Categories
Aesthetics Culture

ENVIRONMENTAL MICRO-LISTENING EXCERCISE #2

Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez

Recording situation: It is night, recently raining, and the air is filled with a cool, crisp atmosphere. Traffic passes to and fro on its way in and out of town. The sounds seep in through an open upstairs window.

Micro listening is the practice of deliberately focussing on elements of a sound environment that may pass unnoticed in everyday experience. Listening to sounds in this way can lead to a magnification of our experiences. The finer details of sound become magnified enabling us to notice the effects these may have on the psyche. Any sound can be the subject of a micro-listening, recorded sounds or real-life ambiences function equally as well. There is no preference for ‘natural’ or ‘artificial’ sounds as there is no ‘nature’ from which human beings are separate from, just one universe which acts upon and is acted upon by us. The point of a micro-listening is to remind the listener that they and the sound form part of the same acoustic environment.

Categories
Aesthetics Art Culture Film

Johannes Binotto – Practices of Viewing: Muted

“On Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter the standard setting for videos is “mute”. More than 120 years after its invention silent cinema has become the default mode.
Today’s practice is supposed to make video consumption smoother. But it could also make us think about the frightening power silence could only attain with the advent of cinematic sound. In muting we might hear something far more unsettling than what words and images can show.”

Categories
Aesthetics Culture

Environmental Micro-Listening Excercise #1

We present the first in a series of recordings for micro-listening.

Micro listening is the practice of deliberately focussing on elements of a sound environment that may pass unnoticed in everyday experience. Listening to sounds in this way can lead to a magnification of our experiences. The finer details of sound become magnified enabling us to notice the effects these may have on the psyche. Any sound can be the subject of a micro-listening, recorded sounds or real-life ambiences function equally as well. There is no preference for ‘natural’ or ‘artificial’ sounds as there is no ‘nature’ from which human beings are separate from, just one universe which acts upon and is acted upon by us. The point of a micro-listening is to remind the listener that they and the sound form part of the same acoustic environment.

Recording situation: underneath the A47. A warm, still summer’s afternoon. Traffic can be heard passing over the road bridge above us and reverberating below. Birdsong can be heard from the wet grassland and riverbanks close by.

Categories
Aesthetics Art Culture

Tree Translation Excercise – Sarah Wood

“Trees sending messages that we can maybe translate if we look hard enough.”

Categories
Art Film

Faulty Borders – Jez Riley French

“As a species we’re builders of borders & escapists. We construct structures that contain and we long to escape them. At least, that is what we think we are doing but we often invent new systems to deal with the old systems. In escaping we simply replace one uniform with another. One border with another. Perhaps it’s in our nature to constantly need these straight lines.

I’d like to talk about borders. Faulty borders.”

Categories
Art Culture Philosophy

Art in the Age of 2nd-Order Observation

Musings on art, nothingness, and the observation of the observations of others. With reference to Walter Benjamin and Niklas Luhmann.

Categories
Article Culture Feature

Field Recordings: a Beginners Guide

This article is hopefully the first in a series on the subject of field recording. If your goal is relaxation, focus, or just an aesthetic appreciation of sonic texture, this article is an introduction to the best places on the internet to go to hear, and find out about field recording.

Phonography, otherwise known as field recording, is the recording of natural or man-made sounds in-situ and away from the recording studio. But does it produce art or music? In modern music, the line between music and sound has become blurred. Sound and noise play a part in electronic composition that is as important as tone and scale. Today to ask if something is music or noise seems like an out-of-date question.

Like photography is the capturing of light to produce an image, phonography is the capturing of sound to produce a recording. Unlike ‘art’ or ‘music’, which have normative aspects, the words ‘phonography’ and ‘photography’ are matter-of-fact descriptions of a technical act. A bad photo may or may not be art, but nobody says a bad photo is not a photo.

Radio Aporee

The Radio Aporee project is “a global soundmap dedicated to field recording, phonography and the art of listening”. Field recordings from all over the world are placed on a 3D Google map, along with information about the recordings and recordists. You can explore the world while exploring the variety of sonic textures and landscapes that field recording can offer. New updates are added by its active user base every day.

Categories
Art Culture Electro-Acoustic Experimental Film

The Cabin

Experimental recordist alas23 presents a sonic exploration of a Soviet era bus cabin, using contact microphones and an electromagnetic field antenna. As well as making the occasional video on Vimeo, alas23 is a regular contributor on Radio Aporee, visit there if you want to hear more.

Categories
Art Film

Here Is Elsewhere – Sarah Wood

“Right now, for the preservation of life, the citizen is being asked to isolate by staying remote and staying still. Stillness and fixity after an age of speed and motion – it’s quite a shock. Later art can analyse this time; now it can only chronicle it, notice the way in which, in unprecedented times, new phenomena surprise us.

Here’s one. In a sudden and involuntary response to stillness, people are starting to travel without moving. People are voyaging in their minds to visualize places remote from the ones they inhabit. Stillness and fixity, it seems, have unleashed the volition and freedom of our imaginations. Our minds are supplying what the world cannot: waking visions, nighttime dreams, compensating for our circumscribed existence – healing us by making associations. Overnight we’ve become nomads of the imagination – our minds reaching out to others across the world.

Here is Elsewhere is an essay film about this psychological phenomenon, asking whether transformations in perception will enable us to think and live differently in the future.”

Categories
Ambient Culture Film

Susumu Taka – Bright Days & Peaceful Nights

On a cold, snowy evening of the social distanced winter of 2021 we take stock and drift back not so many months to the warm summer of 2019 when this video was shot, on a mini-DV Handycam, in various locations around Felixstowe. The music is inspired by Japanese Environmental music and was composed on Nanoloop IOS. If you want more visit Penname records.