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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.

Contents
Open call for papers for 2013 Sound Diaries Symposium - “How are we using field-recordings to change the world?” ..…………………………………………………pg.02 Recommended Sound Diaries listening ..…………………………………………………pg.03 The HEARth diaries and Audiograft 2013 ..…………………………………………………pg.04 Valeria Merlini talks about Audiograft 2012 and her sonic memories of the festival ..…………………………………………………pg.05 SOUND BANK centrefold ……..………………………………………pg.06 - 07 Listening to Roma Tearne’s book, “The Swimmer” ..…………………………………………………pg.08 Make your own entry for SOUND BANK & Sonic breakfasts, as drawn by children at Fir Tree Primary School in Wallingford ..…………………………………………………pg.09 James Saunders talks about Audiograft 2012, “Make Sound Here”, and his sonic memories of the festival ..…………………………………………………pg.10 The imminent sounds of everyday objects ..…………………………………………………pg.11 Saving an EDIROL R-09 with silicon dessicant ..…………………………………………………pg.12

www.sound-diaries.co.uk

and the constantly changing cultural landscape of the Internet.“How are we using field-recordings to change the world?” Sound Diaries Symposium: How are we using field recordings to change the world? SARU.03 (fast forward to) . Field recording practices have multiplied and diversified in response to the new possibilities presented by increasingly affordable recording gear.ac. and then there will be an informal skills-sharing session.01 (rewind to) a p. how are we using (or how could we use) field recordings to change the world? This symposium will explore some of these questions. linked to on Twitter. and added to playlists. 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. 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 Deadline: Please send a 200 word abstract plus links to your project to pwhitty@brookes. Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th June 2013.Open call for papers for 2013 Sound Diaries Symposium . in which practitioners working with field recordings can share their practical experiences and answer questions from the floor over tea and coffee. and other contemporary issues? Put simply.uk by the end of April 2013. developments in software.02 (play here) b p. 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. burned onto CDs. 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. and disseminating. specific cultural or historic contexts. The morning and early afternoon will be given to presentations by practitioners. Field recordings can be shared on Facebook. C p. looking at recent projects by practitioners who are working with field recordings specifically to explore social or cultural contexts. Oxford Brookes University.

04 (fast forward to) .soundsurvey.Ian Rawes http://www. the rest can be heard by typing the URLs.com/fifty1joe/mothers-central-heating http://51degreesnorth.Recommended Sound Diaries listening Heard around… In considering the themes for the forthcoming Sound Diaries Symposium.mp3 http://mazenkerblog.soundsurvey.uk/music/staff/drever/ John Grzinich | Wind on a dead pine branch https://soundcloud.ee/ Joe Stevens | Mother’s central heating https://soundcloud.html Politics and the limits of field recording .org/ Claudia Wegener A memorial for a trader who was killed at his stall in Brixton market. making strange whale-like noises.murmerings.de/?page_id=7183 http://www. These recordings draw our attention to technology.org/ Mazen Kerbaj | Minimalistic improvisation feat.com/radio-continental-drift/06-brixton-vigil-19jan08 http://radiocontinentaldrift.org.com/maaheli/wind-on-a-dead-pine-branch http://maaheli. 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?”. Peter Cusack | Power cable crackle http://sounds-from-dangerous-places.soundsurvey.gruenrekorder. John Grzinich contact mic recording of wind on a dead pine tree at the Lithuanian coast. 2008.uk/index. John Levack Drever Litany of the hand dryers. to moments of wonder in everyday life.org/ sonic_journalism. Recommended reading Sonic Journalism .uk/index. Ian Rawes Sirens at the Coryton oil refinery in Essex undergo a weekly test.org.muniak. and to our connection with the natural world.com/ William Cheshire | Bowls at Southend http://www. rec.gold.03 (play here) b p.org.com/ Claudia Wegener | Brixton Vigil 19 Jan 2008 https://soundcloud.net/ Ian Rawes | Sirens at Coryton oil refinery.com/london-sound-survey/coryton-oil-refinery-sirens-essex http://www.wordpress.02 (rewind to) a p.uk/audio/tracks/listen-to-ernst-karel-recordings http://ek.petercusack.klingt.co. trumpet / the Israeli air force / bombs http://www. to noise pollution.Peter Cusack http://sounds-from-dangerous-places.blogspot.com/john-levack-drever/litany-of-the-hand-dryers http://www.php/survey/ blog_comments/1777/ C p.uk/ Patrick McGinley | Spontaneous fermentation http://www.html http://www. The QR codes will take you to some of the sounds featured on the list.php/survey/estuary2/ Ernst Karel | Materials Recovery Facility http://thewire. Joe Stevens straight recording of noisy central heating system. to the sounds connected with environmental damage and repair. Essex https://soundcloud.org/chernobyl.co.uk/ John Levack Drever | Litany of the hand dryers https://soundcloud.ac.com/mazen_kerbaj-starry_night.

performed. reading. and all the places involved in transit.co. and provides pre-event activities and after-event socials. improvised. which will be sound-diaries. retro bucket chairs. and listening to one another. the eating. (the friendships. Rather than merely evidencing the performance of it pays my way and it corrodes my soul.uk kathyhinde. As the exaggerated HEAR in HEARth suggests. and Valeria studiously trying not to laugh while I was recording as her chair squeaked outrageously at any movement. the hanging-out-afterwards. spoke and presented. Before Paul Whitty travelled to Berlin to perform it pays my way and it corrodes my soul with Stephen Cornford. the acoustics and the texture of everyday life in Tallinn with the sounds introduced there by the artists who played. he decided to make a Sound Diary of the entire trip. and therefore about exploring the social side of sound. HEARth is also about listening together. Sound Diaries and Audiograft 2013 by Felicity Ford The HEARth diaries Before I travelled to Estonia in 2011 for the Tuned City festival.com james-saunders. and partying together) as well as the work that features in the main festival programme.The HEARth diaries. 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. C p. the travel and sustenance of the artists involved. and for field-recordings celebrating the work of our field-recording comrades. HEARth is a project by Felicity Ford and Stavroula Kounadea under their joint alias. To celebrate. and where the best coffee shops are. 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). STELIX. The HEARth stories and recordings from the Sound Diaries archives will also be a focus in the forthcoming Audiograft HEARth URLs stavroulakounadea. the Berlin Sound Diary becomes a piece in its own right.04 (play here) b p.com felicityford. She concentrated on practical stuff like where I would find knitting shops.co. Whenever he could.tumblr.com throughout Audiograft 2013. We mixed up the coffees. life and every sounds. and the laid-back reggae beats.uk valeriamerlini. Starting with the field recording created in “The Best Coffee Shop in Tallinn”. detailing everything from the raucous queue outside a nightclub in Oxford to the escalators at Stansted and a Mexican dinner in Berlin. specifically designed to mix up art.co. my friend Stav (Stavroula Kounadea) made me a little guidebook. Estonia). Tallinn. concerts and sound installations.sound-diaries.net published at www. extending the function of documentation to include the circumstances around the performance. blurring the distinctions between life and art. James Saunders and Kathy Hinde.uk Sound Diaries podcast series. introducing the kinds of places I might enjoy frequenting around the city. Listening to the recording. The little book gave me a way “in” to Tallinn and took the edge of that sensation of being alone in a strange city. the percussive the espresso machine. In our work we related the art sounds of the festival with the surrounding context and everyday soundscape of the city. the banter. HEARth celebrates all the contexts around Audiograft.co. I went there with Valeria Merlini to plan our field-recording activities together and we listened to the plastic.uk tunedcity. exploring sonic documentation and field recording with a group of participants. HEARth will also feature a Sound Diaries component. I created my first field-recording in Tallinn in what Stav’s recommended “Best Coffee Shop in Tallinn” (Kohvik Must Puudel.05 (fast forward to) . HEARth stories will document the everyday sounds that visiting artists attending Audiograft 2013 might experience between performances. These events have led to the development of a creative events programme called HEARth. BY Valeria and I ran a workshop on behalf of framework:radio together that year.03 (rewind to) a p. I still remember the bitterness of that strong coffee. Stay tuned to hear the soundworlds of Oxford’s finest pubs. interior spaces and walking routes. Müürivahe 20. he stopped and recorded his situation.com audiograft. the clean the clink of the china. as in the Tuned City documentation workshop and the Berlin Sound Diary.

In 2011 Valeria Merlini & Felicity Ford collaborated as ford&merlini to run a framework:radio documentation workshop for Tuned City. Tallinn. 2011 http://valeriamerlini. It was our daily soundtrack in the car driving to Audiograft. academic context.co. is a member of the Italian label Burp Enterprise and co-runs Staalplaat Radio. the footsteps. the voices. three words? Fun. We had a nice conversation about that during our workshop.uk/2012/03/synchronisedrecord-player-recordings-of-ricercare/ C p. fading in and out smoothly. turntables.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. DJ and curator based in Berlin.05 (play here) b p. ford&merlini worked together at Audiograft 2012 to run a documentation workshop. she obtained a Master’s degree in Sound Studies at UdK. The music was giving space to urban sound. You can read about many of the sounds in Valeria’s interview at the following URLs: http://www. because that experience was perceived by all of us in different ways. It was the perfect warm-up for a day long workshop. I remember the sounds of the performances held at Modern Art Oxford perceived from the kitchen next to the concert room. laughing with a man in front of a pub while talking about recording footsteps sounds. Q: Do you have a favourite field recording memory from the festival? Yes.uk/2012/03/recordings-from -lost-found/ *Ricercare by Paul Whitty is a text-based score for any number of players. Specifically related to the festival.sound-diaries. It has a nice acoustic.co.tumblr.04 (rewind to) a p.06 (fast forward to) . through interruptions/changes/pauses during the execution of the score. Valeria Merlini is a sound artist.this mix will feature some field recordings from Audiograft 2012. Valeria Merlini in “The Best Coffee Shop in Tallinn”.. and the temporary sonic situation built by the players. The sound of "Ricercare"* by Paul Whitty heard in relation to the urban environment. unexpected experience to share with somebody uninvolved in Audiograft what my interest in that moment was.. recordings. Valeria Merlini is producing a mix to open up the Audiograft 2013 after party .sound-diaries.uk/2012/03/ricercarerecorded-by-valeria-merlini-at-audiograft-2012/ http://www. The sound of the Holywell Music Room.co. caused by the low frequencies played by some musicians. 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. In her work she explores sounds of the everyday within an urban context through an interdisciplinary and critical approach.uk/2012/03/footsteps-fromthe-peripheries-of-performance/ http://www. There is more information here: http://www. She is co-founder of Studio Urban Resonance. and the music of "Ricercare". and any other appropriate sound reproduction devices.sound-diaries. It was a joyful. After completing her study in Architecture in Florence. in 2012. Q: Were there any sounds in Oxford city which especially stuck in your mind? The sound of a plane passing by. Q: About Audiograft 2012. I remember the sound of shaking glasses. 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.sound-diaries. Berlin. 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.co. intense listening experience. Players select specific events in their found scores and then search through their recorded media to find and play that particular event out loud. using found scores.com Born in Bolzano.

outside. The wood is hard .The thin roof of the drama studio. Here are some SOUND BANK records from February 2009 & 2010. Often followed by the clear trilling of birds. 28 FEB 2010 .06 (play here) b p. absorbent surfaces. dusty. or notated it changed how you felt about it? In 2008. Yet very near. Cracks in the corners let light & birdsong in & there is a curious mix of the dullness of the ambience (dark.it doesn’t creak at all. plus its large. dusty curtains & old piles of costumes & dark. the original idea was to have a year’s worth of records and there are still gaps in the archive where no sounds were recorded.because of the way the rooms are organised and because of the wooden floor boards. 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.SOUND BANK . are trees absolutely full of birds and wasps whose buzzing can be heard clearly.07 (fast forward to) . words and drawings become interesting objects in their own right. 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.05 (rewind to) a p. draw. SOUND BANK is still in progress.The floorboards at Mark’s house (Words & Drawing) . It’s such an amazing space. the idea was to record a sound on paper every day for a year.Rain on drama studio roof (Words & Drawing) . or notate a sound? Did you find that thinking about the sound as you wrote. But walking around has a warm. sonically. because inside it is sort of dulled by the thick. the downstairs of Mark’s house sounds very distinctive. boxy) & the constant infiltration of weather & wildlife into the space… rain is a delicate series of pitters & patters. boxy shape. C p. However over time the paper envelopes hand-printed and filled out with notes. drew. 27 FEB 2010 . make it act a little bit like a biscuit tin in the rain… a resonant sound box for the weather. drumming gently on the roof. Felicity Ford embarked on SOUND BANK a Sound Diaries project designed to explore these questions.an archive of recorded sounds by Felicity Ford SOUND BANK Have you ever tried to write about. speaking from their place in history about sounds still remembered or long lost.09.

I normally find some task with which to occupy myself while I’m waiting. & the heavy door always rattles a little as it thuds dully shut.06 (rewind to) a p.The specific sound of my keys in my door (Words) . 03 . dully… if you prefer. It is like an END POINT to the outdoors/shopping component of the day. 28 FEB 2010 .When I put the kettle on.08 (fast forward to) . The sonorous. Then there is the excitement as the element begins to make a fizzy. whoosh kind of noise. 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. As the whirring sound of the water heating commences.) My keys rattle when I stand outside the door. I usually pick up a few things that need tidying in the kitchen.an archive of recorded sounds by Felicity Ford 01 MAR 2010 . or go into the Dining Room to finish an email. there are many keys & they jangle. droning.SOUND BANK . Yale lock & feeling the door give way.07 (play here) b p.06 MAR 2009 The rice pot going dry TRAFFIC BBC Studio soundproofing Late Blackbird C p.When I get home from shopping for food. (Or thuds shut. & I find myself running for a cup and a teabag in readiness for the hot water. there is a particular relief about grinding my keys into the stiff. it always seems at first as if very little is happening.The kettle boiling for tea (Words) . My hallway is large & tall & Victorian and cavernous. the sounds somehow bouncing off the ceramic floor tiles or something… it’s echoey & metallic & then suddenly you’re in the PEACE of the hallway! Magic. & drink my tea.

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. fifteen minutes. The size of the pebbles. I can hear jets of water inside the dishwasher as they spray against an old baking tray and a glass bowl. but at some point it seems that I began to privilege sound as the primary means of engagement with my surroundings. Well. As I sit here I am assaulted with a barrage of sound. Standing on the shore at Aldeburgh I cast my hydrophones into the surf. the gurgle and drip of the water from the jets as it finds it’s way to the outflow… I don’t know when it happened. their geological characteristics.07 (rewind to) a p.fishing for sound. 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 have headphones on and point my microphone towards the water’s edge. The hydrophones are swept back and forth by the swell. and then sand. listening.09 (fast forward to) . I set out to collect the sounds I have read about in the text. the marshlands around Aldeburgh and thorpeness.Listening to Roma Tearne’s book. I stand still for five. they crackle into life… I aim my microphone at the shoreline. Everything is amplified – I can hear an oystercatcher a long way off just as if it was pacing the mudflats at my feet. 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 Suffolk coastline.Paul Whitty C p. 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.08 (play here) b p. I move closer to the source of the sound taking several steps forward and sinking slightly into the mud – my feet are wet but I’m at the source. There are fishermen on either side. the sound of surf. 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 am testing the water . their shape. the mixture of smaller and larger pebbles revealed at low tide. “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. grains becoming pebbles then rocks as the magnification is increased. I start to think about location – does this sound only belong to Aldeburgh? I’ve heard it elsewhere of course but this seems distinctive. The boom-pole I’ve attached the cables to looks like a fishing rod. Here. They eye me suspiciously with my cables and headphones. I step off the path approaching the water’s edge. . The sound of water trickling through the marshes is more elusive but I can hear it now along with the gentle slap of the water’s swell against the banks of mud. The text Roma Tearne has written for The Swimmer: A True Story bursts with references to sound . I can’t resist putting my ear to the door and listening to the detail in the sound – the drone of the motor. The detail it reveals reminds me of looking at sand under a microscope. a pebble falling into water. 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. Amongst other things this led me to start reading for sound whenever I read a novel. The light is fading from the sky but I have to follow my ears. ten.

slush My Sonic Breakfast by Stella (clockwise from top) . (cereal packet) pop. Splashing milk My Sonic Breakfast by Kim (clockwise from top) . bang. (as I eat it) Crrrunch. (drink) shaply and shackly (words invented to describe the sounds of bran flakes pouring into bowl) C p. You can see the documentation some of the class produced below. (as I put it down on the table) Tinkering sound. which one comes quickest to mind and how would you document that sound? For inspiration.Make your own SOUND BANK recording Of all the sounds that you heard today. you could always just try to record in detail what you had for breakfast . crunch. Gentle tap. lapping (at the spoon) clang. bang.Milk Splash.which is what the talented class at Fir Tree School did during our “Sonic Kitchen” Sound Diaries workshop with them in 2012. (cereal packet) CRACK. My Sonic Breakfast by Oliver (clockwise from top) .10 (fast forward to) .09 (play here) b p. (yum yum… ) slorp. music PLOP.RIP.ruffle. (against the bowl) Chink.08 (rewind to) a p. (spoon) and shackly crunch.

It just brought a big smile to my face. Unfortunately. which is the noticeboard outside my office in Bath. using “Make Sound Here” as a basis. or repetition of. the sound will automatically be geo-tagged. Stav (of STELIX) will be leading a soundwalk from Modern Art Oxford on Friday 1st March at 1pm.com/ C p. He performs in the duo Parkinson Saunders. and this is something which I think is revealing about project like this. and other people do too: the reason it's a collaborative project is that I want to make sounds which other people have enjoyed. a project which makes use of the GPS and audio recording facilities on mobile phones. He is Head of the Centre for Musical Research at Bath Spa University. The sign in the park and ride was added that day too. you photograph the situation with the label “Make Sound Here” displayed prominently. record the sound and upload to Audioboo. geo-location etc.wordpress.fm upload channel created especially for this project. are there any sounds or sound-making activities which spring to mind when you think of the city? Not really I'm afraid. and exploring their possibilities in isolation and combination. taking a route which has previously scoped out by us for its sonic potentials. Q: In the "Make Sound Here" project which we are going to be exploring during Audiograft 2013. and this year. I walked along the row of posts and was really pleased by the variation in pitch . you performed during Audiograft 2012.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. where you can also download the labels. really that special? I'm torn between trying to find really individual sounds. I was looking for this the day Michelle Obama was driving right past the location. for example. I think mainly I like friction sounds and have a tendency to gravitate towards scraping things. and was looking for things to hit. and have correspondingly shown it to lots of people. what so far has been your most memorable sound-making/field recording experience? Probably the first one. rather than those which I might experience every day (although perhaps I should make more of a concerted effort in that regard). However it’s also possible to create recordings using another device and to manually add in photos. Most memorably. I was putting up a poster a couple of years ago and pressed the drawing pin into the cork. As part of the HEARth programme. I'm really drawn to the sonic properties of everyday materials. via the Audioboo. so I imagine this will change as I add more. The bonus is that I have immediate access to it. Put simply. you make a sound there by whatever means you like. you go to a place. Parkinson Saunders played at Audiograft in 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.fm. Further information: http://parkinsonsaunders. and which are different to the ones I might find. and the audio recording platform Audioboo. and just ones that I like.10 (play here) b p. James Saunders’ participatory project “Make Sound Here” will be the focus for a listening walk organised as part of the HEARth programme.com/ http://makesoundhere. I guess this is the main issue though: do I just keep hitting things until I find interesting sounds. and on release sucked air in around the frame to produce this wonderful whistle/inhalation sound. I'd just decided to start the project at that point. and is hitting a load of different pieces of metal. regardless of similarity to. All the instructions are provided here on the Make Sound Here website. but for this project I find myself hitting things more. so that was a lovely end to the visit. and with Apartment House. I do find that I tend to add sounds to this project and my ongoing sound diary when travelling to new places. others. The other one I really enjoyed was the posts behind the M Shed in Bristol. and you record the sounds you have created there.09 (rewind to) a p. to create a map detailing the sonic potentials of places.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”. But so far there aren’t many sounds. If you use a smartphone to take the photo. and also the subject of several field recordings for the Sound Diaries podcast. Q: You have been to Oxford for a few visits in the past. http://www. I have done a bit of geocaching around Oxford though which is a related activity. the results of this recording process are on the Sound Diaries website. I went looking for a cache next to the Carfax Tower (it seems to have been removed since). The centre of the board buckled. 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.james-saunders.11 (fast forward to) .com/ James Saunders is a composer with an interest in modularity. Here is James talking about Audiograft and Make Sound Here. The cache was magnetically attached to the back of a phone junction box.

two. I am interested in the sound implied by the sonic history of the objects in the kitchen. You still haven’t looked at anything. make King Kong appear… Or again: strive to picture yourself. clothes. the resonant spaces these objects have occupied. Oh yes. 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 lines of the metro. What sort of cars? The buildings: note that they’re on the comfortable. what it’s made of. Distinguish residential from official buildings. the invisible underground proliferation of conduits (electricity. the intense sound of boiling liquid and escaping steam. Perspex. What do they sell in the shops? There are no food shops. or pointless. Staffordshire by plane. the travels they have been on… . How many cafés are there? One. the Soissons sands and lignites. the occasional call of a blackbird… These are the resounding sounds of the kitchen in this moment – the slowly shifting soundscape. The sound of use – the creaking metal of the stove top cafetierre. bone china. 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 cafés.Paul Whitty C p. 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 Perec’s Species of Spaces to be an invaluable tool. the lascustrian Saint-Ouen limestone. and where the Rue de Bac meets the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Ask yourself where the locals do their shopping. the no longer heard. lorry in freight containers. water mains. I can hear the sounding space – and can record it in words or as a sound file the slow creaking of the fridge. because it sells cigarettes. and their consideration as auditory vessels carrying with them a sonic history that can be imagined and proposed. the hard chalk. the sounds of use. well-heeled side. hi-fi. there’s a baker’s. with the greatest precision beneath the network of streets.10 (rewind to) a p. enamel. because it’s in the sun. Underneath. transportation. His observational techniques can become mobile methodologies to be applied to a multitude of different encounters with the everyday. make grass grow. 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. Make an effort to exhaust the subject. resuscitate the Eocene: the limestone. the rough limestone. smash everything. the sound that is temporally just out of earshot or perhaps passed out of earshot hundreds of years ago. Sound Diaries. of installation. don’t write ‘etc. gas. The objects in my kitchen hold within them a cacophony of sounds. the Beauchamp sands. 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. China. Perec moves on from observation of what can be seen to the imaginative terrain of what cannot be seen: Make torrential rain fall. you’ve merely picked out what you’ve long ago picked out.12 (fast forward to) . replace the people by cows. Yes. what it’s used for. The manufacture of Stainless Steel. the plastic clay. Here is an extract from the paper in which – again – I refer to my kitchen . express letter tubes). Japan. The other shops: antique shops. telephone lines. The people in the street. some I have had for years and they have travelled with me to Canada. The way that Perec reaches out to the invisible. a neighbour watching television. the low distant hum of the rotor blades of a helicopter overhead. thousands perhaps – I don’t have time to count them – I will never count them even if Perec’s exhaustive methodologies might suggest that I should. the tangle of sewers. boat. bags… Some of these objects have had several different owners. without which no life would be possible on the surface. Italy. Each object has both a sonic and an auditory history. the marl and the soft chalk.11 (play here) b p. just underneath. a tap dripping onto stainless steel.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. moulded plastic. Italy and France – others grew a few meters away from this shelf in our back garden. of location – the soundscape inhabited by the object. Don’t say. even if that seems grotesque. the opening and closing of the first aid box… They have travelled from the indian sub-continent. a co-authored research platform developed with Felicity Ford examines everyday life through our experience and recording of sound. The shops. the gypsum.’. As I glance around my kitchen I see myriad objects – hundreds. earthenware. The cars. 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. their manufacture. cardboard. use.“The imminent sounds that surround us” by Paul Whitty Sound is latent in the objects that surround us. Why did you choose this one? Because you know it. 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). Exploring these sounds was the subject of a Sound Diaries project ‘unspectacular February’ in 2009. of its journeys potentially across thousands of miles. packing cases. or stupid. four. three. etc. The sonic history of the object relates to sounding associated with it through manufacture and use.

“R09_002.My EDIROL R-09 by Felicity Ford My EDIROL R-09 I forget exactly how long I’ve been using this EDIROL R-09. and placed on a radiator with several towels beneath to act as padding.wav”..Felicity Ford *”Eddie” is the nickname. so the circuitry wasn’t instantly frazzled. and even on a jaunt into the Olympic Stadium all in the good name of field recording. Cunning little Hebridean sheep run away at once if they see a recordist wielding a gunshot microphone with a giant. I cannot imagine field recording without it. This EDIROL has taught me invaluable lessons about field recording. I doubt they do now. Like an endless sound-poem we have generated together. necessary wind-gag attached. at least. and after a week. the EDIROL R-09 can easily go into a handbag so that if I am walking home from town and hear a Robin singing. 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. how to angle my body in obnoxious wind or rain to protect the mics from the blast. the buttons are worn so you can’t see what they do. and since nobody else needed it then. 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. I also know the places where it will give me huge advantages above more unwieldy kit. etc. 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.12 (play here) p (read in reverse) . and this was proven when .during a field recording workshop at a primary school . I can see the warning signs that such a grim day draws near… loose hinges.. The EDIROL is a faithful recorder of sounds.it took an unfortunate tumble into a pond. Long enough. tentatively put some batteries in and switched the power button to the glorious sight of it sparking into life.wav files represent a beautiful synthesis of imagination and technology. and the scary incident has left me only more impressed at the EDIROL R-09 build quality. and quiet preamps can be over rated if the bigger. if I’m recording Mark. cable-tied halfway up several trees. it needs to be set at around 23. I maintained a round-the-clock vigil of warmth and dryness. I’m sure this was Mark’s idea.11 (rewind to) a p. I waited and watched. My EDIROL has been stuffed into crevices in the old city walls of Tallinn.. run into the hundreds. the little screen lighting up with not a trace of water. and one side of it is held together with gaffer tape. or 21 if we are reading a radio script and he is adding extra enthusiasm. Likewise. but it was clear that the water had fully permeated the device. It’s as good as mine. I know now almost at once what level I should set the input at for most circumstances. Nominally it belongs to the SARU audio equipment collection. The EDIROL was first wrapped in a scarf and kept over the heating fan of my car until I got home. In most of the folders. and not a trace of damage. . Fortunately the EDIROL wasn’t on at the time. how to ingeniously devise solutions for getting close to things I want to record. So the miserable day when I must replace my faithful sonic buddy has been delayed a little longer. However I maintain that the EDIROL still has life in it yet. If I want to record our peaceful street I can set it at the full 30. the protective rubber sections on the body are loose. for it to have developed its own nickname* whenever I bring it on any adventures with my partner and comrade in walking. C p. I can seize the opportunity to document that moment and still bring my groceries home (much harder with more cumbersome kit). but I “borrowed” it in 2007. 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. and how to experiment with device placement in all situations. Files called “R09_001.. EDDIE sparking into life and proving the amazing resurrecting powers of silicon desiccant sachets for audio recording equipment. Then it was bandaged in massive sachets of silicon desiccant and further woolen scarves. dangled from a bag in the forests of Estonia. It has returned from all these ordeals with its little blue SD card rammed with amazing sounds and I love it. dusty and inaccessible compartments. and since now the headphone jack only works intermittently. Mark. My computer and all the external hard-drives that I keep projects on are full of files organized by the EDIROL’s default filing system.wav”. those R09_#. “R09_003.wav”. heavier kit that this invariably entails presents greater barriers to your field recording activities than a little light hiss. in folders with names like “Sept09”. but it will be hissy because the pre-amps are not that quiet on the EDIROL R-09.