I like interesting sounds, and whenever possible I like to record them and share them. When I do, they’ll be tagged here. If you’re interested then you should also take a look at my field recordings page, which you can find via the menu > Creative > Field Recording.
I first saw the Langham Research Centre at the Barbican last month. I was really impressed by them. So when I got an email from Cafe Oto sent an email about them playing I decided I should go. Cafe Oto is a lovely place to see music, and I even played there once myself.
The LRC were great, as expected, and I also managed to have a quick chat with Robert Worby about sound and the words we use to describe sounds, or rather the fact that we have very few words that actually do describe sounds. It’s an interesting subject and one that needs some thought.
Next I think I need to probably buy some of the recordings. There is plenty on Bandcamp, which is where I will start. I am especially drawn to their piece ‘Gateshead Multi-storey Car Park’.
I found out about this event from an email from ‘Cities and Memories’, and, as someone who is very interested in field recording I was keen to go along. Also as a Londoner I need little persuasion to head to the Barbican.
This was more than just a performance though. This was a whole day about field recording, comprising multiple performances and a panel discussion as well. There are a few details on Nonclassical’s site. Personally I was most interested in the panel discussion, which was interesting, but mostly because of the contributions of Robert Worby from the Langham Research Centre. He had some really useful insights into the practice of field recording. Food for thought.
The performance was a bit of a curate’s egg on the whole. Some very good pieces, some less successful in my opinion. I particularly liked the performance by Li Yilei which I thought integrated field recordings most successfully. Kate Carr’s work was also very good, but it felt like it lacked a direction, or at least it every time it felt like it was going somewhere interesting she changed direction. Just my opinion of course.
The Langham Research Centre was a high point for me and I’m looking forward to listening to more of their work in the coming days.
These kinds of events are few and far between, and for the most part I usually hear about them long after they’ve happened. So I was really glad to actually make it to this. I really enjoyed the whole day, and it was both interesting and inspiring.
Well done to Nonclassical and the Barbican for organising it.
This has been something I’ve been meaning to experiment with for some time now. Last year I bought an ‘Ether’ device to experiment with electromagnetic waves. I was really taken with the sounds that were in the videos of the ‘Ether’ device, and it was impressive.
So far I haven’t used the Ether as much as I’d hoped. But one of the things that I wanted to try out was the electromagnetic waves that might be given off by stone circles. A bit strange you might think. Or maybe not.
My first, and probably most nonsensical thought was to try at Stone Henge. I’ve been there before and you can’t get anywhere near the stones. So I emailed English Heritage. No response. Not a massive surprise though. I had thought that they’d at least do me the courtesy of replying, but no. Nothing at all.
The next possibility was to try a stone circle where you can get right up to the stones. Hence Avebury. The Avebury circle is in fact older than Stone Henge. So I thought I’d give this a go. I took my gear and got up close.
The device I use for this is an ‘ether‘. I’ve had this for over a year now. It’s an interesting device, and, when I have used it, I’ve found the output very interesting. However, I haven’t found a real place for it in my creative workflow. Hopefully I will at some point, but I think that I probably need to do some more research.
Anyway, back to the stones at Avebury. I hadn’t researched the composition of the stones at Avebury. If I had, I would have expected the outcome I got. Which was basically nothing. The best I could get was that the stones effectively acted as big radio receiver. I suppose that in itself was interesting, but not really what I’d wanted.
So that’s that really. I need to think about another use for the device. When I do I expect I’ll write about it.
I had this thought about how the sounds around us have changed in so many ways, and in so many others, they haven’t. It made me wonder what would the sounds of the 2020’s be. It also made me wonder what sounds have become the signature sounds of my life.
This is something I’m likely to, or rather, hope to explore in my field recording podcast. If you didn’t know about that, you can find more information here.
I’m not the first to mention that the world is a lot more quiet now. Perhaps not all the people, which is actually a shame, but there is less noise around. Apparently earthquakes are easier to spot as there is less background noise. Birds are making more song, which is lovely, and air pollution is down. These are all good things.
I’ve been recording more things too. Mainly just the quiet of the morning, but other stuff too. So I thought I’d share a few of them with you.
I was given this book as a present a while ago. I hadn’t heard about the book, or the recordings before this, so it was a very nice surprise.
I’ve just finished reading the book. It’s short. Very short, but very readable, and very engaging indeed. Bits of it made really me smile, and I can thoroughly recommend it if you’re a fan of Laurie Anderson, or if you appreciate her style of music and performance.
It made me think about what an audio diary or audio journal would be, or indeed should be. It raised some interesting questions about what constitutes meaningful and engaging sound. These are all good questions. I don’t have any answers as yet, but they’re definitely on my mind, and, as and when I do have some answers, I’ll let you know.