Sonorous objects

I have been doing some research, and I like how sound is described in this passage of the book “Noise and Silence: Towards a philosophy of Sound Art” by Salomé Voegelin (pub. Continuum). It outlines some approaches to be conscious of when working with sound, and is a good reminder about how to make the most of the medium. A lot of our attention goes to the visual, but listening can be another way of ‘seeing’:

“Eyes work well as an ordering-tool: segregating according to differences and aligning references to build meaning within the field of vision. Even in motion the visual focuses on relationships and differences and derives it’s meaning from them. Images are dialectical, expressing themselves against each other. They are a chain of differences however mobile.

The ear, when it operates not in the service of a visual organization, does not order things but produces its own ephemeral order. Sound can give an indication of left or right, high or low, etc. but this is not the orientation of objects and places but of itself. Sonic listening is not dialectical, it works not on differences and similarities but hears cumulatively: it builds from what ever comes at it in a haphazard way shaky buildings whose design is that of sound rather than of its source. It stacks things against each other indiscriminately, hearing whatever is at hand, and it can do so because it operates in the dark, unseen.

Pierre Schaeffer’s acousmatic project goes some way to practising such an invisible design: releasing the sounds from their visual association through their reduction to a sonic core. Comparable to Edmund Husserl’s phenomenological reduction, Schaeffer’s composing and listening performs an epoche, a reduction to the core of [sonic] experience. He brackets the sounds off from their visual context to hear them in all their sonicness as ‘objets sonores’, and to compose from these ‘sonorous objects’ acoustomatic works.”


New 3D drawings

I have been doing some more spatial drawing experiments with simple collage and cardboard. I like working this way, and imagining the sounds I have made weaving through the spaces created. Its a tactile way to retain the sites in my minds-ear, my memory and imagination. This one is based on my field trips to Over Bridge, Gloucester, using photocopies of a book by L T C Rolt from Central Library archives, about Thomas Telford who designed the bridge. I tried using a torch to create light and shadow.

Telford 3d collage1

Telford 3d collage3

Telford 3d collage2

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