Tag: field-recording

Beth Shearsby

Outside working on laptop
Evening TV On
Dawn Chorus
Car Conversations
Bus

Extract Beth’s work (below) featured in Recording Life In Sound (SARU 2019).

Beth Shearsby is an experimental artist based in Oxfordshire. Her current work heavily explores a combination of caustic + ambient noise. Using synthesisers, tape loops, D.I.Y circuits + other materials during improvised live performance. She is also an active member of creative educational charity Young Women’s Music Project, which supports women in music through workshops, talks, festivals + more.

Bethshearsby.com

Instagram:@bethshearsby

Richard Bentley

Sweep
Sweep (stereo Contacts)


Sweep
3.15pm 25th April 2019
 
This transcription of sweeping was made at the beginning of the project and captures something of the interplay of sound and ‘thought-sound’ typical of my sweeping practice.
 
Underlying the internal monologue (in italics) and the more transitory sounds transcribed (in parentheses), is the sound of the bristles on laminate floor, the occasional knock of the broom against the skirting boards and the squeaking of its plastic handle. The low humming, whirring, clunking and squealing of the washing machine in the kitchen, is heard at first from the hallway then louder as I enter the dining room and kitchen. Its sound appears and disappears from the soundscape as it progresses through its washing cycle.
 
Sound of the sweeping
Brushes
Not much dust
It’s where I hoovered
 
What’s that on the floor?
Umm, lots of cat hair.
(Broom knocks into microphone stand leaning against the wall under the stairs)
Oops. Don’t want to knock that over.
 
This floor hasn’t been swept for a while.
 
(cough)
 
Just noticing how bent my back is.
Lots of cat hair. It’s very difficult to sweep.
 
Brush the door off.
 
Cat hair gets stuck to the bottom of the broom and drifts around in the air currents.
 
Just remembering the tea leaves I spilt from the caddy on my way out, as I sweep them up.
Is that a finger nail? Hmm.
 
I put the washing machine on, it’s always whirring.
 
(Broom knocks into the underside of the unit)
Umm, difficult to get underneath…some of the units.
 
Umm, there’s a hair pin. Should I pick it up? Should do really.
 
Oh…a spider? Nah.
 
(washing machine starts up again)
Washing machine again.
I’ll close the door to stop the draft coming through.
 
(loud clanking sound of door shutting and reverberating around the kitchen-come-dining room.)
 
Oh, gotta move this heavy chair.
 
(The broom handle bounces on the wall as it is leant against it. Loud, scrape of heavy chair being dragged along the oak-effect vinyl flooring)
Wow, loads of cat hair under there. Some stuck to the bottom of the chair leg.
 
Kids will be home from school soon.
Try and get this done before they get home, it’s just easier.
 
Gonna have to stop and take all of this cat hair off.
(brushing halts and is closely followed by sound of rustling, picking-off matted cat-hair from the bristles)
 
This floor’s done well. Karndean I think it’s called.
Expensive, but it’s done a good job.
 
Oh. Someone has left some shiny old paper under the unit.
It’s probably one of the kids.
I don’t think Sarah uses those.
 
Oh, a dandelion.
From Sarah’s lino cut.
 
What will I find under here?
Oop, I don’t know, but I can’t move it.
Oh, I think it’s the table cloth, cover.
 
Wow, there’s a lot of rubbish, a lot of dirt and dust today.
 
Oh, my back hurts.
 
Probably why the bottom of my socks are a mess.
I think Zen monks have special slippers they wear.
 
I wonder if they stop the dirt sticking to the bottom?
That’d be helpful.
 
Thinking about the project. (wondering how accurately I can capture my thoughts by speaking them)
 
There’s all sorts of hair, and dirt, underneath the radiator.
(sound of drilling noticeable in the distance)
 
I wonder if the speed at which I do this and the very methodical approach is something I’ve learnt from being at home, my mum doing that. Very methodical.
 
(stop to clear-off hair stuck to the brush)
Someone is doing some sawing or drilling outside.
 
Oh, forgot to pick up the cat food and water. Oh what a mess! Eat pretty messily these cats.
The thing with wearing these binaural microphones is that the cable gets in the way. I should have really tucked it in to my t-shirt… put it underneath.
I wonder if the recording level’s OK?
(washing machine starts up again)
There’s a lot of washing in there.
 
(Sound of drilling in the distance, noticeable when the washing machine stops)
That drilling again. I wonder what’s going on?
Swishing again. Quite a nice sound. Gentle. It has a softness about it.
 
(Broom knocks against the skirting under the kitchen units)
Is there a rubber part on the end of this broom? Sounds like it.
Haven’t done this for a long time.
It’s uh, really, really dirty. I suppose it was the Easter holidays.
I’ll have to clean that skirting or whatever they call it, under the units.
It’s always messy… where we prepare the food.
 
Better not tread in the pile I’ve just swept up.
Bran Flakes. Gor’, there’s all sorts in here.
 
What time is it. Half-past three. Kids’ll be home in ten minutes.
Must remember Phoebe’s appointment for parents evening.
 
Right, now can I put this in the compost bin? Yeah, I think it’s…. it’s all…
Cat hair and dust and food – it’s all organic.
(Sweeping pile of dirt into the dustpan. Rustle of a piece of plastic wrapper pulled from the dirt)
I’ll take that plastic bit out.
(Sound of emptying the dustpan into the compost bin)
The compost bin lid’s broken.
Phew, I’m done. Bit of a pain in my back after doing that.
Wash my hands I think.
(Sound of running water, depressing the hand-soap pump, squelching of lathering soap, rinsing hands under tap. It stops, exposing the whirr of the washing machine again)
 
Right! Put the chairs back. Think we’re done.
 

Extract from Sweep (below) featured in Recording Life In Sound (SARU 2019).

Richard Bentley is a musician and sound artist whose work explores the relationship between listening; quiet and stillness; field recording; listening exercises; prose composition and other contemplative arts practices. He is a practice-based researcher with the Sonic Art Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University. His current work includes a CoCreation community engagement secondment with European Alternatives in Paris and a four-month long project ‘Small Silence’ which explores the value of quiet spaces to local people in Reading, UK. Richard releases music on the Buried Treasure record label and has developed bespoke audio products for clients such as The Woodland Trust, Crisis, Intelligent Health, The Roald Dahl Museum, Nature Nurture and a host of community arts organisations. Richard is also an Associate Artist with the Jelly arts organisation based in Reading and Associate Lecturer in audio production at both Oxford Brookes and the University of West London.

February 27th

In 2009 I contributed a project to Sound Diaries awkwardly titled Unspectacular February. We had just published a series of recordings from the first minute of 2009 full of fireworks, excitement, and new beginnings and so it seemed like we should follow this up with something from the everyday business of being. The result was a series of one minute recordings capturing the everyday activities of the kitchen – the sound of the dishwasher, kettle, fridge, toaster, cutlery drawer, microwave and the more distant sounds of the house – television from the next room, footsteps upstairs, the washing machine in the shed. I thought that I should mark the passing of ten years by doing this again. I’m in a different kitchen now but many of the objects are still the same.

February the 27th has arrived, the unspectacular is here for the penultimate time. There’s sweeping, piano practice, the television – standard.

(February 27th 2019 piano practice, sweeping, the usual)

February 24th

In 2009 I contributed a project to Sound Diaries awkwardly titled Unspectacular February. We had just published a series of recordings from the first minute of 2009 full of fireworks, excitement, and new beginnings and so it seemed like we should follow this up with something from the everyday business of being. The result was a series of one minute recordings capturing the everyday activities of the kitchen – the sound of the dishwasher, kettle, fridge, toaster, cutlery drawer, microwave and the more distant sounds of the house – television from the next room, footsteps upstairs, the washing machine in the shed. I thought that I should mark the passing of ten years by doing this again. I’m in a different kitchen now but many of the objects are still the same.

February the 24th is here and nothing’s happening except the dishwasher, emptying the food waste, switching lights on and off.

(February 24th 2019 switching lights on and off)

February 23rd

In 2009 I contributed a project to Sound Diaries awkwardly titled Unspectacular February. We had just published a series of recordings from the first minute of 2009 full of fireworks, excitement, and new beginnings and so it seemed like we should follow this up with something from the everyday business of being. The result was a series of one minute recordings capturing the everyday activities of the kitchen – the sound of the dishwasher, kettle, fridge, toaster, cutlery drawer, microwave and the more distant sounds of the house – television from the next room, footsteps upstairs, the washing machine in the shed. I thought that I should mark the passing of ten years by doing this again. I’m in a different kitchen now but many of the objects are still the same.

February the 23rd is here. The cat is sitting on the sofa. Final Score is on in another room. The doors are open to the garden.

(February 23rd 2019 Doors are open to the garden)

February 20th

In 2009 I contributed a project to Sound Diaries awkwardly titled Unspectacular February. We had just published a series of recordings from the first minute of 2009 full of fireworks, excitement, and new beginnings and so it seemed like we should follow this up with something from the everyday business of being. The result was a series of one minute recordings capturing the everyday activities of the kitchen – the sound of the dishwasher, kettle, fridge, toaster, cutlery drawer, microwave and the more distant sounds of the house – television from the next room, footsteps upstairs, the washing machine in the shed. I thought that I should mark the passing of ten years by doing this again. I’m in a different kitchen now but many of the objects are still the same.

February the 20th is here and there’s some butternut squash and chick pea curry bubbling on the stove, the cat is looking for some food, and the usual activities of heating up water and operating the microwave are in full effect.

(February 20th 2019 Thai curry on the stove.)

February 18th

In 2009 I contributed a project to Sound Diaries awkwardly titled Unspectacular February. We had just published a series of recordings from the first minute of 2009 full of fireworks, excitement, and new beginnings and so it seemed like we should follow this up with something from the everyday business of being. The result was a series of one minute recordings capturing the everyday activities of the kitchen – the sound of the dishwasher, kettle, fridge, toaster, cutlery drawer, microwave and the more distant sounds of the house – television from the next room, footsteps upstairs, the washing machine in the shed. I thought that I should mark the passing of ten years by doing this again. I’m in a different kitchen now but many of the objects are still the same.

February the 18th has arrived and I’m washing up, that’s right, actually doing the work and not relying on white goods but practising some sinkcraft! Folk skills!

(February 18th 2019 actually washing up.)

February 15th

In 2009 I contributed a project to Sound Diaries awkwardly titled Unspectacular February. We had just published a series of recordings from the first minute of 2009 full of fireworks, excitement, and new beginnings and so it seemed like we should follow this up with something from the everyday business of being. The result was a series of one minute recordings capturing the everyday activities of the kitchen – the sound of the dishwasher, kettle, fridge, toaster, cutlery drawer, microwave and the more distant sounds of the house – television from the next room, footsteps upstairs, the washing machine in the shed. I thought that I should mark the passing of ten years by doing this again. I’m in a different kitchen now but many of the objects are still the same.

It’s February the 15th now and this is pretty much a collection of sounds that have already been featured on unspectacular February but in a slightly different combination which is as it should be really.

(February 14th 2019 Putting stuff in the bin, the kettle, making tea – yeah, more of that…)

February 12th

In 2009 I contributed a project to Sound Diaries awkwardly titled Unspectacular February. We had just published a series of recordings from the first minute of 2009 full of fireworks, excitement, and new beginnings and so it seemed like we should follow this up with something from the everyday business of being. The result was a series of one minute recordings capturing the everyday activities of the kitchen – the sound of the dishwasher, kettle, fridge, toaster, cutlery drawer, microwave and the more distant sounds of the house – television from the next room, footsteps upstairs, the washing machine in the shed. I thought that I should mark the passing of ten years by doing this again. I’m in a different kitchen now but many of the objects are still the same.

February the 12th just back from work and it’s time to put the breakfast bowls and other detritus in the dishwasher, oh, and refill Marvin’s water. Hectic.

(February 12th 2019 Putting crockery in the dishwasher, filling marvin’s bowl with water.)

February 11th

In 2009 I contributed a project to Sound Diaries awkwardly titled Unspectacular February. We had just published a series of recordings from the first minute of 2009 full of fireworks, excitement, and new beginnings and so it seemed like we should follow this up with something from the everyday business of being. The result was a series of one minute recordings capturing the everyday activities of the kitchen – the sound of the dishwasher, kettle, fridge, toaster, cutlery drawer, microwave and the more distant sounds of the house – television from the next room, footsteps upstairs, the washing machine in the shed. I thought that I should mark the passing of ten years by doing this again. I’m in a different kitchen now but many of the objects are still the same.

February the 11th already, well only just, sneaking this in just before midnight although I made the recording this morning as Marvin our cat was eating his breakfast. The washing machine was sounding off too. Happy Days!

(February 10th 2019 Marvin eating his breakfast, washing machine sounding off)