Tag: Lockdown sounds

June 27th

Somewhere near a field in Oxfordshire

I made this recording on Saturday 27th June:

27062020

At daybreak, my face still turned to the wall, and before I had seen above the big window-curtains what tone the first streaks of light assumed, I could already tell what the weather was like. The first sounds from the street had told me, according to weather they came to my ears deadened and distorted by the moisture of the atmosphere or quivering like arrows in the resonant, empty expanses of a spacious, frosty, pure morning; as soon as I heard the rumble of the first tramcar, I could tell whether it was sodden with rain or setting forth into the blue.

Marcel Proust The Captive (1925)

Leaning out of an upstairs window I can hear the sound of hedgerow birds, chickens running in one of the nearby gardens; a football bouncing on a paving slab and then being kicked into the shrubbery; a lone car heading West on the A4130 sounding the asphalt; a Red Kite circling overhead. I lean out further, listening into the distance, into the future, waiting for the tide of mechanised sound to return, for the drone of tyres on asphalt, not the phasing passage of a single car, but the sweeping tide of traffic sound flooding across fields, down lanes, through dense woodland. Perhaps it is still here, cars pass in groups, the air vibrates, the X2 pauses at the bus stop. Covid 19 has transformed our sounding environment, but how much is that transformation felt in any one place, in a place on the periphery of the situation? Can I hear it from my window? Is it evident in my everyday? And when will the tide of sound turn? and when it does turn how will we feel about it? As the air begins to vibrate with the phasing of distant jets will we want to step back or will we embrace the return to the normative sounding of the world? The soundscape is ambivalent. It represents the reduction of pollutants in the atmosphere but also signals the absence of loved ones. The temporary absence of friends but also the permanent absence of those who have lost their lives. This is a soundscape of hope and a soundscape of loss. It is a soundscape of a brighter future, one where listening to the world is part of the decision-making process we undertake when we chose to travel or not to travel; but it is also a soundscape of a brighter past, a past where now lost loved ones were still with us, where we could hear the sounds of their voices vibrating in the air and not just in memory.

June 19th

Somewhere near a field in Oxfordshire

I made this recording on Friday 19th June:

19062020

At daybreak, my face still turned to the wall, and before I had seen above the big window-curtains what tone the first streaks of light assumed, I could already tell what the weather was like. The first sounds from the street had told me, according to weather they came to my ears deadened and distorted by the moisture of the atmosphere or quivering like arrows in the resonant, empty expanses of a spacious, frosty, pure morning; as soon as I heard the rumble of the first tramcar, I could tell whether it was sodden with rain or setting forth into the blue.

Marcel Proust The Captive (1925)

Leaning out of an upstairs window I can hear the sound of hedgerow birds, chickens running in one of the nearby gardens; a football bouncing on a paving slab and then being kicked into the shrubbery; a lone car heading West on the A4130 sounding the asphalt; a Red Kite circling overhead. I lean out further, listening into the distance, into the future, waiting for the tide of mechanised sound to return, for the drone of tyres on asphalt, not the phasing passage of a single car, but the sweeping tide of traffic sound flooding across fields, down lanes, through dense woodland. Perhaps it is still here, cars pass in groups, the air vibrates, the X2 pauses at the bus stop. Covid 19 has transformed our sounding environment, but how much is that transformation felt in any one place, in a place on the periphery of the situation? Can I hear it from my window? Is it evident in my everyday? And when will the tide of sound turn? and when it does turn how will we feel about it? As the air begins to vibrate with the phasing of distant jets will we want to step back or will we embrace the return to the normative sounding of the world? The soundscape is ambivalent. It represents the reduction of pollutants in the atmosphere but also signals the absence of loved ones. The temporary absence of friends but also the permanent absence of those who have lost their lives. This is a soundscape of hope and a soundscape of loss. It is a soundscape of a brighter future, one where listening to the world is part of the decision-making process we undertake when we chose to travel or not to travel; but it is also a soundscape of a brighter past, a past where now lost loved ones were still with us, where we could hear the sounds of their voices vibrating in the air and not just in memory.

June 16th

Somewhere near a field in Oxfordshire

I made this recording on Tuesday 16th June:

16062020

At daybreak, my face still turned to the wall, and before I had seen above the big window-curtains what tone the first streaks of light assumed, I could already tell what the weather was like. The first sounds from the street had told me, according to weather they came to my ears deadened and distorted by the moisture of the atmosphere or quivering like arrows in the resonant, empty expanses of a spacious, frosty, pure morning; as soon as I heard the rumble of the first tramcar, I could tell whether it was sodden with rain or setting forth into the blue.

Marcel Proust The Captive (1925)

Leaning out of an upstairs window I can hear the sound of hedgerow birds, chickens running in one of the nearby gardens; a football bouncing on a paving slab and then being kicked into the shrubbery; a lone car heading West on the A4130 sounding the asphalt; a Red Kite circling overhead. I lean out further, listening into the distance, into the future, waiting for the tide of mechanised sound to return, for the drone of tyres on asphalt, not the phasing passage of a single car, but the sweeping tide of traffic sound flooding across fields, down lanes, through dense woodland. Perhaps it is still here, cars pass in groups, the air vibrates, the X2 pauses at the bus stop. Covid 19 has transformed our sounding environment, but how much is that transformation felt in any one place, in a place on the periphery of the situation? Can I hear it from my window? Is it evident in my everyday? And when will the tide of sound turn? and when it does turn how will we feel about it? As the air begins to vibrate with the phasing of distant jets will we want to step back or will we embrace the return to the normative sounding of the world? The soundscape is ambivalent. It represents the reduction of pollutants in the atmosphere but also signals the absence of loved ones. The temporary absence of friends but also the permanent absence of those who have lost their lives. This is a soundscape of hope and a soundscape of loss. It is a soundscape of a brighter future, one where listening to the world is part of the decision-making process we undertake when we chose to travel or not to travel; but it is also a soundscape of a brighter past, a past where now lost loved ones were still with us, where we could hear the sounds of their voices vibrating in the air and not just in memory.

Behind Closed Doors #5

Göztepe v Trabzonspor 12062020 : Napoli v Inter 13062020

As the phenomenon of games being played behind closed doors continues I will document the situations in which I experience the matches. Listening to the resonance of the empty stadium seeping into domestic space and then, in turn, imagining the thousands of domestic environments in which the game is being watched, returning to the stadium, resonating, filling the stadium with domestic noise and action.

…the collective song and intoxicating sound of the crowd does not just provide an accompaniment to the beautiful action of the players, but is the sublime matrix out of which play emerges, the force field that energizes the action, taking the form of competitive song and counter-song, strophe and antistrophe. This is why games played in front of empty stadia, say as a punishment for the fans’ racist behaviour, are such an abomination. A game without fans is a kind of category mistake; a mere training ground exercise devoid of sense. The key to football is the complex, configured interaction between sublime music and the beautiful image, Dionysos and Apollo, the fans and the team.

Simon Critchley What We think About When We Think About Football (2017 : p.70-71)

Listening to Göztepe v Trabzonspor from the Gürzel Aksel Stadium in the Süper Lig was like taking a step back to a more innocent time, just a few short days ago, to a time when broadcasters hadn’t yet felt compelled to provide us with an audio carpet of simulated crowd noise to sooth our frayed nerves as we suddenly began to find the exalted spectacle of top class football a little – well – boring. It turns out that Apollo without Dionysus might not be quite what we are looking for. In trying to correct Simon Critchley’s ‘category mistake’ broadcasters have rushed to replace the living, breathing, sound making rush of stadium activity with a wafer thin simulacrum compressing the complexity and rich sounding beauty of the stadium into a stereo mix – the illusion of depth.

Göztepe v Trabzonspor

The following evening as the light faded I caught up with the Semi-Final of the Coppa Italia – Napoli v Inter – at the Stadio San Paolo. I sat outside the back door listening to late night gardening mingling with the intense verbal energy of Gattuso and Conte trying to physically wrestle their players into position weaponising their vocal chords, shaping the air with their gestures. There is no audio carpet here, the sound of traffic outside the stadium on Via Giambattista Marino becoming indistinguishable from the sound of the High Road and Syres Hill in Brightwell.

Napoli v Inter in the garden

As the dusk ebbed away I retreated to the kitchen to watch the closing stages of the match listening to the struggle between Gattuso and Conte, each crackling with energy and intensity energising the action. This is no audio carpet this is the power of desire, a force of nature echoing across the empty terraces of the Sao Paolo, through the streets of Naples and into the night air.

Napoli v Inter in the kitchen

Distal Bodies 44.9dBSPL (LAeq)

Woodcote Village Green

Location: Village Green, Woodcote, Oxfordshire, UK

Date: 13th June 2020

Time: 09:04 – 08:19

Weather: Sunny, light cloud and a gentle breeze

Temperature: 17oC

Average Sound Level: 44.9dBSPL (LAeq)

Woodcote Village Green

Distal Bodies 45.4dBSPL (LAeq)

Woodcote Village Green

Location: Village Green, Woodcote, Oxfordshire, UK

Date: 11th June 2020

Time: 09:07 – 09:22

Weather: Thick cloud and a moderate breeze

Temperature: 14oC

Average Sound Level: 45.4dBSPL (LAeq)

Woodcote Village Green

Behind Closed Doors #4

Augsburg v FC Köln : 07062020

As the phenomenon of games being played behind closed doors continues I will document the situations in which I experience the matches. Listening to the resonance of the empty stadium seeping into domestic space and then, in turn, imagining the thousands of domestic environments in which the game is being watched, returning to the stadium, resonating, filling the stadium with domestic noise and action.

…the collective song and intoxicating sound of the crowd does not just provide an accompaniment to the beautiful action of the players, but is the sublime matrix out of which play emerges, the force field that energizes the action, taking the form of competitive song and counter-song, strophe and antistrophe. This is why games played in front of empty stadia, say as a punishment for the fans’ racist behaviour, are such an abomination. A game without fans is a kind of category mistake; a mere training ground exercise devoid of sense. The key to football is the complex, configured interaction between sublime music and the beautiful image, Dionysos and Apollo, the fans and the team.

Simon Critchley What We think About When We Think About Football (2017 : p.70-71)

Augsburg v FC Köln

Watching Augsburg v FC Köln this weekend while sorting out the washing I slowly realised that the producers at BT Sport had added crowd noise – or perhaps that there was crowd noise playing in the stadium. I did a bit of research and found that:

…an “audio carpet” for the basic noise is taken from the previous meeting and it is mixed with the real noise of the game. Reaction samples for scenarios such as penalties, fouls and decisions from VAR are created and “inserted” by a watching producer.

(from https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52950715)

So what is this experience? We listen to the sound of football being played in a near empty stadium; to a commentator in a studio. We hear almost every kick of the ball; the referee’s whistle resonating freely through the space and rebounding from the empty terraces; the sound of the occasional siren in the streets close to the stadium; the shouts of players and coaches. But now we also hear environmental sound, stereo crowd sound from a previous match being mixed live – auditory archaeology recreating reaction; simulating presence. The match is sounding in the present and the past. Where are the past spectators whose voices we now hear projected into our experience of the WWK Arena? Are they at home listening to the sound of themselves; listening to their reconstituted sounding memories.

John Brewin reflects on the experience of simulated crowd sound during Borussia Dortmund’s game against Hertha Berlin earlier that weekend:

Those watching Borussia Borussia Dortmund’s 1-0 home defeat of Hertha Berlin were treated to the greatest hits of the Westfalenstadion’s Yellow Wall. The sound mixer, operating from Sky Germany’s studio in Munich, conducted a knowledgeable if partisan crowd. As Dortmund’s Emre Can stepped from defence to clear up some first-half danger, he was the recipient of applause, and when Hertha’s defender Dedryck Boyata appeared to have handled in the penalty area, the “fans” bayed for VAR before booing when the claim was denied by the officials. For the viewer there was the comforting embrace of context. Watching a game played behind closed doors requires extra concentration. The ebbs and flows of crowd noises can tell the viewer when they need to pay closer attention.
During Dortmund’s first game back, their 4-0 defeat of Schalke, the most audible sound in the Westfalenstadion was the throb of the electrics required to power a stadium built to hold 81,000 people. The Hertha game, though it produced a far less satisfactory performance from Dortmund, felt a superior viewing experience.

John Brewin : The Guardian 07062020 15.48 BST

It is Sunday evening and I’m emptying and re-filling the tumble-dryer, laying the table, chatting, keeping one eye on the match, still goal-less. Listening to the diegetic and non-diegetic sound of the passing moment.

Augsburg v FC Köln

June 9th

Somewhere near a field in Oxfordshire

I made this recording on Tuesday 9th June:

09062020

At daybreak, my face still turned to the wall, and before I had seen above the big window-curtains what tone the first streaks of light assumed, I could already tell what the weather was like. The first sounds from the street had told me, according to weather they came to my ears deadened and distorted by the moisture of the atmosphere or quivering like arrows in the resonant, empty expanses of a spacious, frosty, pure morning; as soon as I heard the rumble of the first tramcar, I could tell whether it was sodden with rain or setting forth into the blue.

Marcel Proust The Captive (1925)

Leaning out of an upstairs window I can hear the sound of hedgerow birds, chickens running in one of the nearby gardens; a football bouncing on a paving slab and then being kicked into the shrubbery; a lone car heading West on the A4130 sounding the asphalt; a Red Kite circling overhead. I lean out further, listening into the distance, into the future, waiting for the tide of mechanised sound to return, for the drone of tyres on asphalt, not the phasing passage of a single car, but the sweeping tide of traffic sound flooding across fields, down lanes, through dense woodland. Perhaps it is still here, cars pass in groups, the air vibrates, the X2 pauses at the bus stop. Covid 19 has transformed our sounding environment, but how much is that transformation felt in any one place, in a place on the periphery of the situation? Can I hear it from my window? Is it evident in my everyday? And when will the tide of sound turn? and when it does turn how will we feel about it? As the air begins to vibrate with the phasing of distant jets will we want to step back or will we embrace the return to the normative sounding of the world? The soundscape is ambivalent. It represents the reduction of pollutants in the atmosphere but also signals the absence of loved ones. The temporary absence of friends but also the permanent absence of those who have lost their lives. This is a soundscape of hope and a soundscape of loss. It is a soundscape of a brighter future, one where listening to the world is part of the decision-making process we undertake when we chose to travel or not to travel; but it is also a soundscape of a brighter past, a past where now lost loved ones were still with us, where we could hear the sounds of their voices vibrating in the air and not just in memory.

Distal Bodies 45.6dBSPL (LAeq)

Woodcote Village Green

Location: Village Green, Woodcote, Oxfordshire, UK

Date: 9th June 2020

Time: 09:03 – 09:18

Weather: Light cloud and light winds

Temperature: 13oC

Average Sound Level: 45.6dBSPL (LAeq)

Woodcote Village Green

All Terrain #7

Sound heard: breath before sleep:inhalation and exhalation through nose

Name of track: Breath before sleep 08.06.

Stethoscope contact: on bone – right side of nose

(Listen with Headphones)

08.06.2020

Bristol UK (Latitude 51.4690527°, Longitude 2.5829104°.)

(Listen With Headphones)

Accompanying text from distant place:

“In the evening, the lights on the ward are dimmed, and those in the rooms are switched off… You have to look more at, what shall I say, you listen more to their breathing when the patient is asleep, if it changes in any way, or some other disturbing element in the patient, maybe more often, and then you have to, because there’s no light you might not see any variation in colour (in the patient) but you may – you feel..” (A nurse Interviewed; 2008)

Stockholm Sweden (Latitude: 59.3513 Longitude: 18.0260.)

Reference: Working in dim light.

Night nursing – staff’s working experiences Published: 31.10.2008

https://bmcnurs.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6955-7-13

(accessed on line 08.06.2020)