Sound Intervention – Beginnings
A meandering path across an open, frozen cove, through a forested area leading out to the far end of the walking loop. To the right there is a rocky shoal which extends out into the ocean, but most wouldn’t bother looking, let alone walking that way; it marks the far end of the beach. What I hope will happen next: A pause — Something otherworldly… A heightened awareness of the surrounding space; a mysterious chorus of tones; the tension between stillness and movement; the waves crashing and the trees swaying; footsteps echo on wood, crunch through snow, muffle in sand.
This auditory intervention is an attempt to interrupt the expected soundscape of a popular walking trail; The source of the tones is not readily available, hard to spot, perhaps never known. Through this piece I hope to provoke the public to contemplate the tension in the air; an eerie anticipation, otherworldly stillness, but simultaneously in motion, active. I hope they feel a heightened sense of the space, and their own body in relation to it; as they move through it: looking, listening, walking.
“Sound is intrinsically and unignorably relational: it emanates, propagates, communicates, vibrates, and agitates; it leaves a body and enters others; it binds and unhinges, harmonizes and traumatizes; it sends the body moving, the mind dreaming, the air oscillating. It seemingly eludes definition, while having profound effect.”1
1.Brandon LaBelle. 2015. Background Noise, Second Edition : Perspectives on Sound Art. Vol. Second edition. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. http://search.ebscohost.com.nscad.idm….
This iteration is also an attempt to insert and integrate an addition to the expected soundscape. I tried to take the work and concept into an architectural environment; challenging myself to work with the structural elements of this falling down shack, rather than building an autonomous object and placing it inside, I wanted to work with the building as the body of the instrument..
I’ve been thinking about memory and history, held in spaces (be they natural or man-made), and thought it could be really beautiful and meaningful if this specific space could be re-activated for the local community. The central addition I made is quite subtle, a set of long strings lined from end to end above the rafters, and a tin/bucket secured to a rafter. The second addition is secured in the window, acting as a visible signal to passersby that something is going on, and hopefully encouraging them to step close enough to hear over the noise ocean waves. It also can sound, in the wind, and be interacted with (plucked or strummed) on the ground by the viewer.
I unfortunately have not been able to get the lines of either of these to sound in the wind for a recording, yet. I do think I have them set up now in such a way that they will sound; however it will only sound when the wind is coming from the right direction. I was aware of this when I made my plans and set it up, and have been liking this idea of this flux between silence and sound, and the work activating itself as it pleases (or rather when the conditions are correct).
I consider this attempt to be ongoing, and this iteration to be part of my ongoing research/exploration.