At just before dawn this morning seven of us set off on the first Quiet Walk organised by Very Quiet Records and Aune Head Arts. We followed Devon’s River Dart upstream on to the edge of Dartmoor. Following days of rain the river was in spate, and quite impressive. The recording below, the first in a series that will document these walks, presents 60 minutes of fast flowing tumbling river as it runs through a deep valley on the edge of Dartmoor. Its static, white noise, but full of complexity and some rather impressive lower frequencies.
Just finished the second of two training sessions on field recording with the good folk of Totnes’s Soundart Radio and the Radio Anywhere project…
“Soundart Radio Anywhere is a new project from Soundart Radio 102.5fm, a licensed arts radio station in South Devon.
Radio Anywhere Ambassadors will broadcast from their homes, streets, neighbourhoods, towns and planet with Soundart’s amazing new studio-in-a-box.
We’re looking forward to hearing a wide range of new sounds and voices from many places, including school concerts, woods and rivers, Sunday morning church services, live shows from living rooms and kitchens, and village fêtes and meetings.
And hopefully all kinds of things we haven’t yet imagined.”
For more info visit http://soundartradioanywhere.tumblr.com/about
When you escape to a desert the silence shouts in your ear
You are confronted with yourself in these places. Silence is often seen as something soothing, but it is also frightening. It feels unnatural, especially for modern man. We constantly produce sound. In the desert there is no auditory or visual distraction. It is 40 degrees, day in day out. There is no one to talk to. You are hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest village or gas station. There is nothing romantic or idyllic about such an environment. After three days I was suffering from desert madness. You realise that the quietness you hear means that there is really nobody or nothing out there.
(interview with Peter Lenaerts)
Recorded along the Oodnadatta Track in South Australia, December 11-21, 2011.
Peter Lenaerts is a sound artist and composer in the fields of performance art, contemporary dance and film. He believes that in a culture dominated by visuals, nothing is as powerful, intense, and rewarding as simply listening. http://www.surfacenoise.be/peter
To buy a copy visit http://veryquietrecords.blogspot.co.uk/
A quiet walk invites participants to listen. To listen in detail. To find a place far from the crowd. A place where small things can be heard. A place where you can hear your own footsteps. A place where you can follow the sound a falling leaf. A place where other voices sing. We will not walk in silence. We will simply walk quietly and share whatever we hear.
On Sunday, 24 February, from 5pm to 8pm, I’m leading the first of a series of Quiet Walks for Aune Head Arts – this one at Bellever Forest on Dartmoor, Devon.
These are an extension of my Very Quiet Records label. Each will be at a naturally quiet time, either at night or dusk/dawn.
More details and booking here
Extracts from latest releases on Very Quiet Records – all available in full from veryquietrecords.blogspot.co.uk
Last week I launched the first album on my new label Very Quiet Records. 55 30 is by Mecha/Orga, the project of sound artist and composer Yiorgis Sakellariou. It was recorded between midnight and 9am in Kifisia, near Athens, Greece, November 2012.
The label will focus on releasing recordings of quiet places by sound artists and field recordists from around the world.
An extract from 53 30 can be heard here:
A short collection of recordings of quiet places.
In November I’m participating in an art event in Yarner Wood on Dartmoor. The event is a series of interventions, installations and responses to the managed landscape by a group of artists whose current work investigates the landscape and environment and the relationship humans have with them. My contribution will be a quiet space, and quiet sit. More to follow.
On the evening of 11 July a small group of wanderers wandered along lanes, through forest and over heath. Stories were told of alien cats and winged horrors and Honda civics. Of laurel and cyanide. Of sheep rolling and foxes in vans. Rush lights were stripped. Mole hills were excavated and flints sparked. Goatsuckers sang their crepuscular songs while white tissues were waved. Chocolate was eaten. Constellations were traced near the 23rd post. Dark mirrors were gazed at and revealed subtle lights and gentle ripples. And phosphenes danced. And owls called. And the air moved gently. Then it was midnight and the wanderers went home.
This walk was part of Spacex Gallery’s Topophobia
On the night of 19/20 June 2012 a small group of people sat listening, quietly, overnight by the River Dart at Dartington in Devon, UK. The group were participating in a conference concerned with arts and ecology called The Home and the World (see previous posts). These three recordings are taken before, during and after first light.