Monday, November 11, 2013


I'm quite excited because I've just released my first piece of sound art! That is, a soundscape that works independently of the film it's intended for (the third part of my trilogy). It has been a long process. The recordings themselves didn't take long, but processing them was quite slow. It was a case of figuring out how Audacity, the free sound editing software works, as well as deciding which effects are useful and how they work - not the easiest things since I don't understand the lingo. It was a bit of patient trial and error... I have used the simplest means, but I think the result is quite accpetable nonetheless. The ambient sounds from London were recording on my camera in mono, but Martin found a plugin called "pseudo stereo" to convert it into, well, pseudo stereo. I was amazed that the little recorder picked up distant sounds including trains, airplanes and river boats.

The recordings of sounds of the city, "the external sounds", as well as my own voice, "the inner voice of pain", is an expression of what it means to live with pain and fatigue. As one walks around in this cityscape, one has a subjective experience of life inside the body. The vocal expression is meant to be pretty unsettling and it did in fact damage my vocal chords quite badly... oh well, what we do for art, eh! The sounds from the city were recording on a walk along the Thames in London. What I find fascinating about sound art is that it often tells a very intricate story of a place ("local colour"), but you have to listen really carefully in order to fully appreciate it. It can, as I learnt during the Noises of Art conference, be a way of expressing architecture and space.

Sound art is an important art form as it provides a dimension to art that is often overlooked, and can also be enjoyed by blind people. Not all sound needs to be music or talk, though a sequence that is several minutes long has to have a great deal going for it in order for people to be able to sustain interest. People aren't used to listening to anything that isn't entertaining. I realise that most people will still not understand what this piece is for. Though I want to champion this art form, this is of course why I will incorporate it into the third film as well.

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