Australian Sound Artist

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Finding sounds and space

  :: Temporary sound studio at Noirlac ::

I have never had a studio quite like this to work in.... The space which has been assigned to me is the refectory - the sound in this space is quite unique in that the arched ceiling in twice the height of usual cistercian architecture. In the past, it was used for communal meals (in silence) and now, for a brief period I am able to work within it's bubble (not so silent). The space is incredibly live. One word echoes, bounces, reverberates and delays - to the point that I am reconsidering how I will work with such acoustics. At this stage I have six speakers setup in a standard circular configuration. The pillars are an obvious distraction but not a large problem sonically. Because of the nature of the space I am more inspired to place speakers unconventionally. Sounds move with a mind of their own within the refectory and I would like to explore this moreso than the perfect 360˚ representation.

The struggles I have been having finding outdoor sonic environments less prone to traffic and machine noise have not abated (please see image + details below), leading me to the proposition of recording moreso within the abbey and yet - I was working with the intent of bringing the outside within it's walls, allowing those sounds to become part of it's immersive environment. In contrast, if I now record the sounds of the abbey and re-release them into their original environment to react with the space yet again, I will be causing a type of feedback loop - folding the room in on itself (as well as initiating the first step of Alvin Luciers piece, 'Sitting in A Room'). This would greatly change the intent of my work........

decisions, decisions, decisions.........

 :: Recording alonside the Cher in the morning in Bruere Allichamps::

I have managed to somewhat decipher the numerous industrial sounds that surround Noirlac.

#1 is the obvious - Traffic. Noirlac is beside a freeway
#2 is the trainline. This carries remarkably far - right into the forrest.
#3 would be the local porcelain factory that emits a general humm not unlike a large airconditioner
#4 Is the hors d'oeuvre factory (i'm pretty sure that's what it is) next to the porcelain factory. This too emits it's own constant drone 
#5 Lucky last would be the planes that pass overhead - it appears we are relatively close to a flight path.

The biggest struggle is that the underlying drone the permeates the air does not stop. It carries on through the night into the morning. At times it is louder but it will never cease. The field recordings I have gathered so far have this drone but can used if they are not at a loud volume, and with some severe filtering. I was imagining gathering pristine outdoor recordings but this will not be the case. Within the walls of Noirlac however, the drone is somewhat held at bay...
I hope to start uploading sounds to Freesound soon  and am a little worried about how they will be received - never the less - the show must go on...