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Wednesday February 27th, 2013

Sound Diaries was set up in 2008 by Felicity Ford and Paul Whitty and is a research project of the Sonic Art Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University. Sound Diaries is dedicated to recording everyday life in sound.

Open call for papers for 2013 Sound Diaries Symposium - How are we using field-recordings to change the world? Recommended Sound Diaries listening The HEARth diaries and Audiograft 2013 Valeria Merlini talks about Audiograft 2012 and her sonic memories of the festival SOUND BANK centrefold - 07 Listening to Roma Tearnes book, The Swimmer Make your own entry for SOUND BANK & Sonic breakfasts, as drawn by children at Fir Tree Primary School in Wallingford James Saunders talks about Audiograft 2012, Make Sound Here, and his sonic memories of the festival The imminent sounds of everyday objects Saving an EDIROL R-09 with silicon dessicant

Open call for papers for 2013 Sound Diaries Symposium - How are we using field-recordings to change the world?

Sound Diaries Symposium: How are we using field recordings to change the world? SARU, Oxford Brookes University, Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th June 2013.
Field recording practices have multiplied and diversified in response to the new possibilities presented by increasingly affordable recording gear, developments in software, and the constantly changing cultural landscape of the Internet. Field recordings can be shared on Facebook, burned onto CDs, linked to on Twitter, and added to playlists; at no time in history have so many ambient recordings detailing the sonic textures of everyday life been available to us for usage and contemplation. So who is listening to these recordings? What kinds of cultural practices are developing in relation to them? How are field recordings being used by different practitioners to explore ideas of place, specific cultural or historic contexts, and other contemporary issues? Put simply, how are we using (or how could we use) field recordings to change the world? This symposium will explore some of these questions, looking at recent projects by practitioners who are working with field recordings specifically to explore social or cultural contexts. The morning and early afternoon will be given to presentations by practitioners, and then there will be an informal skills-sharing session, in which practitioners working with field recordings can share their practical experiences and answer questions from the floor over tea and coffee. We welcome submissions to present at this symposium about the following: Online projects which use field recordings as a principal component Workshops or other learning endeavours which involved field recording as a practical activity Projects which used field recording as a main research tool Experiments in listening to, and disseminating, field-recordings Political uses of field recording or political field recordings Measuring audience engagement with field recordings Stories relating to the collection and production of field-recordings

Please send a 200 word abstract plus links to your project to by the end of April 2013.

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Recommended Sound Diaries listening

Heard around
In considering the themes for the forthcoming Sound Diaries Symposium, we thought it would be apposite for us to select some of the sounds that can be heard online and which relate loosely to the question how are we using field-recordings to change the world?. These recordings draw our attention to technology; to noise pollution; to the sounds connected with environmental damage and repair; to moments of wonder in everyday life; and to our connection with the natural world. The QR codes will take you to some of the sounds featured on the list; the rest can be heard by typing the URLs.

John Grzinich contact mic recording of wind on a dead pine tree at the Lithuanian coast.

Joe Stevens straight recording of noisy central heating system.

Ian Rawes Sirens at the Coryton oil refinery in Essex undergo a weekly test, making strange whale-like noises.

John Levack Drever Litany of the hand dryers.

Peter Cusack | Power cable crackle Mazen Kerbaj | Minimalistic improvisation feat. trumpet / the Israeli air force / bombs John Levack Drever | Litany of the hand dryers John Grzinich | Wind on a dead pine branch Joe Stevens | Mothers central heating Ian Rawes | Sirens at Coryton oil refinery, Essex Patrick McGinley | Spontaneous fermentation Claudia Wegener | Brixton Vigil 19 Jan 2008 William Cheshire | Bowls at Southend Ernst Karel | Materials Recovery Facility

Claudia Wegener A memorial for a trader who was killed at his stall in Brixton market; rec. 2008.
Recommended reading Sonic Journalism - Peter Cusack sonic_journalism.html Politics and the limits of field recording - Ian Rawes blog_comments/1777/

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The HEARth diaries, Sound Diaries and Audiograft 2013 by Felicity Ford

The HEARth diaries

Before I travelled to Estonia in 2011 for the Tuned City festival, my friend Stav (Stavroula Kounadea) made me a little guidebook, introducing the kinds of places I might enjoy frequenting around the city. She concentrated on practical stuff like where I would find knitting shops, and where the best coffee shops are. The little book gave me a way in to Tallinn and took the edge of that sensation of being alone in a strange city. To celebrate, I created my first field-recording in Tallinn in what Stavs recommended Best Coffee Shop in Tallinn (Kohvik Must Puudel, Mrivahe 20, Tallinn, Estonia). I went there with Valeria Merlini to plan our field-recording activities together and we listened to the plastic, retro bucket chairs; the clean the clink of the china; the percussive the espresso machine; and the laid-back reggae beats. Listening to the recording, I still remember the bitterness of that strong coffee, and Valeria studiously trying not to laugh while I was recording as her chair squeaked outrageously at any movement.


Valeria and I ran a workshop on behalf of framework:radio together that year, exploring sonic documentation and field recording with a group of participants. In our work we related the art sounds of the festival with the surrounding context and everyday soundscape of the city. We mixed up the coffees, the banter, the acoustics and the texture of everyday life in Tallinn with the sounds introduced there by the artists who played, improvised, performed, spoke and presented. Before Paul Whitty travelled to Berlin to perform it pays my way and it corrodes my soul with Stephen Cornford, he decided to make a Sound Diary of the entire trip. Whenever he could, he stopped and recorded his situation, detailing everything from the raucous queue outside a nightclub in Oxford to the escalators at Stansted and a Mexican dinner in Berlin. The resulting collection of recordings contextualises the performance of it pays my way and it corrodes my soul within the sounds and stories of the world, blurring the distinctions between life and art. Rather than merely evidencing the performance of it pays my way and it corrodes my soul, the Berlin Sound Diary becomes a piece in its own right, extending the function of documentation to include the circumstances around the performance; the travel and sustenance of the artists involved, and all the places involved in transit. These events have led to the development of a creative events programme called HEARth, specifically designed to mix up art, life and every sounds, as in the Tuned City documentation workshop and the Berlin Sound Diary. HEARth is a project by Felicity Ford and Stavroula Kounadea under their joint alias, STELIX, and is about how the little things (making your friend a guidebook and going for a coffee together) often lead to the big things (forming International working partnerships and making art together). As the exaggerated HEAR in HEARth suggests, HEARth is also about listening together, and listening to one another, and therefore about exploring the social side of sound. HEARth celebrates all the contexts around Audiograft, (the friendships, the hanging-out-afterwards, the eating, reading, and partying together) as well as the work that features in the main festival programme, and provides pre-event activities and after-event socials. HEARth will also feature a Sound Diaries component. Starting with the field recording created in The Best Coffee Shop in Tallinn, HEARth stories will document the everyday sounds that visiting artists attending Audiograft 2013 might experience between performances, concerts and sound installations. Stay tuned to hear the soundworlds of Oxfords finest pubs, interior spaces and walking routes, and for field-recordings celebrating the work of our field-recording comrades, James Saunders and Kathy Hinde. The HEARth stories and recordings from the Sound Diaries archives will also be a focus in the forthcoming Audiograft HEARth URLs Sound Diaries podcast series, which will be published at throughout Audiograft 2013.

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Valeria Merlini talks to Felicity Ford about some of the sounds remembered from Audiograft 2012

Sound memories of Audiograft 2012 with Valeria Merlini

Q: What are three sounds that comes into your head when you think back to Audiograft 2012? The sound of "Snow" by Daphne Oram. It was our daily soundtrack in the car driving to Audiograft. It was the perfect warm-up for a day long workshop. The sound of "Ricercare"* by Paul Whitty heard in relation to the urban environment. You could perceive an organic mixing of the concert held at the entrance of Modern Art Oxford and the sound of pedestrians passing by carrying their shopping bags and trolleys. It was possible to walk along the street deciding how to make a real-time mix between these two contexts: everyday life in the city centre during the weekend, and the temporary sonic situation built by the players. The music was giving space to urban sound, through interruptions/changes/pauses during the execution of the score. During my mobile listening in the street I experienced a very nice transition between the sound of the church bells coming from a square near by, the footsteps, the voices, and the music of "Ricercare". The sound of the Holywell Music Room. It has a nice acoustic. Q: About Audiograft 2012... three words? Fun, intense listening experience, academic context. Q: Do you have a favourite field recording memory from the festival? Yes, laughing with a man in front of a pub while talking about recording footsteps sounds. It was a joyful, unexpected experience to share with somebody uninvolved in Audiograft what my interest in that moment was. Specifically related to the festival, I remember the sounds of the performances held at Modern Art Oxford perceived from the kitchen next to the concert room. I remember the sound of shaking glasses, caused by the low frequencies played by some musicians. Q: Were there any sounds in Oxford city which especially stuck in your mind? The sound of a plane passing by, fading in and out smoothly. We had a nice conversation about that during our workshop, because that experience was perceived by all of us in different ways.

Valeria Merlini in The Best Coffee Shop in Tallinn, 2011
Born in Bolzano, Valeria Merlini is a sound artist, DJ and curator based in Berlin. After completing her study in Architecture in Florence, she obtained a Masters degree in Sound Studies at UdK, Berlin. In her work she explores sounds of the everyday within an urban context through an interdisciplinary and critical approach. She is co-founder of Studio Urban Resonance, is a member of the Italian label Burp Enterprise and co-runs Staalplaat Radio. In 2011 Valeria Merlini & Felicity Ford collaborated as ford&merlini to run a framework:radio documentation workshop for Tuned City, Tallinn; in 2012, ford&merlini worked together at Audiograft 2012 to run a documentation workshop. Valeria Merlini is producing a mix to open up the Audiograft 2013 after party - this mix will feature some field recordings from Audiograft 2012. You can read about many of the sounds in Valerias interview at the following URLs: -lost-found/ *Ricercare by Paul Whitty is a text-based score for any number of players, using found scores; recordings; turntables; and any other appropriate sound reproduction devices. Players select specific events in their found scores and then search through their recorded media to find and play that particular event out loud. There is more information here:

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SOUND BANK - an archive of recorded sounds by Felicity Ford

Have you ever tried to write about, draw, or notate a sound? Did you find that thinking about the sound as you wrote, drew, or notated it changed how you felt about it? In 2008, Felicity Ford embarked on SOUND BANK a Sound Diaries project designed to explore these questions; the idea was to record a sound on paper every day for a year. SOUND BANK is still in progress; the original idea was to have a years worth of records and there are still gaps in the archive where no sounds were recorded. However over time the paper envelopes hand-printed and filled out with notes, words and drawings become interesting objects in their own right, speaking from their place in history about sounds still remembered or long lost. Here are some SOUND BANK records from February 2009 & 2010, some in the special edition SOUND BANK envelopes printed for the Love is Awesome gallery show, (red) and some in the regular blue stationery. You can make your own SOUND BANK record on p.09.

27 FEB 2010 - Rain on drama studio roof

(Words & Drawing) - The thin roof of the drama studio, plus its large, boxy shape, make it act a little bit like a biscuit tin in the rain a resonant sound box for the weather. Its such an amazing space, sonically, because inside it is sort of dulled by the thick, dusty curtains & old piles of costumes & dark, absorbent surfaces. Yet very near, outside, are trees absolutely full of birds and wasps whose buzzing can be heard clearly. Cracks in the corners let light & birdsong in & there is a curious mix of the dullness of the ambience (dark, dusty, boxy) & the constant infiltration of weather & wildlife into the space rain is a delicate series of pitters & patters, drumming gently on the roof. Often followed by the clear trilling of birds.

28 FEB 2010 - The floorboards at Marks house

(Words & Drawing) - because of the way the rooms are organised and because of the wooden floor boards, the downstairs of Marks house sounds very distinctive. The wood is hard - it doesnt creak at all. But walking around has a warm, wooden tone & I always notice the dampening effect of the floor rug in the living room & the way the boards echo more in the Dining Room.

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SOUND BANK - an archive of recorded sounds by Felicity Ford

01 MAR 2010 - The kettle boiling for tea

(Words) - When I put the kettle on, it always seems at first as if very little is happening. Then there is the excitement as the element begins to make a fizzy, droning, whoosh kind of noise, & I find myself running for a cup and a teabag in readiness for the hot water. As the whirring sound of the water heating commences, I normally find some task with which to occupy myself while Im waiting. I usually pick up a few things that need tidying in the kitchen, or go into the Dining Room to finish an email. The sonorous, rumbling boil quickly comes to an end with the surprisingly loud CLICK which tells me it is time to come and pour the boiled water onto my teabag, & drink my tea.

28 FEB 2010 - The specific sound of my keys in my door

(Words) - When I get home from shopping for food, there is a particular relief about grinding my keys into the stiff, Yale lock & feeling the door give way. It is like an END POINT to the outdoors/shopping component of the day. My hallway is large & tall & Victorian and cavernous, & the heavy door always rattles a little as it thuds dully shut. (Or thuds shut, dully if you prefer.) My keys rattle when I stand outside the door; there are many keys & they jangle, the sounds somehow bouncing off the ceramic floor tiles or something its echoey & metallic & then suddenly youre in the PEACE of the hallway! Magic.

03 - 06 MAR 2009 The rice pot going dry TRAFFIC BBC Studio soundproofing Late Blackbird

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Listening to Roma Tearnes book, The Swimmer by Paul Whitty

I am sitting at my kitchen table something I do a lot of primarily because it is my principle workspace at home. As I sit here I am assaulted with a barrage of sound. I can hear jets of water inside the dishwasher as they spray against an old baking tray and a glass bowl. I cant resist putting my ear to the door and listening to the detail in the sound the drone of the motor; the gurgle and drip of the water from the jets as it finds its way to the outflow I dont know when it happened, but at some point it seems that I began to privilege sound as the primary means of engagement with my surroundings. Amongst other things this led me to start reading for sound whenever I read a novel. Reading a novel became as much about routing out the fleeting references to the soundscape inhabited by the characters as about appreciating the ebb and flow of the narrative. This attitude to reading led to the development of a project with Roma Tearne based on her novel The Swimmer and the soundscape of the Suffolk Coastline where the principle action takes place. The following text is an extract from a catalogue essay written when the project was featured at the 54th Venice Biennale.

and I heard as if for the very first time, the sound of surf, a pebble falling into water,
Standing on the shore at Aldeburgh I cast my hydrophones into the surf. There are fishermen on either side. They eye me suspiciously with my cables and headphones. The boom-pole Ive attached the cables to looks like a fishing rod. Well, I am testing the water - fishing for sound. The hydrophones are swept back and forth by the swell, they crackle into life I aim my microphone at the shoreline. The detail it reveals reminds me of looking at sand under a microscope, grains becoming pebbles then rocks as the magnification is increased. I can hear the white noise of the wave and then the sound of the pebbles being pulled back towards the North Sea as the wave withdraws. I start to think about location does this sound only belong to Aldeburgh? Ive heard it elsewhere of course but this seems distinctive. The size of the pebbles, their shape, their geological characteristics, the mixture of smaller and larger pebbles revealed at low tide, and then sand. The text Roma Tearne has written for The Swimmer: A True Story bursts with references to sound - the Suffolk coastline; the marshlands around Aldeburgh and thorpeness; the domestic soundscape inhabited by Ria. It is punctuated by the sound of a slide projector the drone of the fan and the sound of the mechanism as the cassette moves on to the next slide. I set out to collect the sounds I have read about in the text.

Here, where the winter winds blow and the river foam leaks spoonful by spoonful underfoot on the marshland bed
I am walking through the Aldeburgh marshes it is getting dark. I have headphones on and point my microphone towards the waters edge. Everything is amplified I can hear an oystercatcher a long way off just as if it was pacing the mudflats at my feet. The sound of water trickling through the marshes is more elusive but I can hear it now along with the gentle slap of the waters swell against the banks of mud. I step off the path approaching the waters edge. The light is fading from the sky but I have to follow my ears. I move closer to the source of the sound taking several steps forward and sinking slightly into the mud my feet are wet but Im at the source. I stand still for five, ten, fifteen minutes, listening. - Paul Whitty

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Make your own SOUND BANK recording

Of all the sounds that you heard today, which one comes quickest to mind and how would you document that sound? For inspiration, you could always just try to record in detail what you had for breakfast - which is what the talented class at Fir Tree School did during our Sonic Kitchen Sound Diaries workshop with them in 2012. You can see the documentation some of the class produced below.

My Sonic Breakfast by Oliver (clockwise from top) - ruffle, (cereal packet) CRACK, (as I eat it) Crrrunch, music PLOP, Gentle tap, (against the bowl) Chink, (as I put it down on the table) Tinkering sound, slush

My Sonic Breakfast by Stella (clockwise from top) - RIP, (cereal packet) pop, crunch, bang, lapping (at the spoon) clang, Splashing milk My Sonic Breakfast by Kim (clockwise from top) - Milk Splash, bang, (spoon) and shackly crunch, (yum yum ) slorp, (drink) shaply and shackly (words invented to describe the sounds of bran flakes pouring into bowl)

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James Saunders talks to Felicity Ford about some of the sounds remembered from Audiograft 2012

Sound memories of Audiograft 2012 with James Saunders

This year James Saunders has launched Make Sound Here, a project which makes use of the GPS and audio recording facilities on mobile phones, and the audio recording platform Audioboo, to create a map detailing the sonic potentials of places. Put simply, you go to a place, you make a sound there by whatever means you like, you photograph the situation with the label Make Sound Here displayed prominently, and you record the sounds you have created there. If you use a smartphone to take the photo, record the sound and upload to, the sound will automatically be geo-tagged. However its also possible to create recordings using another device and to manually add in photos, geo-location etc. via the upload channel created especially for this project. All the instructions are provided here on the Make Sound Here website, where you can also download the labels. As part of the HEARth programme, Stav (of STELIX) will be leading a soundwalk from Modern Art Oxford on Friday 1st March at 1pm, taking a route which has previously scoped out by us for its sonic potentials, using Make Sound Here as a basis; the results of this recording process are on the Sound Diaries website. Here is James talking about Audiograft and Make Sound Here. Q: In the "Make Sound Here" project which we are going to be exploring during Audiograft 2013, what so far has been your most memorable sound-making/field recording experience? Probably the first one, which is the noticeboard outside my office in Bath. I was putting up a poster a couple of years ago and pressed the drawing pin into the cork. The centre of the board buckled, and on release sucked air in around the frame to produce this wonderful whistle/inhalation sound. It just brought a big smile to my face. The bonus is that I have immediate access to it, and have correspondingly shown it to lots of people. The other one I really enjoyed was the posts behind the M Shed in Bristol. I'd just decided to start the project at that point, and was looking for things to hit. I walked along the row of posts and was really pleased by the variation in pitch - my knuckles hurt by the end though! Q: Have you noticed any trends or tendencies in the types of sound-making activities that you tend to document or explore as part of the "Make Sounds Here" project? Yes, and this is something which I think is revealing about project like this. I think mainly I like friction sounds and have a tendency to gravitate towards scraping things, but for this project I find myself hitting things more. I guess this is the main issue though: do I

just keep hitting things until I find interesting sounds, and is hitting a load of different pieces of metal, for example, really that special? I'm torn between trying to find really individual sounds, and just ones that I like, regardless of similarity to, or repetition of, others. But so far there arent many sounds, so I imagine this will change as I add more, and other people do too: the reason it's a collaborative project is that I want to make sounds which other people have enjoyed, and which are different to the ones I might find. Q: You have been to Oxford for a few visits in the past; are there any sounds or sound-making activities which spring to mind when you think of the city? Not really I'm afraid. I do find that I tend to add sounds to this project and my ongoing sound diary when travelling to new places, rather than those which I might experience every day (although perhaps I should make more of a concerted effort in that regard). I have done a bit of geocaching around Oxford though which is a related activity. Most memorably, I went looking for a cache next to the Carfax Tower (it seems to have been removed since). The cache was magnetically attached to the back of a phone junction box. Unfortunately, I was looking for this the day Michelle Obama was driving right past the location, so looking a bit shifty whilst attaching a magnetic box to a utility with American and British intelligence prowling around may not have been such a good idea with hindsight. Q: Finally, you performed during Audiograft 2012; do you have any particular sound memories associated with the festival or the city I guess rummaging around boxes of junk and hitting things Tim Parkinson found in the green room as part of his Songs 2011 is a strong memory. I'm really drawn to the sonic properties of everyday materials, and exploring their possibilities in isolation and combination. The sign in the park and ride was added that day too, so that was a lovely end to the visit.
James Saunders is a composer with an interest in modularity. He performs in the duo Parkinson Saunders, and with Apartment House. He is Head of the Centre for Musical Research at Bath Spa University. Parkinson Saunders played at Audiograft in 2012, and this year, James Saunders participatory project Make Sound Here will be the focus for a listening walk organised as part of the HEARth programme, and also the subject of several field recordings for the Sound Diaries podcast. Further information:

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The imminent sounds that surround us by Paul Whitty Sound is latent in the objects that surround us. The sounds of manufacture memorably synchronised with our experience of the finished object by Robert Morris in his Box with the sound of its own making (1961); the sounds of use; of installation; of location the soundscape inhabited by the object; of its journeys potentially across thousands of miles. At the British Ethnomusicology Forum Conference at the Pitt-Rivers Museum this year I presented a paper examining how the objects we encounter in our everyday lives if we know how to listen to their sonic and auditory past can become Sonic Time Capsules hidden in plain sight. Here is an extract from the paper in which again I refer to my kitchen - I really must get out more I sit in my kitchen surrounded by a latent cacophony sound is imminent in all the objects that share the space with me. Yes, I can hear the sounding space and can record it in words or as a sound file the slow creaking of the fridge, a tap dripping onto stainless steel, the low distant hum of the rotor blades of a helicopter overhead, a neighbour watching television, the occasional call of a blackbird These are the resounding sounds of the kitchen in this moment the slowly shifting soundscape. Exploring these sounds was the subject of a Sound Diaries project unspectacular February in 2009. Sound Diaries, a co-authored research platform developed with Felicity Ford examines everyday life through our experience and recording of sound. I am interested in the sound implied by the sonic history of the objects in the kitchen, their manufacture, transportation, use, and their consideration as auditory vessels carrying with them a sonic history that can be imagined and proposed. Throughout my various encounters with soundscape studies and in my bid to find methods for investigating the sounds of the everyday I have found George Perecs Species of Spaces to be an invaluable tool. His observational techniques can become mobile methodologies to be applied to a multitude of different encounters with the everyday. The chapter from the book entitled The Street includes an episode describing a series of practical exercises for the observer: The street: try to describe the street, what its made of, what its used for. The people in the street. The cars. What sort of cars? The buildings: note that theyre on the comfortable, well-heeled side. Distinguish residential from official buildings. The shops. What do they sell in the shops? There are no food shops. Oh yes, theres a bakers. Ask yourself where the locals do their shopping. The cafs. How many cafs are there? One, two, three, four. Why did you choose this one? Because you know it, because its in the sun, because it sells cigarettes. The other shops: antique shops, clothes, hi-fi, etc. Dont say, dont write etc.. Make an effort to exhaust the subject, even if that seems grotesque, or pointless, or stupid. You still havent looked at anything, youve merely picked out what youve long ago picked out. Perec moves on from observation of what can be seen to the imaginative terrain of what cannot be seen: Make torrential rain fall, smash everything, make grass grow, replace the people by cows, and where the Rue de Bac meets the Boulevard Saint-Germain, make King Kong appear Or again: strive to picture yourself, with the greatest precision beneath the network of streets, the tangle of sewers, the lines of the metro, the invisible underground proliferation of conduits (electricity, gas, telephone lines, water mains, express letter tubes), without which no life would be possible on the surface. Underneath, just underneath, resuscitate the Eocene: the limestone, the marl and the soft chalk, the gypsum, the lascustrian Saint-Ouen limestone, the Beauchamp sands, the rough limestone, the Soissons sands and lignites, the plastic clay, the hard chalk. The way that Perec reaches out to the invisible, the unseen presses himself to perceive what is both implied and known about a location or object but not visibly present suggest a form of listening in which we reach out to the inaudible, the no longer heard, the sound that is temporally just out of earshot or perhaps passed out of earshot hundreds of years ago. As I glance around my kitchen I see myriad objects hundreds, thousands perhaps I dont have time to count them I will never count them even if Perecs exhaustive methodologies might suggest that I should. Each object has both a sonic and an auditory history. The sonic history of the object relates to sounding associated with it through manufacture and use; whilst the auditory history relates to its location history the history of the soundscapes it has inhabited what it would have heard if it was able to hear. The objects in my kitchen hold within them a cacophony of sounds. The manufacture of Stainless Steel, earthenware, enamel, moulded plastic, Perspex, bone china, cardboard. The sound of use the creaking metal of the stove top cafetierre, the intense sound of boiling liquid and escaping steam; the opening and closing of the first aid box They have travelled from the indian sub-continent, Japan, Italy, China, Staffordshire by plane, boat, lorry in freight containers, packing cases, bags Some of these objects have had several different owners, some I have had for years and they have travelled with me to Canada, Italy and France others grew a few meters away from this shelf in our back garden. The Sonic and auditory diaspora of these objects is global in its reach Many years could be spent researching the imminent soundscape of these objects investigating the latent sound, the resonant spaces these objects have occupied, the travels they have been on - Paul Whitty

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My EDIROL R-09 by Felicity Ford

I forget exactly how long Ive been using this EDIROL R-09. Long enough, at least, for it to have developed its own nickname* whenever I bring it on any adventures with my partner and comrade in walking, Mark. Nominally it belongs to the SARU audio equipment collection, but I borrowed it in 2007, and since nobody else needed it then, and since now the headphone jack only works intermittently, the buttons are worn so you cant see what they do, the protective rubber sections on the body are loose, and one side of it is held together with gaffer tape, I doubt they do now. Its as good as mine. This EDIROL has taught me invaluable lessons about field recording; how to be aware of my hands so that my recordings are not just all the sound of plastic creaking while I wave it about; how to angle my body in obnoxious wind or rain to protect the mics from the blast; how to ingeniously devise solutions for getting close to things I want to record; and how to experiment with device placement in all situations... My computer and all the external hard-drives that I keep projects on are full of files organized by the EDIROLs default filing system. Files called R09_001.wav, R09_002.wav, R09_003.wav, etc. run into the hundreds, in folders with names like Sept09. In most of the folders, just clicking through the individual files and remembering roughly what I was doing during that era is enough information for me to recollect the exact recording circumstances. The EDIROL is a faithful recorder of sounds. Like an endless sound-poem we have generated together, those R09_#.wav files represent a beautiful synthesis of imagination and technology. I know now almost at once what level I should set the input at for most circumstances; if Im recording Mark, it needs to be set at around 23; or 21 if we are reading a radio script and he is adding extra enthusiasm. If I want to record our peaceful street I can set it at the full 30, but it will be hissy because the pre-amps are not that quiet on the EDIROL R-09. I also know the places where it will give me huge advantages above more unwieldy kit, and quiet preamps can be over rated if the bigger, heavier kit that this invariably entails presents greater barriers to your field recording activities than a little light hiss. Cunning little Hebridean sheep run away at once if they see a recordist wielding a gunshot microphone with a giant, necessary wind-gag attached, but you can bury an EDIROL R-09 in their hay and walk off to return an hour later for beautiful close-up sounds of ram-horns clanging against metal and the ponderous sounds of sheep chewing hay. Likewise, the EDIROL R-09 can easily go into a handbag so that if I am walking home

from town and hear a Robin singing, I can seize the opportunity to document that moment and still bring my groceries home (much harder with more cumbersome kit). My EDIROL has been stuffed into crevices in the old city walls of Tallinn; cable-tied halfway up several trees; dangled from a bag in the forests of Estonia, and even on a jaunt into the Olympic Stadium all in the good name of field recording. It has returned from all these ordeals with its little blue SD card rammed with amazing sounds and I love it. I cannot imagine field recording without it. I can see the warning signs that such a grim day draws near loose hinges, dusty and inaccessible compartments, some ominous damage to the HOLD button which means I am obliged to bring tweezers if I want to make sure I can use it... However I maintain that the EDIROL still has life in it yet, and this was proven when - during a field recording workshop at a primary school - it took an unfortunate tumble into a pond. Fortunately the EDIROL wasnt on at the time, so the circuitry wasnt instantly frazzled, but it was clear that the water had fully permeated the device. I maintained a round-the-clock vigil of warmth and dryness. The EDIROL was first wrapped in a scarf and kept over the heating fan of my car until I got home. Then it was bandaged in massive sachets of silicon desiccant and further woolen scarves, and placed on a radiator with several towels beneath to act as padding. I waited and watched, and after a week, tentatively put some batteries in and switched the power button to the glorious sight of it sparking into life, the little screen lighting up with not a trace of water, and not a trace of damage. So the miserable day when I must replace my faithful sonic buddy has been delayed a little longer, and the scary incident has left me only more impressed at the EDIROL R-09 build quality. - Felicity Ford *Eddie is the nickname; Im sure this was Marks idea.

EDDIE sparking into life and proving the amazing resurrecting powers of silicon desiccant sachets for audio recording equipment.

C p.11 (rewind to)

a p.12 (play here)

p (read in reverse)

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