Borrowed Landscape – mix down part A and B & recording of the tracks as installed in the gallery space

I stood in the middle of the two speakers and recorded in 4 channels (RL RR FL FR). The room is huge and reflective sonically and the windows bleed sound from the traffic outside. I enjoy the interaction between the sounds of slight movements in the room (which echo and reverberate in the space) and the sounds of a car horn beeping or motorcyclist speeding past on the streets below, as the track plays through the speakers. Very Cage, but this is unavoidable when a sound exists outside of the computer and in a less controlled environment which has so many variables affecting the sound. The silence between Part A and B also brings the unknown variables and of the moments of coincidences into the composition, meaning the piece is never the same twice. It feels like the sound comes alive in an environment, although I’m sure that would offend those who dwell mostly in the world of computers.

I was quite nervous about hearing my piece on the speakers, and at first it felt underwhelming. The ending of Part B is very subtle. It was my favourite part when I first made the track. I have noticed over the year, that I have a tendency to make things over all rathe quiet while working with my laptop and headphones. Some of the more subtler details are lost in the space. During the private view I came back into the room after getting some fresh air and the number of people had doubled, it was packed. I noticed that the sound piece should be playing but I couldn’t hear anything. The people were absorbing all the sound. I had to put all the levels on the mixing desk way up. However there is a big jump in volume between the softer parts and the “feed back” section. I couldn’t go too loud. I wanted that section to come close to painful but not actually be painful. During the private view most of the details were lost. But I didn’t mind, people seemed to enjoy the novelty of it and would come closer to the speakers unsure of what was happening.

The sound source is made up of electromagnetic fq and light frequencies of digital advertising, shop displays, and devices in an Apple store. Advertising is one of the key tools of consumer capitalism and one of the ways in which the media arts have transformed along with the rapidly changing digital world around us. Technology allowed a transformation into the over saturated image culture we live in today. We are also surrounded by the more subversive sounds our human ears can not hear (electro magnetic and light). The idea that we may be effected by these sonic vibration with out our awareness parallels the fact that we are affected by the subversive messages embedded in the images and environments constructed around us without our consent. We know that these things affect us, and in knowing that we find a sense of immunity, however we still can not always recognize how and when they are affecting us.

To take these sounds and reclaim them with in the realm of art or music is a small but radicle gesture. The sounds could have been presented in a more raw/noise form and the musicality could still be found in them through a shift in perspective. However, I enjoy the process of composing and editing the sounds with my own musical understanding creating something which is ambient and at times uncomfortable. This makes the sounds more accessible to the listener while still shaking them with the feedback section. I enjoy the ambient affect in contrast to the atmosphere of the environment from where they were taken. I am still uncertain of the significance of taking one thing and transforming it into another through a series of processes… all the effects, cutting clips, looping ect… although the idea of reclaiming sound feels important. to make something which has no ulterior function, which doesn’t lie in consumerism, and which is beautiful.. at least to some.

Panning was very important to me. With headphones I was interested in how panning could affect the listener’s feeling with in their own body. This was not the main aim in my composition and could have been more affective. With speakers the relationship changes. It becomes a conversation of sound traveling between two speakers in a space. The sound becomes spacial and the space is defined by the sound. I love that the sound becomes environmental and that, to be experienced, the listener must make a physical journey guided by the ears. It requires a certain amount of zoning out. Zoning out is extremely important and something which is not encouraged as much in the fast paced western lifestyle.

Borrowed Landscape – mix down part A and B & recording of the tracks as installed in the gallery space

Arthur Russell

Recommended to me by Andrew, I fell in love with this documentary and Arthur’s music. It has inspired me to be more prolific, to continue making an endless body of work. I have aspired to this since high school as I’ve always been rather slow, careful and thoughtful with my work. This is a positive aspect in many ways but sometimes can lead to me being over critical and less productive, thinking more than doing.

When I made my first little demo last summer, I was very precious with it. I knew that I had a lot to learn and I was anxious to make everything sound and look professional. It is important to start by knowing the rules and then breaking them, and so I do value the process I  under went. But now, especially with my limited time in music do to my preoccupation with art school, i want to start making recordings again in a less precious and more experimental way. experimental interns of how I generate sound.. i.e. Arthur leaving the blender on in the back of his recording, brilliant!  I love how the compilation “World of Echo” is an hour of partly finished songs. I think this is also key in being productive, getting the idea out rather than completing something.

Last year my attitude shifted from quietly writing songs and fumbling around the most basic chords in the confines of my room to beginning to except that I am a musician, even if simply because of these secluded actions. Musicians were always other people that I greatly admired and fell in love with and to accept myself as one of them felt impossible. Once I allowed this simple shift in identification I, without realizing, built up expectations of myself.   I had to be really “good” and as I continued to play and write I would get extremely frustrated at myself for not being “good” and over analyze my qualities and abilities. Focusing on art/uni has allowed me to remove some of the expectations and ego attached to my music making and I hope to make recordings over the summer whilst being  more kind and generous to myself, using the experience as an opportunity for exploration and growth instead of a product which will prove my worth, value, or acceptance. It’s ironic that I’m insecure about my voice not being that natural talent of many of my peers and yet the voices that I like the most are also a bit imperfect or odd.

Arthur Russell

Footage of the Sound Source

Here I have compiled a short montage of the filming I did at oxford circus last weekend, taking sections from each clip and sticking them together in order to document work in process.

I became quite interested in the artificial depiction of the natural world through advertising displays which you can see in the first clip… though this is not really a sound source for Borrowed Landscape 

2:39 to 3:50 one of my favourite bits visually

1:05 to 1:49 the digital screens which comprise a good portion of the sound in the piece


Footage of the Sound Source

Premier Pro Screen Shots

The beginnings of a film and navigating the software. In the end I decide t0 download the trail Premier Pro on my laptop as it is quite difficult to find a computer that reads memory cards in the Library – which is necessary since I can not save things on the computers there. Originally I was enjoying that this was bringing me into uni on a regular basis. It is nice to spend more time getting to know my peers (and their work) across the years, and feeling part of the student life at chelsea.  However it is impractical for getting work done. At least until I learn to tune out of the people around me and tune into my work. I end up taking a million smoke breaks with all the different people I run into. My lungs are also quite displeased by this development- as is my wallet.

I attempted to transfer the session to my laptop but I think because the trail is a newer version I must start again. Starting fresh, especially at such an early stage, is more of a bonus than a loss.

when I was first playing around with these clips and figuring out how to use transition I quite liked the choppiness of not having any transitions at all. at the same time I thought this would look like I didn’t know how to use the program. after watching Bea edit the other day I was interested to notice that she doesn’t use transitions. When I asked her about it she said that it created a language which was similar to the analog editing process.  I thought it interesting that she endeavours to make her digital films resemble analog. This also brings me back to wondering how important explanation is to justify decision making. I think in art education we are taught to develop our ideas, to think critically, and to be able to articulate or explain things. With in our ideas actions occur. However there is the opposite affect of actions containing ideas which reveal themselves perhaps not only by the artist.


Installation Mix

We had a lot of conversations about the sound in our group. I was really anxious about making my piece work with everyone else’s. It took a lot to get the right equipment up and running in the gallery space from members of the crew. After Andrew came in and gave us a quick talking to, going through the space and discussing everyone’s work, we had a little regrouping session to discuss things.

I placed one speaker across the room in the centre of the stage and the other speaker against the window directly across from the stage. I wired it through hooks on the ceiling. At first I thought I might have to cover up all the wires connecting the mixing boards and amps but I liked the aesthetic in the end.

The group decided that it wasn’t a problem to play my sound piece on the big speakers as long as it was durational which then lead to splitting the piece in half which felt very natural.