Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Audio recordings, locations and process

Here is a little bit more information about the recordings and the process that is gone through to achieve the final audio collage.

I have made the recordings in locations that I have visited during this lockdown period either on foot or by bike. I intend to make a total of ten of these recordings.

The locations were not been chosen in advance; I take my recorder with me and make a recording when I find a suitable spot. However, I have found that my approach to making recordings has changed over the past few sessions. Initially I was happy to record at any location on my journey; I have found that as the project had progressed I actively seek locations that have more interest. So, for example, today I have made two recordings and have decided to use both as they have interesting elements within them.

The first recording I made today was close to an electricity sub station; you can hear the hum from that throughout the clip. The second recording uses my home-made hydrophone that I placed in a small ford in Thorverton. The sound changed quite noticeably half way through this recording as the microphone moved in the current.

The longest clip so far is the one that I made on Saturday in Starcross. I have kept the full recording as there are many interesting sounds on it. There is part of a conversation that two people had on opposite sides of the road, there is the sound of a train announcer, the train itself and a pelican crossing. Because many of the recordings have been dominated by bird song this one felt quite different.

The process that happens once I have all the recordings is as follows. The code for Music Machine 45, in common with most of the machines, is written in python. It is a digital Musique Concrète maker (or should that be mixer?) I can put in as many source recordings as I wish; the machine then decides how many smaller clips it is going to make from the originals. It then generates those smaller clips and decides how long they will be and from which section of the original. Once the clips are generated they are played back at various intervals, faded in and / or out, set to sound at a particular volume and location in the stereo field. As I say, this is very similar to Musique Concrète techniques and produces a work that is multi-layered and built from existing recordings.

Here's the link to the soundmap:

You can listen to all the recordings (including the early finished versions of Music Machine 45) here:



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