1st September 2015

Returning - Sound Pieces

Four Pieces - remembered field/music: I. Sea Back II. Reed Voice III. Lost July IV. Still Movement

These pieces are made with sounds from some of the very first field recording trips I made.  I visited places from my childhood that had become almost iconic in their status for me, representing my early years spent outdoors.  In this sense, I see these pieces as small sonic monuments, or memorials. 


In going to these often-remembered places in the ‘Sandlings’ (heath, marsh, forest and meadowlands) near the Suffolk coast, I was disrupting stable memories with layers of new experience, yet I was also reaffirming some kind of connection and sense of belonging.  The decision to make sounds using the materials that I found in situ was an instinctive one, but there was certainly a sense of paying homage and of reminding myself of the intimate knowledge of how wood vibrates, how a hollow grass sounds - the particular reciprocity of touch found only with organic materials.  In solitude, I could allow myself the idea that the memory was shared – that there was an understanding between myself and the place and all the things living there.


The tonal elements in these pieces are similarly sourced from the musical world of my childhood and reinterpreted.  In the same way that our nostalgia might give our visual memories a faded, golden hue, the musical elements often imbue the soundscapes with a sonic ‘glow’ or resonance. 


In these pieces, I developed with David Shepperd various sound processing techniques based on neuro-scientific research into how the brain remembers: processes of fragmenting, resonance, retrieval and reconsolidation as a basis for re-structuring sound.

The transitions between environmental and musical sounds invite the listener to shift perspectives in relation to the imagined places these sound-worlds might suggest.


With David Shepperd (digital design) and Jo Wills (mix).

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