Sound Beginnings

This post marks the beginning of a reflective journal kept as an accompanyment to the development of my practice, conceptual knowledge and skills as I progress through the sound creation and perception unit. In my draft learning agreement I propose to create a short film on the subject of a physical object within a public space. The sound will play an important role in the film as it will equal if not exceed the moving image in conveying sensation, emotion and meaning. The criteria I have for the film subject are that it

  • be outdoors (so I can use natural light)
  • be easily accessible (so I can shoot video and record audio on multiple visits)
  • be accessible by vehicle (as I have a fair amount of kit to move when shooting video)
  • be a man-made feature within a natural enviroment (as I want to explore the relationship between object and environment on as many levels as possible)
  • be worn or decaying (as I am interested in the detail of man-made surfaces and materials as they break down)
  • not be overly complex in appearance (as I want to retain some sense of visual  simplicity)
  • have a broad range of audio sources within ear shot

I have been checking out a possible in object in Colchester’s Castle Park – this is a Grade II listed structure, from Colchester Hirostic Buildings Forum,

a classical archway erected by Charles Grey 1747, the remains of a rotunda or garden temple. It is built in a mixture of stone, stone and flint rubble, some Roman tiles and modern brick. The keystone of the archway about 5 ft 5 ins from the ground, is a heavy piece of weathered masonry. The whole archway is about 10 ft high and is surmounted by a rough pediment. The south-west face has been considerably restored and is slightly concave. The north-east face is the front of the archway.

Here a few of the sample photos I have taken of the arch.


And here is an audio recording which I managed to take at exactly the wrong time as a plane was flying overhead!

Castle Park is a particularly rich audio evironment, if you listen behind the plane noise and camera button clicks you might hear

  • bird song from trees in park
  • shrieks of children playing in nearby play area
  • water from nearby water feature
  • traffic from nearby busy roads

In a sense there is too much ambient noise to be able to pick out individual detail noises. I am not convinced yet that this is the right subject for the film so I hope to spec out a couple of other possible sites before making a decision.

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