Footsteps from the peripheries of performances

Performance #1: Lee Riley’s 2nd Audiograft 2012 version of Guitar Drag

Kit: A pair of Naiant X-X omnidirectional microphones and a Zoom H4 recorder

Recordist notes: I was waiting for Lee Riley’s guitar sound to come into Pembroke Street on his route into the town centre. After moving around the street, I found a good place for recording his arrival at Modern Art Oxford, and waited there, trying to avoid the drone of a nearby air conditioning system. I declared my recording activities by holding the recorder in plain sight and keeping it in my hands. I had a small talk on the subject of footsteps’ sounds with a man standing outside a nearby pub, and continued to wait for Lee Riley (and the sounds of his performance) to arrive. – Valeria Merlini

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Performance #2: Cartridge Music, performed by Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Lee Patterson, Robert Curgenven, Patrick Farmer, Ferran Fages, Daniel Jones and Stephen Cornford

Kit: A pair of Naiant X-X omnidirectional microphones and a FOSTEX FR-2LE recorder

Recordist notes: I was waiting for the performance of John Cage’s Cartridge Music to come to an end, and listening to the interplay between the sound emanating from the Drama Studio (where the performance was taking place) and the environmental sounds around it. Low bass tones inside the performance mingled at times indistinguishably with the low drone of an aeroplane above, and a man pushing a heavy cart somewhere around the campus. I had the idea to spread my microphones out as wide as possible, trailing them over the railings outside the studio, so as to capture some fleeting impression of the crowd’s experience of the concert as they left the building, talking together. I heard applause, then the crowd began to exit, and then I listened to the footsteps. – Felicity Ford

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