Clouds and Tracks is a platform which takes its name from a phrase of Gertrude Stein's from Tender Buttons: "A transfer, a large transfer, a little transfer, some transfer, clouds and tracks do transfer, a transfer is not neglected." Initiated by John Hughes, Volker Eichelmann and Jenna Collins, the project "collates sound works conceived and realised since the spring of 2020. Contributions chart participants’ thoughts, feelings, driftings and wanderings since the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic, providing a sonic snapshot of the strange and unsettling times we are living through". My post for last year "How are you in these strange times" has reference to other sound pieces made during lockdown. Other participants include: Holly Antrum, Sarah Bennett (with Paul Ramsay), Rachel Cattle, Jenna Collins, Ilsa Colsell, Volker Eichelmann, Mireille Fauchon, SJ Fowler, SL Grange, John Hughes, James Irwin, Sylvia Lim, Lucie McLaughlin, Liz K Miller, Christian Newby (with In a Skull), Alex Pollard & Luke Pendrell, Ben Redhead, Mónica Rivas Velásquez, Daniel Shanken, Andrea Stokes, Anne Tallentire, Mia Taylor, Mandy Ure, and Mark Peter Wright.
"Air Stream: Air" (10.31) is an unprocessed recording from my back garden in which we hear the summer ambience of doors shutting, children's voices, seagulls, wood pigeons, shuffling shoeless feet, a single prop plane droning past and the rustling and crackling of plastic bags from a supermarket delivery drying in the wind on a washing line after having been decontaminated.
"Air Stream: Ether" (5.41) was prompted by another place than the garden that had become important during lockdown: the broadband router and the stability of its connection. Using an 'electro sniffer' I followed the buried cable from my house to the nearest junction box (located from a conversation with an engineer on one of the many occasions when they were sent to fix our connection). Uncharacteristically for me, this track involves some looping and layering of material.
A nice review of Cathy Lane's and my book "Sound arts now" by Greg Thomas in the June issue of Art Monthly. I like the summary that appears in the first paragraph: "A collection of meandering but geographically and socially contextualised discussions - almost like qualitative research materials - takes us from Brighton to Beirut and beyond, in many cases via Skype or Zoom, to establish some of the contemporary geographies, sociologies and economics of sound arts while looking beyond a network of 'white men from the Global North'".