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

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