01 ::: sebastiane hegarty ::: resistance 4 ::: 06:12
02 ::: marc behrens ::: yes, china ::: 09:53
03 ::: mark peter wright ::: around and within ::: 07:00
04 ::: lee patterson ::: below flatford surface ::: 10:05
05 ::: ernst karel ::: plattenbau (abfall herausgenommen) ::: 09:11
06 ::: mecha/orga ::: 6:58 ::: 06:58
07 ::: paulo raposo ::: planting a tree inside water ::: 10:19
08 ::: gill arno ::: santarém 1 (dobradiça do tempo) ::: 08:52
09 ::: joe stevens ::: fireworks on carnival night ::: 08:31
A slightly altered field recording made at Cley Marshes, North Norfolk, England.
On a beach in Norfolk a taut wire fence, visually partitions the land from the sea. In order to hear what I could see, I attached a pair of contact microphones between the fencepost and wire, immediately I was engulfed in a delicate but limitless harmonic hum. I felt isolated and strangely transparent; a clairvoyant medium through which the visual may pass into audition. The acoustic space revealed remains undefined and emergent: a region without permanent borders. Sound resists and diffuses certainty as it laps away at the established edges of visual space. Where seeing confirms, listening prefers to question.
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By far the loudest and densest urban 360° noise I have experienced in China – in the city centre traffic of Hongkong, Guangzhou and Beijing. A sound occurs almost never isolated from others. Even in interior spaces the low frequency field of traffic noise seeps in through the walls. “Yes, China” is a survey of the acoustic urban space with emphasis on such sounds and situations which bind the people’s attention or enable identification with the location.
Inside urban, physically aggressive noise, the head’s interior space is often the only retreat. In the flowing and bass dominated sonic world of subways, motor coaches and construction sites, different sound sources of higher frequencies are able to push through: crickets, sound signals at traffic lights, steam pressure-relief valves in Beijing’s 798 art zone, a priest’s painfully resonant brass bell.
During recording many of those sounds I worked without monitoring headphones, positioning microphones merely according to experience. When one listens in realtime to the exterior world within which one resides with open mikes and on headphones, big alienation effects will quickly show up. Loudness proportions seem distorted, shifted. Localization will change according to the employed microphone type and be limited already by the use of stereo headphones. Even when position and microphone characteristics largely coincide, the perception of the sound on location will mutate.
The active mind edits the experienced and recorded sounds into a sonic world which, as it were, steals and internalizes the contours of the outer world. At a different time, different place, and for a new listener, two interior headspaces melt: the one formed by the composer and the one experienced by that listener. Both refer to two allegedly similar exterior spaces: the one experienced by the composer and the one which the listener would imagine.
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Around and Within is a track composed of recordings from a network of disused drain pipes situated in the now defunct area of Steetley Magnesium Site, Hartlepool, Uk. The pipes act as filtering mechanisms for the environmental sound that’s present whilst at the same time exhibiting their own unique, drone-based acoustic signature. Other recordings mixed into the track are in close proximity to the pipe’s location – dripping water, melting snow, falling debris and the more ubiquitous environmental sounds of a coastline in industrial stasis. All recordings were made with an open air mic set-up rather than any contact microphone or structurally transduced recording technique.
Please note: The track features some very low frequency sounds.
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Below Flatford Surface is a spin off from the installation Constructions for Flatford, produced for Smiths’ Row Gallery in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, during May and June 2011.
Using a simple, self-devised hydrophone design, I’ve been making underwater sound recordings since summer 2005. These have allowed me to access the sound worlds present within ponds, rivers and other freshwater bodies and shown me how some underwater habitats are rich in plant and animal life, and therefore host to a variety of sonic phenomena.
Playing with the connections between my sound based works and the landscape, I’ve begun to look at bodies of water as represented in landscape painting, and where such waters still exist, have started to explore them in terms of the sound they might contain.
When invited to contribute work for the show in Suffolk, I decided to make investigative recordings around Flatford Mill on the River Stour. The mill and its’ environs at the Suffolk and Essex border, are famous for being the location and inspiration for several works by John Constable, in particular the often reproduced painting, The Hay-wain. The mill is an icon of English heritage, along with all that that entails – ownership by the National Trust and hoards of tourists, but is also currently used by the Field Studies Council as an environmental research and education centre.
For five days in April, the FSC played host to me as I stayed in the Grade 1 listed Willy Lotts’ cottage and auscultated the local waters.
The mill pool and its surrounding waters, such as the river and the nearby Cattawade Marshes, were surprisingly rich and productive in terms of the sounds found therein.
Aquatic plants, such as water lilies, produced sound as damaged and still growing leaves released bubbles into the water. Also, fish could be heard as they fed and communicated and aquatic insects like Water Boatmen were heard calling to one another. The recordings of these and other things formed the raw material for Below Flatford Surface.
By accessing the sound world of these still present waters, I have in a sense been able to get under the surface of not just the water itself, but also this bucolic image of a quintessentially English, rural landscape. And by doing so, attempt to reveal it for what it also is, an unfamiliar, often alien sounding realm.
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For the month of August, 2010, we lived in an apartment on the 23rd floor of a concrete DDR-era Plattenbau in Mitte, Berlin. This is a one-take recording of me taking the recycling from the apartment down to the outside bins, coming back up to the 23rd floor, dropping a small bag of trash down the building’s trash chute, and coming back into the apartment.
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Field recordings took place in Tallinn, Riga, Berlin, Istanbul and Neda river in Greece, between July 2010 and April 2011. Manipulation, edits and composition by Yiorgis Sakellariou, June 2011.
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Hydrophone recordings at River Gilão and pond near Ria Formosa, Portugal.
Additional microphone sounds captured near these water locations.
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I have been at Santarem for just over a week now. It is an incredible place – immense, and somewhat desolate. Only a young couple with their daughter lives permanently at the farm today. They are not alone: with them are two dogs, five sheep, one calf and a bunch of rowdy roosters. This is almost nothing compared to the farm’s heyday, but the whole complex still seem to resonate with the bustling activity that once was. At least this is the feeling that I get as I roam through wineries, abandoned storage facilities full of farming tools, cavernous refrigeration cells, cattle pens, offices.
I feel like an archaeologist, amazed at the continuous flow of stuff that I am uncovering every day – all kinds of antique tools, a box with a hand-written love poem and an old watch, piles of fashion magazines from the fifties, discolored posters that recall my childhood in Italy’s countryside, a few beautiful old boats – the Tejo is just across the field, I can look at the migrating birds that stop by the river banks while I shower.
As my work often deals with memory, this is indeed an ideal place and an inspiring project. But I am not interested in nostalgia. And there is no such thing in today’s Portugal, as the whole nation is running at full speed towards the future.
And yet, futurestep is not amnesia. As the first artist in residence at the farm, I feel strongly to be at the conjunction point in time, linking what was then with what will be. My work here will be about this interconnectedness and mutual interdependence of the past and the future.
on the Santarem-Lisbon train, March 26 2009.
Composed while on residency in Santarém (Portugal), 2009. Thank you to Elsa Vieira.
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Recorded by Joe Stevens on sony PCM-D50 using a rode NT4 housed in a blimp.
Fireworks on carnival night was captured as part of Joe’s ongoing survey of the sounds of the seaside.
The idea for “sounds of the seaside” developed from a number of sources. One was my interest in GPS and communities mapping their environment and the other was my interest in field recordings.
For me the sounds of the seaside are some of my favourite sounds and include; the general chatter of people close together on the beach, all mixed with the waves and seagulls screeching. The sound of families playing together, re-connecting. Of children shouting and screaming, and the sound of laughter.
The key field of activity for Joe is public space. His artworks concern themselves with how people move and act in the public domain and how the personal realm relates to this. Using sound, photographs, video and writing, to testify how we use public space; how we move through it, sit in it, lounge or conduct ourselves in it, and above all how we relate to other people and objects.