Coastal Etude

Sound Art Composition

Coastal Etude is a study of the seaside in summer. It comprises a wide variety of sound objects captured along the forest coastline. These have been manipulated using Musique Concrete techniques and organised to form the finished piece.

These include: Weather forecasts, the shipping forecast, seagulls, waves on the shore and bubbling over rocks, children having fun on the beach and engaged in crabbing, natural helicopters and rhythmically manipulated helicopter, percolating step-synth, wind in the rigging of small boats, manipulated glitch-rigging, kayak paddling and tonal wind.

Slow Bees

Sound Art Composition

Take the sound of bees on flowering honeysuckle, and slow them down to a quarter of their normal speed, and suddenly we can enter a whole new and unusual soundworld. The bees sound just like little Spitfire propeller aircraft coming in to land on the flowers, and the birdsong takes on a strange tropical quality. Listen to my piece called “Busy Bees” to compare how the bees normally sound.

Windy Rigging

Sound Art Composition

This composition is made from a recording of the sound of rigging wires on several small dinghies rattling against their metal masts in the wind. I’ve modified the pitches and turned the sounds into a musical piece using just those original sounds. The photograph shows Keyhaven, a beautiful sailing village within the New Forest National Park on the shores of The Solent. The landscape in the distance is the Isle of Wight. It’s very close from near here.

The County Show 1

Sound Art Composition

An electronic concerto for six country pursuit commentators, stationary engine and analog step-sequencer. The source field recordings used in this work were captured at The New Forest and Hampshire County Show in July 2015, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, England.

Six manipulated commentaries revolving around country pursuits comprising log cutting, showjumping, hunting, dog handling, cattle and sheep competitions form the basis of the composition.  The rhythmic percussion underpinning the piece is generated from field recordings of small, stationary agricultural engines (including the RA Lister and the Wolseley) produced in the early 20th Century.

This differs from The County Show 2, as this version doesn’t have any of the musical elements. It’s built from just the field-recorded sounds this time.

Dawn Rechorused

Sound Art Composition

A sound art composition, Dawn Rechorused takes a recording of the dawn chorus running initially at normal speed. Then, as the piece progresses, the birdsong gets slower. First to 1/2 then 1/4 then 1/8 of the original speed using imperceptible crossfades. I think it’s amazing how the birdsong changes. When it gets really slow it sounds almost tropical.

It serves to show the fascinating melodic variations of garden birds. The more the original is slowed down, the more varied and unusual the bird’s melodies become. Things that can’t be distinguished at normal speed become clear. Although it’s old-fashioned, slowing down analogue reel to reel tape in this way presents a much more organic and natural quality than trying to slow down modern digital recordings.

Ponysales

Sound Art / Soundscape Composition.

A Sound Art composition created from raw material recorded at the Autumn Beaulieu Road Pony Sales. The idea was to create an organic piece that features the commoners, the sound of the ponies and the auctioneer, but compose it so that it has some unusual “listen again” elements, such as the modification of the auctioneer’s patter into a rhythmic pattern.

The Beaulieu Road pony sales yard is located on the Lyndhurst to Beaulieu road about three miles from Lyndhurst. The main pony sales occur late in the year there. All the New Forest ponies are rounded up by Agisters and commoners, taken off the Open Forest, counted and then health checks and necessary treatments given. The pony sales that occur soon afterwards provide the animals owners, (known as New Forest Commoners) the chance to sell their livestock, or to purchase more. 

The Lymington Train

Sound Art Composition.

This Sound Art composition has been created from recordings of the automated voice heard inside the Lymington to Brockenhurst train, together with the sound of the train interior. The interior has been transferred to analogue tape as a loop, which forms the basis of the piece.

The Lymington Railway, running between Brockenhurst and Lymington was established in 1856 and a temporary station opened at Lymington on 12 July 1858. A permanent station was opened at Lymington Town in 1860. Three years later the company acquired a ferry to the Isle of Wight. The company was absorbed by the London and South Western Railway in 1879. Services were extended to Lymington Pier in 1884.

Market Day

Sound Art / Soundscape Composition.

A Sound Art composition that’s produced from recordings taken at Lymington’s Saturday market. Each element was created as a separate sound object and then spliced and manipulated on sixty-year old Ferrograph reel to reel tape machines using tape loops and backwards sound. The distant music that forms part of this piece comes from sound drifting down the street from a record seller’s speaker system.