Tag: field-recording

Listening to the River Exe

On my second visit to Fortescue Farm in February 2013 the flood waters had receded. I stood beside the seven-bar gate in Second Marsh and listened to the river. Here are some thoughts from  my blog:

I made this recording on my second visit to Fortescue Farm standing next to the seven bar gate at the former site of a ford across the exe. The river was running within its banks but was still very fast flowing and swollen. Several times during the recording you can hear trains passing on the mainline between Exeter St. David’s and Taunton and in the distance you can hear the sound of an excavator somewhere near Stears Cottage to the North of Stoke Cannon. Recently I have begun thinking that rather than record at the field I should consider how to create a permanent audio stream to the site perhaps because I see my recording activities not as creating documents of a specific moment – although they do – but of making the soundscape of the location audible beyond our boundary of encounter with the site. I’m looking forward to returning to the seven bar gate in April to see how the soundscape has changed in that time.

While I was making this recording I walked West across the site taking photographs of the remains of driftwood scattered across ‘third marsh’ and material that had become lodged against wooden posts of the fence that separates ‘second marsh’ from ‘third marsh’.

Listening to the River Exe in flood

 

 

These two recordings made with hydrophones (Aquarian Audio) provide different perspectives on the River Exe in flood. The first is one of the first recordings that I made as part of somewhere a field in January 2013 whilst the second was made in May 2014. During many of my winter visits to the field in the first two years of the study the River Exe was either lapping at the top of its banks or was spreading out across the fields.

The first recording was made by hydrophones cast into the flow of the river. This is what I wrote in my blog:

This is a recording i made on my first visit to Fortescue Farm. The River Exe was in flood and had swept away parts of the river bank and there was driftwood scattered across the fields. Riverside fencing had been washed away by debris and it was hard to tell where the river ended and the fields began. I used two hydrophones to make this recording. One of them i cast as far out into the River as i could whilst the other was closer to the bank. The river was moving very quickly and in the recording its possible to hear the clatter of small stones as they are swept along past the hydrophone. 

 

The second recording – as noted above – was made in May 2014. I arrived in the field just as the River was breaking its banks and stretching out across the fields. As I left the River was lapping at the top of my boots:

…the River Exe was just beginning to break its banks. As I arrived the water was seeping into First Marsh. By the time I left several hours later their was a foot of water across the field flowing swiftly towards the River on the other side of the fields and short circuiting the passage of the Exe – making small islands across the landscape. As the River rose I placed a hydrophone in the soil and listened. As soon as the banks were breached the water sped down the slope and eventually created a channel across the site linking up with the Exe again as it headed North West towards Brampford Speke.

Get Rid! or Cultures of Sound in Grassroots Football

Get Rid! or Cultures of Sound in Grassroots Football is a project that has grown out of my engagement with grassroots football in Oxfordshire. Without a particular plan or framework in mind I will be making sound recordings of my experiences as a youth team coach; as a spectator at matches in the North Berks or other local grassroots adult leagues; as a groundsman marking out pitches; and as a member of a club committee. Grassroots Football refers to football played by amateur football clubs at youth and adult level so I won’t be visiting Didcot Town any time soon – other than for entertainment – as they are too far up the league pyramid.

Since I began making recordings for this project – and as noted above there has been no particular pattern at play – one of the most notable aspects of the experience has been the verbal culture of communication between players, coaches, officials and – when present – spectators. I am fascinated by the transformation of quiet parish council run local parks into sites of conflict and exuberant communication during the matches I have listened to.

This recording was made during the North Berks League Division Four match between Long Wittenham Athletic Reserves and Berinsfield Reserves (07.01.2017). I was driving through Long Wittenham and noticed the match taking place. I didn’t have my sound recorder to hand so had to make do with my iPhone 5s so there isn’t as much depth in the recording as I would have liked. Just before we arrived Berinsfield scored and Long Wittenham were under pressure while I was making this recording.There is a partial transcription below that provides a taste of the on pitch verbal culture accompanied by teenagers on the nearby swings discussing earlier matches in the FA Cup Third Round.

 

put ‘im under
time
options
send it back, send it back
AJ’s there
away again
options
it’s off…it’s off                      (go on)
get rid, get rid
come on lino
well played
use ‘im
                                              (John Stones scored it, no, do you know why, do you know what
back in then                          (5-0, 5-0)
mark up
                                              (Sterling)
hold, hold
good touch
AJ
away it goes…away it goes
man on, man on
keep on, keep on, keep on
let ‘im come, let ‘im come
who wants it
header
free ‘ead, free ‘ead
get round, get round
stick the man under
will’s there, will’s there
touch…touch,
ah, fuck off
unlucky, unlucky boys
yes
good ball
time Rob, time Rob
listen
options
away
ref, ref
(m)idfield, come on
good football
unlucky
well done
if you need
options…options
still ‘ere
one more
inside
nick that
one of you in the middle here
shield it out
it’s gone…it’s gone (it’s gone)
unlucky
Callum stay up, Callum stay up, stay up
quick…and back
stand there…, stand there…, stand there…
time
use ‘im
midfield, over
options
man on
on your right (on your right)
line, line
turn
Michael, Michael
handball
one more, one more
time
this way
away Andy
do ‘im, do ‘im
time
Rob, Rob, yes then, Rob
go on then
put it across then
unlucky
well done
kick ‘im Rob
midfield…midfield
yes, callum
yes, AJ
well done
keep going, keep going, keep going
spare man in the box
someone help ‘im
man on
Paul Whitty (2017)

 

Documenting sound art events using field-recording

Building on the Audiograft 2011 Sound Diary, and the experiences of working with Valeria Merlini at Tuned City and Audiograft 2012, Felicity Ford has produced a radio show for the framework:afield series which can now be heard and downloaded here.

information & tracklist

this week’s framework:afield has been produced in the uk by felicity ford, and is a collection of thoughts and recordings exploring the idea of documenting sound art events. It features recordings created in summer, 2011 at the tuned city tallinn festival during the framework radio documentation and production workshop, which was run jointly by felicity and valeria merlini, and also recordings made by felicity at the audiograft festival in oxford in 2011. this is the first of a 2-part series exploring sonic documentation; the next edition has been jointly produced by felicity and valeria, and will feature recordings from this year’s audiograft festival. It’s hoped that this first show will set the scene for some of the documentary tactics which the pair have been developing in their work together over the past year.

(details of utilised recordings)

Open Field (1980) by Pauline Oliveros (the score is read)
Heikou by Radu Malfatti, performed by the SET ensemble at the Concept as Score Concert, Audiograft 2011
Interviews with students at Oxford Brookes & David Grundy, who went to the Concept as Score Concert, Audiograft 2011
Rhodri Davis speaking about performing in For Rilke at the Concept as Score Concert, Audiograft 2011
For Rilke by Sarah Hughes, performed by the SET ensemble at the Concept as Score Concert, Audiograft 2011
For a drummer, fluxus version 2 by George Brecht, performed by Patrick Farmer
Geophone in the ground, recording by Shirley Pegna as research for her piece at Audiograft 2011, Ground Sound.
Valeria Merlini and Felicity Ford sounding the gates, the metal, the space around the Linahalle in Tallinn, Estonia, 2011
excerpt from the introductory session at the framework radio – documentation and production workshop in Tallinn, Estonia, 2011, where Felicity Ford demonstrates that the edirol recorder is recording
Sound Collage from Audiograft 2011 pre-event podcast, feat. Ray Lee, Shirley Pegna, Stephen Cornford, Mike Blow, Paul Dibley and Paul Whitty, and works by those practitioners, including Murmur by Ray Lee, Ground Sound by Shirley Pegna, Stephen Cornford’s old reel-to-reel cassette player, Shower Piece by Mike Blow and an electroacoustic composition by Paul Dibley
3 words – a collage of interviews with artists and presenters at the Tuned City festival, Tallinn, Estonia. Recordings made by Kadi Pilt and compiled by the framework radio – documentation and production group
Polishing by George Brecht, performed by Patrick Farmer and Saragh Hughes at Audiograft 2011
eBows placed inside a piano in the Richard Hamilton Building, Oxford Brookes University, by Paul Whitty during a performance at Audiograft 2011
Stephen Cornford playing the piano and performers dragging benches around the Richard Hamilton Building, Oxford Brookes University at Audiograft 2011
Sounds of Tallinn sound collage compiled during the framework radio – documentation and production group workshop at Tuned City, Tallinn, 2011
Derek Holzer introducing Tomas Ankersmit’s performance in the Linahalle at Tuned City, Tallinn, 2011
Tomas Ankersmit giving an acoustic tour of the Linahalle during the Tuned City Festival, Tallinn, 2011
Paul Whitty introducing the Concept as Score Concert at Audiograft 2011
Paper Piece by Benjamin Patterson, performed by Dominic Lash, Rhodri Davies, David Stent, Bruno Guastalla and Paul Whitty
Polishing by George Brecht, performed by Patrick Farmer and Saragh Hughes at Audiograft 2011
The section from the short produced during the framework radio – documentation and production group workshop at Tuned City, Tallinn, 2011 where we mixed our field recordings of exploring the Cromatico sonically, as field-recordists, with our recordings of Tomas Ankersmit’s performance in that space
Max Eastley’s Aeolian Device, installed at Oxford Brookes University during Audiograft 2011
Max Eastley discussing the wind, Felicity Ford and Stephen Cornford contemplating/discovering the work
Orange Event Number 24 by Bengt af Klintberg, performed by the SET ensemble at the Concept as Score Concert, Audiograft 2011
Schlingen Blängen (organ performance) by Charlemagne Palestine, performed by Palestine at the Niguliste Church, Niguliste 3, Tallinn, 2011
Sound collage from the framework radio – documentation and production group workshop at Tuned City, Tallinn, 2011 which featured Charlemagne Palestine’s performance, in the context of many other works
Worker at Paterei Prison Fortress talking to us about our entry fee to the prison, then noticing our microphones and letting us go through to make our recordings
Echolocator by Aernoudt Jacobs, performed at Patarei Prison Fortress during the Tuned City Festival, Tallinn, 2011
Tomas Ankersmit giving an acoustic tour of the Linahalle during the Tuned City Festival, Tallinn, 2011
Schlingen Blängen (organ performance) by Charlemagne Palestine, performed by Palestine at the Niguliste Church, Niguliste 3, Tallinn, 2011
Shirley Pegna talking about her installation, Listening through Walls, at Audiograft 2011
The best coffee shop in Tallinn, recorded by Felicity Ford and Valeria Merlini
Paper Piece by Benjamin Patterson, performed by Dominic Lash, Rhodri Davies, David Stent, Bruno
Guastalla and Paul Whitty – discussion about score, then a recording of the performance in the concert
eBows placed inside a piano in the Richard Hamilton Building, Oxford Brookes University, by Paul Whitty during a performance at Audiograft 2011
Electro-acoustic Vocals performed at the Rotermann warehouse by Nisu-Rukkijahu Veski, with seagulls going wild, during the Tuned City Festival, Tallinn, 2011
Alouetta, performed by Felicity Ford and Pierre-Laurent Cassiere, and then deconstructed by Kadi Pilt, Felicity Ford and Pierre-Laurent Cassiere

Recordings from Lost & Found

You may remember the lost sound which Christina wrote about a few days ago?

Here are some recordings and notes from other participants on the workshop.

The Holywell is a very particular acoustic space with its wooden floors, curved walls and special creakiness; it has an acoustic affinity with Harp & Things, which is all about exploring the resonant sonic possibilities of the harp (also specially creaky). There is a section in my piece where I rub the sounding board of the harp to produce a shuddering, groaning sound. I mix this with a field-recording made on Amroth Beach in Wales. The result is meant to have a slightly maritime quality. To attempt to capture this quality, I recorded the concert with a hydrophone placed in a bottle of water on the floor. The soundwaves travel along the wooden floorboards and are picked up by the hydrophone underwater. I’ve made a small mix to give you an idea of what I mean; in this audio-clip, we begin with a standard acoustic recording of that point in the score which I made with a shotgun microphone. This is so that you can hear the creaks as they sounded in the space. I then fade that recording into some of the sounds captured by the hydrophone so that you can hear what the sound was like travelling along the floor, and heard from a submerged position. – Felicity Ford



In both my recordings I was interested in capturing the acoustics of the Holywell Music Room.
In the first recording, Tim Parkinson & James Saunders were setting up their set before the start of the concert. Two big boxes full of objects were taken behind the table and some tools were being organised. The sound of the space reacts to their movements getting ready to perform.
In the second recording, The Albion Players were smoothly moving in Holywell and playing with the resonance of the space. – Valeria Merlini





This recording was made by placing a pair of binaural microphones inside a glass jar, which has a particular effect on the acoustics. It was made by Charlotte Heffernan.