Simon James and I created a live audio stream for Reveil, running for half an hour between 0450 - 0520 until the rain suddenly descended and we had to scramble to recover the mic, recorder and phone. The tide was the highest I'd seen with hardly any break to the waves, a trawler and a few smaller fishing boats left the harbour to the west; we had thought about mixing a hydrophone and geophone with the in-air mics but in the end the water on the shingle was enough. Simon and I are in the middle of a longer term project exploring this short stretch of coast.
A roundtable discussion convened by Leandro Pisano for Soundcamp / Reveil with Alyssa Moxley and David Vélez, all of us having been residents in the Liminaria programme in rural Southern Italy. We were responding to the "Manifesto for Rural Futurism" created by Beatrice Ferrara and Leandro Pisano. I was talking about the film that Chiara Caterina and I made called "Into The Outside".
"Falls Silent. Falls Silent." uses every transcription comment from Svetlana Alexievich's oral history "Chernobyl Prayer". In her book, published in 1997 and translated into English in 2016, the transcription comments are rendered in italics in parentheses and allow the interviewees' words to be read in an emotional context.
The time it takes for all the comments to appear on screen is four minutes and three seconds, which is the interval between Reactor 4 exploding and the fire brigade arriving at the power station, the fire crews fighting to douse the flames without protection. This video was released at 21:23:04 UTC on 25th of April, thirty five years after the explosion whose devastating effects continue.
Text copyright © Svetlana Alexievich, 1997, 2013 Translation copyright © Anna Gunin and Arch Tait, 2016
I used a somewhat similar approach to text on screen was used in one of my films with Chiara Caterina "Il Vertice" and in two films with Rupert Cox, "The Cave Mouth and the Giant Voice" (2015), and "Zawawa" (2018). Some of this approach to captions and subtitles was explored in a 2014 Points of Listening event and had live versions in presentations for the Iklectik launch of Salome Voegelin's "Political Possibility of Sound" (2019) and the OTO night "Animal Sounds" (2019).
This mixed media contribution investigates the multiple modes of inscription possible within a practice-based investigation of the Sonic Anthropocene. Drawing upon critical contexts from Geology, Geography and Anthropology, and the relations between writing, bodies and earthly matters, the authors suggest a re-writing occurs in mediated acts such as field recording (phonography). Microphonic translations from the field not only re-inscribe sites, plural; they
Delighted that "Sound arts now" is published, this is my third collaboration with Cathy Lane is available through uniformbooks. All information here. Cover photo is of Elsa M'bala and was taken by Simone Gilges.
With Mark Peter Wright, I presented our "Decoys" project as part of CRiSAP's contribution to the "Into The Wild" event. It was great to revisit this work and get a sense that there is so much more still to explore. I'd completely forgotten this description of the project that captures succinctly what we were excited by:
We wanted to create a work that would somehow propel the immediate and futurological aspects of life on a damaged planet. There is a sense of environmental toxicity, debris, heat and movements of the human or more-than-human.
A track played on Luke Fowler's "Everything Is Permissible" show on Clyde Built Radio. Listen back here. The track was a recording of plastic bags drying on a washing line, a sound I'd come to associate with lockdown heard in a place I'd come to associate with lockdown, our back yard. Different COVID-related sounds mentioned in a post from last year.
My chapter "Dropping Down Low: Online Soundmaps, Critique, Genealogies, Alternatives" has been published in the Bloomsbury Handbook of Sonic Methodologies, edited by Michael Bull and Marcel Cobussen. Here are the concluding paragraphs:
Less homogenous is the genealogy of the soundmap, a family history in which scientific culture’s noise maps and audiospectrograms form one branch, textual ear witnessing another, diverse diagrammatic innovations a third, and the various alternative approaches a fourth. The three alternative approaches I provided could each have been deepened to draw in more exemplars, just as they could have been broadened to incorporate other cartophonic categories: the transmission works of Dawn Scarfe or Jiyeon Kim suggest the possibility of a live soundmap, the reverberation of interior or external spaces in projects by artists as different as Viv Corringham and Davide Tidoni imply a performative soundmap, and a potential classification of storied soundmaps arises out of the separate creative research endeavours of Isobel Anderson and Ultra-Red.
A while ago, I was interviewed for the "Listening Across Disciplines II" project that is funded by the AHRC and has Dr. Salomé Voegelin, Professor of Sound (UAL) as its the principal investigator and Dr. Anna Barney, Professor in Biomedical Acoustic Engineering (University of Southampton) as a co-investigator. The interview was conducted by Mark Peter Wright and edited with other interviewees, Syma Tariq, Matt Parker and Ximena Alarcon. The interview took place in a challenging acoustic environment and, as with the "Uncanny Landscapes" podcast, this seemed to connect to what was being discussed. I spent a while talking about what was for a long time my favourite recording "NR_CROW.aiff."