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Entries in field recording (12)


The Poetics of Space

The World Soundscape Project group in 1973 with Barry Truax, second from the right.

Last weekend I attended the thirteenth edition of the Sonic Acts festival. This year’s theme was “The Poetics of Space”. I heard some interesting pieces of music, lots of noise (literally), saw a lot of abstract moving images and a few interesting lectures.

Barry Truax

I found some of the Saturday sessions especially interesting. Barry Truax gave a lecture on acoustic space and composing with the environment. Barry is well known for his electroacoustic and computer music and was part of the World Soundscape Project group (pictured above), a group founded by R. Murray Schafer at the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver to research the changes in the sonic environment. He also created the first implementation of real-time granular synthesis in 1986.  

During his lecture he spoke about how spaces influence sounds, how sound have spaces inside them and how we can use this in compositions. When you record a sound, you automatically record the space around that sound as well, so in Barry’s words:

Each sound tells us where it has been.


We were treated to some beautiful sound examples on the eight-channel system (“Eight channel is the new stereo”), including a preview of his newest work Challice Well, which was played later that day in its full length at Paradiso. 

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Nord Rute

If you happen to be in London, visiting Nord Rute must be a great way to spend your weekend. Nord Rute is an ambisonic (surround sound) narrative based on poems by Nils Aslak Valkaeapää, a renowned Sámi artist. His poem No. 272 will be interpreted by Plaid, Sámi poet Synnøve Persen and field recordist Ross Adams. 

I would love to experience the Sámi culture, the reindeer migration and the freezing cold of the most nordic part of Europe, in sound. To complete the experience there will be no heating in the venue (the Trinity Buoy Wharf), the audience will be given blindfolds and sit or lie down on reindeer pelts. So bring you sleeping bag and immerse yourself!

Via Joachim Baan

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