18.3.09

Esoteric Soundscapes 2

Part 2 of an ongoing project started to bring to the foreground everyday sounds and placing them into an enjoyable and immersing musical context.

A whole month has come and gone... I'm sure you've all been plugging away at your lives as I have, wondering about the reasons to get up each morning. On this particular morning I decided to hop on my bike and take a ride Eastward along the Burrard Inlet towards New Brighton Park (I know that this probably means nothing to most of you out-of-townees but use your imagination). It was one of those mornings I love, a gauzy overcast hung in the sky with zero chance of rain and there was a strange stillness about everything. Most people were off to their 9-5 jobs as it was the middle of the week, maybe a Tuesday or something. I loitered around the park for hours, smoking cigarettes and kicking rocks around. There was a woman walking her dog along the shore and a guy leaning over the fenced dock staring out into the inlet. Other than the three of us the place was pretty much deserted. I walked around the ghost park some more, rock hopping down by the water, listening to it lapping against the dock while the hum of industry bled in from across the bay. I felt content and able to focus.

It was at this point that I spotted the see-saw or teeter totter or dandle board or whatever you want to call it in the park's playground. What struck me right away was the shear size of it and also the size of the springs by the fulcrum. I then thought, "I bet that makes an awesome sound."

I forgot to mention that it was colder than usual that day, which means the springs had less give and therefore were noisier. And as we all know, heat causes things to expand and loosen, while cold does the opposite. Ever wonder why your house creaks at night? it's because it's shrinking.

I worked with a few different techniques in moving the teeter, incorporating my feet and getting pretty physically into it-and at this point some more people had gathered in the park, most likely dumbfounded at the sight of some twenty-something-year-old bouncing up and down on a seesaw by himself. Ultimately I was trying to achieve some fluidity to the sounds, as if it was a natural force like the wind or the waves playing maestro to this rustic symphony rather than myself. Eventually I ended up with three separate recordings from three different areas of mic placement. I then took one of the recordings that I found to be more successful than the others and slowly worked a delay into it as I was copying it to tape. So below, you have the original recording and also the delayed/decayed version of that same recording.


C-saw Original (download)


C-saw Altered (download)


Since this project is still very new there should be no surprise in me bending the rules a little. I never said anything was set in stone right? Anyway, I think that The Esoteric Soundscapes project will most likely take a number of different forms during it's existence, of which, right now I can't tell you what those forms will entail as I don't know, I just have a feeling that it will probably evolve.

Nurse With Wound Salt Marie Celeste

This months accompaniment is from the ever prolific and most certainly talented Steven Stapleton, known in the music world as Nurse With Wound. Stapleton should not require an introduction at this point as he's been at the fore front of surrealist sound making for over 20 years now.

Although
Celeste contains many acoustic elements, it would probably never be lumped with the 'pure' field work of artists like Toshiya Tsunoda and Chris Watson. Yes, it does stray far from your typical field recording as the piece is mostly made up of elongated electronic drones, but at the same time because it alludes to murky ocean depths and because it has similar sonic characteristics to the seesaw recording, I figured that it was more then an appropriate match.


Salt Marie Celeste (Excerpt)


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