OX-LDN return – field / materiality

On the Oxford Tube after the exhibition and having read Manfred Werder’s extracted notes Field [http://manfred-werder-archives.blogspot.co.uk/] the bus driver’s voice commanded me in its comforting bassy tone to sit back and enjoy the sound of his voice over the deeply idling engine.

[mejsaudio src=”http://www.sound-diaries.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/1044-bass-driver-intro-a.mp3″]
1044 bass driver intro

[mejsaudio src=”http://www.sound-diaries.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/1046-begin-journey-a.mp3″]
1046 begin journey

[mejsaudio src=”http://www.sound-diaries.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/1047-slow-acceleration-a.mp3″]
1047 slow acceleration

In listening to the rise and fall of the bass sound coming from the engine through the floor I became aware of the contrasting high rattle of the internal fittings and furniture. I then realised there was more enveloping background present in the form of a large wide hollow body of sound that felt like it was related to the internal air pressure of the bus and which seemed to be mixed with the sound of the constant flow of air moving past the external skin of the bus – or the other way round depending on how you look at it.

[mejsaudio src=”http://www.sound-diaries.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/1049-busair-fittings-traffic-a.mp3″]
1049 bus air fittings traffic

Maybe it was less appropriate to think of the bus as an object causing sound than to think of a bus-situation of complex materiality…

…while there is such a thing as the bus travelling along the motorway there are also interrelated and constantly fluxing fields around [and within?] both the bus and me… In listening to the random flow of quiet quick thin sounds of individual cars passing in the opposite direction 20m away, each making its own v light whipped wishing noise it was clear that the situation changed significantly with only small changes to the position of listening particularly in relation to the windscreen.

[mejsaudio src=”http://www.sound-diaries.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/1050-traffic-space.mp3″]
1050 traffic space

This post is by Toby O’Connor, who participated in the Documenting Sound workshop held at Audiograft 2012 by Felicity Ford and Valeria Merlini