Mike Blow installed a series of devices around the campus at Oxford Brookes University. They are solar-powered oscillators which emit a sound and which hang from the trees inside golden gramaphone horns.
The campus at Oxford Brookes where Mike’s Solar Work was presented during Audiograft 2012 is a very vibrant soundscape, containing the sounds of students talking on their phones and vehicles moving about the campus. The sounds of the grey squirrels and birdlife that live there mix with the sounds of traffic from the main road by the gate.
To document the relationships between this soundscape and the new sounds introduced into the environment by Mike, everyone participating in the Audiograft 2012 Documentation Workshop walked around the grounds listening to the work, and then created a recording, capturing some aspect of their listening experience. Here is one account of that process, from Valeria Merlini;
This recording was made shortly after a listening walk in the area.
With different equipment we spread out from our starting point (under one of Mike Blow’s pieces, near the main entrance of the Richard Hamilton Building where SARU is based) exploring the sounds of the installation with our recording devices.
With the directional microphone in my hands I was mixing the synthetic sound of the installation with its surrounding environment. Oscillating slowly between this two situations, I tried to find a nice balance between the different sound sources. – Valeria Merlini
Felicity Ford also recorded an interview with Mike Blow, exploring how conversations between people can be used to bring extra information to sound recordings.