Tag Archives: soundscape

Living Waves, Sea Box, and more at Coastival 2014!

University of Hull @ Coastival, February 14th – 16th

There are a number of events on at Scarborough’s Coastival Festival this weekend involving staff and students from the University of Hull, including Living Waves by Rob Mackay – Featuring Evelyn Glennie.

Living Waves

Living Waves is a sonic journey in to stone. It uses the sounds of ringing rocks found in the Lake District to create an immersive sound installation. It was commissioned for the Ruskin Rocks Project and features Dame Evelyn Glennie playing a new lithophone specially created for it .

Evelyn Glennie

I’ve seen Rob present this piece three times and have heard excerpts from it several more. This is the first time it will be exhibited in a complete form but Rob assures me there so much more material to create more work

It will be on at Coastival in Scarborough this weekend on Friday and Saturday (10am – 5pm) at Scarborough’s Rotunda Museum of Geology. FREE ENTRY!

Living Waves_Lakes

There are two other installations including sound design by Rob Mackay, installations by Sam Eaton and Sea Swim:

Sound-Mapping-2

Sounds of Our Surroundings

by Rob MacKay and PhD student Sam Eaton is a virtual instrument in which you make music by interacting with a map of Scarborough. “Create your own composition by combining the sounds of the landscape!”

Sea-Box-Sea-Swim

Sea Box by Sea Swim

This is an installation with 3 channels of video and surround sound which immerses viewers into the experiences of swimming in the North Sea. By Lara Goodband, John Wedgewood Clark, and Rob MacKay.

The festival will involve over 700 performers from the town in the epic production of
Orpheus the Mariner which uses giant puppets, some of which have been made by Music and Drama students from the University of Hull, including the world record attempt at the largest puppet ever built!

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A Life in Sound: Chris Watson

Access an archive of BBC programmes featuring Chris Watson.

lifeinsound

 

Lots of fantastic programmes in there including Hy-Brasil the fantastical island which is the focus of his upcoming exhibition in Leeds, The Island of Secrets- ‘a haunting sound portrait of Orford Ness in Suffolk’- and The Station– a study of the acoustic environment in and below Newcastle train station.

 

Enjoy!!

 

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Ear Cleaning: more than just a filtering system

Worth mentioning that this is not as messy as it sounds. Ear Cleaning is a practice coined by R.M Schafer, founder of the World Soundscape Project, and pioneer in soundscape composition and ecology.

As you can hear from this short recording Schafer merely brings things to his audience’s attention. That is, simply to stand up and sit down cannot be done silently. You can hear him state that it is an exercise he does with children but it is necessary for anyone of any age to do this. His concerns are therefore aimed at the future generations; many of his later text were centred on listening exercises and musicmaking.

Ear Cleaning is a simple exercise that requires no apparatus or extra tools other than your ears and your complete attention. Barry Truax, in the Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, defines it as:

“Any process that encourages a person to listen more discriminately, particularly to sounds of the environment. The term was originally used by R.M. Schafer in his book Ear Cleaning (Toronto, BMI Canada, 1967) to contrast with the traditional practice of ear training in music education which concentrates on the identification and reproduction of intervals, chords, melodies and so on. A set of ear cleaning exercises is given in the above publication.”

(Source : Handbook for Acoustic Ecology)

There are plenty of books and papers to read up on about the subject. I recommend:

Ear Cleaning: Notes for an Experimental Music Course by R.M. Schafer

“Before ear training it should be recognised that we require ear cleaning”

Ear Cleaning, in my opinion, is a necessary practice for all recordists who want to be part of the world they record.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 13.22.09

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Chris Watson Week pt. 03

The Station

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[Image: BBC]

The Station, broadcasted on Wednesday 09 October 2013, is a soundscape composition that captures the psyche of a place by way of it’s acoustic character and history.Only 24 hours in Newcastle Station, as Chris explores, is full of soundmarks that are recognised by the people who work in and use the station on a regular basis.

It is a great piece and includes narration from Chris Watson. Not only is this a good example of acoustic ecology it is also a fantastic narrative piece that cinematically represents a journey and explorations. Technology and doing allow us to make these.

The sound recordist Chris Watson, regularly travels to and from this station and became fascinated by the sounds and acoustics of the building, so when he was granted permission to record inside, he leapt at the chance, visiting at various times during both day and night over several months, to capture the sounds within; from the quiet crackle of the overhead wires on a misty dawn morning to the terrifying roar and clamour of footballs fans and police dogs when Newcastle were playing at home to Sunderland, and the chanting voices and shouts of the fans overwhelmed even the sounds of the trains.

More tomorrow!

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Chris Watson Week pt. 02

Inside the Circle of Fire

Thursday 12 September 2013 – Sunday 23 February 2014

“Chris will transform the Millennium Gallery into an immersive ‘sound map’ of Sheffield, charting its boundaries on the edge of the Peak and travelling its waterways to the bustling heart of the city. Recorded over the past 18 months at locations in and around the city, the sound map will use the latest technology to create a sound which changes throughout the gallery, depending on the listener’s location. By truly hearing the sounds of the city, perhaps for the first time, we hope that visitors will gain a new perspective on Sheffield in 2013.”

Click here for the Guardian review

Sound maps tend to use the existing cartography of GoogleMaps or other popular graphic interface. This allows an interaction between the listener and map.

Chris Watson’s sound map is an example of geographical composing in which the recordist takes the listener on a real-time journey through a geography and its acoustic psyche. It becomes a soundscape experienced only in real time; appropriate for gallery exhibition.

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Water Soundscape Composition Contest – European Acoustic Heritage

European Acoustic Heritage

The European Acoustic Heritage project is currently taking submissions for a soundscape composition competition revolving around the theme of Water.

Open until August 13th 2012, the call is for compositions that involve some aspect of water (be it the obvious or the associated) with an emphasis on culture and context – we have plenty of inspiration here in Scarborough. The compositions must be 10 minutes or less in duration (always a problem for me!).

More detailed information on the contest and the EAH project in general can be found HERE

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