Archives for category: Wansbeck River

On December 11th, 12th and 13th 2012, Matt  and I did some work  along the river Wansbeck in Northumbria. We walked up the river to an ancient dried out well, where some time ago the lady chapel was build. There are just some mossy stones left of this chapel.
Walking along the river we noticed very different areas – sections- the vegetation changed, the sound of the river and of the birds, the atmospheres… The first day we just walked and tried to get a feeling for the place and the environment. We “tuned in”. Coming back the second day, I made on each section a short piece – each piece was around 1 minute long. With my recording device I am able to do multitrack recordings, so I recorded on each section between 2 and 4 layers.
last week I put them all together for an installation, that Matt was putting together  for our first symposium.

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Arrival – Monday Dec 10th

Coffee with Bennett and Sabine. Talked about my thoughts to then: (i) idea of ‘nature’, Wicken Fen – a highly constructed place, plenty of human intervention, there isn’t anywhere that’s ‘pure’, assumed and nostalgic idea based on a separation between humans and nature, we are nature. (ii) tension between my sense of the past, some nostalgia for it, and the impossibility of a return, the places I grew up are now completely transformed (links to (i)), same for Bennett. (iii) tension re the demand to ‘make something’, previous works about allowing the space to speak with as little intervention as possible (similarly dubious idea in itself), now more about dialogue, finding a way of interacting, recognising the connection and interrelatedness, and allowing forms of expression to emerge.

Spent time showing my portable electronic improvisation set-up to Sabine while Meri worked out her readings from Cage’s Indeterminacy for the evening performance.

Three days of fieldwork – Tuesday 11th, Wednesday 12th, Thursday 13th map

Spent three days walking along a section of the Wansbeck River, East of Morpeth, a short walk from Bennett’s house. Informed by my ‘rule’ that whatever you use should be ‘at hand’, a ready-mades hangover or plain laziness?, I was happy with this and felt happily smug / justified.

Day 1. Initially we visited the place where BH had made Aeolian harps. I was not happy with the sense of space, and SV with the aggressive presence of the road. Some discussion about acceptance of traces of human activity – counter acoustic ecology, but it was still too noisy for us. Have been thinking that SV and I are in some ways attuned to some of same values and priorities of acoustic ecology (we need to be able to listen in very particular ways and in consciousness-raising ways), however, our agenda / ideology / approach is distinct (in line with the project, it is about the working out of our embedded interrelatedness, exploring / discovering and understanding what that relationship is and says). In short, it didn’t feel right.

BH knowing exactly what we’re like it seems suggested the walk along the river. Straight away felt better. Read the rest of this entry »