Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The traffic is particularly loud around sun up, and this morning the wet pavement amplified the noise of tires going across the 41st Street bridge and 83. I was tempted to capture only the traffic noise and leave the lows at their present level-to give it more of an ambient presence. But I misplaced the mics in the windows and caught the house noise too-in one channel, traffic; in the other, our waking ritual.
(I chose to capture the traffic in its unedited entirety because the crickets have become more quiet. If you listen for a long time the noise, without wildlife interference, is quite entrancing.)
This video was captured in the darkness of Patterson Park in Baltimore. I chose to keep the subjects dark and let the shadows narrate the upbeat marching music.
The sound, perhaps, is not that great, but my intention was not to cite sound. Instead, the project has taken on a new characteristic, one evolving away from a singular medium to a panply of sense-making.
Perhaps in the future I'll go back to pure image, without sound, back to the silent film era...
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
There is a commercial on Maryland Public Television that portrays a conductor sitting at his piano, hitting the keys in frustration, unable to begin writing a piece of music. He steps to the window, puts his coffee to his lips, then watches as a flock of sparrows alight upon a series of 5 electrical wires. This is when the lightbulb goes on: the theme, so to speak, is created by the random landing pattern of the birds. The conductor rushes to the piano, then begins to play an absurdly dense piece of music in the post-classical stylings of Scelsi or Feldman. The simplicity of the non-interventionist act of composition-by the birds-leads the composer to hear the music in the environment. As I suggest further, this active listening (and seeing, as in the composer's case) creates an individualized experience. But, because sound belongs to no one in particular (except, perhaps, the attentive listener), the plurality of music is made real.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
There was nothing special about, but the water was at a higher level (it had been raining today and yesterday) and the creek babbled louder than its usual tinkle.
Next to the complex, I heard a loud whirring noise: central air fans. I decided, since I hadn't done any recording today, to use the shotgun mic and capture its hum. After a few minutes of walking around the contraption, capturing the hum coming off the building, the other vents, above and below the vent, etc., I hoped that it would turn off.
And it did! But the sound of the fan whirring down was, to say the least, anticlimactic. The funny thing is, water started dripping from one of the exhaust pipes located below a tenant's window.
This recording is the song of the air vents, with a conclusion of water song.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I actually picked up the headset and began listening (in reverie), but the whole Circulation AND Inter-Library Loan department ran into the workroom in anticipation of an emergency.
It's strange - how much peace I shattered at the end of the work day. On purpose? Please...
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
They hate when I do this - especially Karen - but I rigged the stereo mic in the living room and recorded a short conversation between me, Kevin, John Clark and Chrissy (Kevin's flame) and Karen. The bulk of the conversation is dominated by John's gripe about the stand-up comedy business in Baltimore, and the scams some venues (like The Comedy Factory) perpetrate upon their audiences and performers.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
So, this Sunday night, while Karen is at her sister's, I clean up the place a bit and make some godaweful racket doing so - sink and stove included.
Listen carefully - I begin with John Tejada on the hi-fi, then kill the music as the fridge begins to hum.
Inside or outside, the hum is a prevalent wind of noise.
This crossing, between storm drains, a quiet stream and Aigburth Road is an unexpected sonic cavern. When I placed the mic inside the large concrete cylinder dead center of this environment, facing outward toward the stream, the whoosh from passing cars a block away could be heard as a slow wash of rising and falling wind. And when cars hit the sewer cap east of Donnybrook, a low thump was produced.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Just as one may turn her head to absorb the surrounding landscape, I used the stereo mic as a pair of eyes walking up and down the alley behind the Towson Framing Gallery. For the sake of authenticity, I included my footsteps and the crunching sound my sneakers made when trampling sand and shards of glass.