending the creaky old staircase at Dr Johnson’s House, London
a window closing at Dr Johnson’s House, London

the gas cooker
sausages frying
Munchies cafe, Reading

Joceline, Jo, Mel, Tom, Anthony and others discuss wallpaper BADDA 4774

Rachael’s till
sausages frying
Italian, stove-top espresso maker
egg frying

Dr Johnson’s old, creaky hallway

Colleen, Annie, Anthony, Tom and others discuss wallpaper BADDA 4854

wet paint and roller
music and pint-pulling down the local

Helen, Jo, Mel and others discuss wallpaper BADDA 4385

jazz in the foyer of The National Hotel, Miami
shaking ice in a cocktail shaker
ice cubes going into a glass
pebbles on the beach
shaking sheets of silver foil

Joceline, Tom, Anthony, Helen, Colleen, Annie and others discuss wallpaper BADDA 4782

walking in the forest, Marros Mountain, Wales
walking in the snow
ice melting

organ at St James & St William of York church, Reading
public swimming baths on King’s Road, Reading

Colleen, Annie and others discuss wallpaper BADDA 2298

seagulls, Amroth Beach, Wales
leafing through a facsimile of Dr Johnson’s Dictionary, Dr Johnson’s House, London
ink pen writing on parchment in Dr Johnson’s attic, London
Jasper purring, Wales
dawn chorus, Llanteg, Wales




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2 Trackbacks

  1. By The Domestic Soundscape » Archive » All change… on October 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    […] In other news, I am really excited about the imminent launching of The Sonic Wallpaper Project which I have been working on with MoDA. MoDA are releasing one sound piece per day up until 11th October on their beautiful new website, and from 11th – 14th October, MoDA will be presenting the project at the Alexandra Palace Knitting & Stitching Show. I will be there from 11th – 13th to answer any questions about The Sonic Wallpaper Project. To celebrate this auspicious occasion, I have 6 “Today I made Sonic Wallpaper” badges left, and will post one out to anyone who listens to any of the Sonic Wallpaper pieces and leaves a comment below. Here are some taster bits of Sonic Wallpaper! There is also a radio show feat. Sonic Wallpapers which you can download here. […]

  2. By Editing Episode 10 – KNITSONIK on June 14, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    […] Sonic Wallpaper […]

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