Australian Sound Artist

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day two at Pollinaria

:: Ground floor @ Pollinaria ::

Tuesday 17th June.

With such short time the recording has well and truly begun. The wet weather is a typical hindrance - it seems every country I have visited in the last two years - my recordings have included rain - no matter what time of the year it is. Water is a wonderful sound to record but it would be nice to have the choice - and that is a little harder than usual to master this time round. 

Last night I 'warmed-up' by recording some of the creaking doors of the farmhouse. Ground floor of the building is a fantastic space whose inner architecture is not dissimilar to a miniature representation of le abbey Noirlac and the acoustics leave you with the same sensation of 'other-worldliness'. Natural acoustics and creaks are like treats to me so it was nice to find them here and begin the sound collection with them. This time round I indulged my typical desire to go against the textbook recommendation of recording technique - close mic'ing the door extremely so, with a hyper-cardioid. I am pretty chuffed with the result - a hyper-surreal sensation of listening through a microscope to the point that the original sound - as authentic as it is, is completely unrecognisable and bizarre. Your instinct to identify the sound swings from assurity (Oh yes - that's a door) to sheer doubt and questioning as the sound's envelope progresses (what the hell is that?)

This morning was the dawn chorus with Daniella. We started a little later than usual as the sky was so overcast that even the birds were slow to get started. The nearby valley is an excellent haven for birds and shelter from the noise of nearby roads and I think the best recording will be the very first.

:: Bean recording - contact mics ::
The afternoon was spent in the closest shed where giant bags of black beans used for fertilising the soil, and wheat seed for planting are to be found. Cue, the contact mic's and we had some very textural rolling rumbles created as I moved my hands through the beans. Taking the microphones in hand, I'd plunge them deep into the bags and then pull-back - yoiking them out just as quickly. The timbrel shift linked to the speed of the hands was not unlike a doppler effect and made me think of breathing…

:: Recording Daniela making pasta ::
Night time was spent drinking vino rosso with Gaetano and further discussing the project. After a few glasses, Daniella decides we MUST record the sounds of making pasta, to then be eaten for dinner. Out with the contact mic's again and she goes to work. It is a beautiful thing to see. 'Oh no! I am not a stereotype!', she promises me as she cooks away - her hands moving deftly in movements she seems well practised in. "Not all Italians cook pasta", she promises. I understand, but as a visiting auzzie, I would like to let myself continue imagining that perhaps in some parts of Italy, they do….