Sound and Seclusion

Installation

Victoria Tunnels [September 2013]
Kent University [October 2013]
Culture Lab WIP Festival [December 2013]

Field Recordings – Octophonic Audio

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photo: Ryan Collins

Made up entirely of field recording from Northumberland and Tyne & Wear, this piece explores themes of solitude and confined space to create a composition that mixes the expected and the abstract, the natural and the man-made, a productive tension.

Sound and Seclusion was premiered at Victoria Tunnels, an old coal transportation tunnel that runs underneath Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on 19th October 2013. The tunnels provided a perfect environment to install and playback my findings. During the Second World War the space was used as an air raid shelter, blast walls were added to the structure to provide extra safety if a bomb was to hit the surface above the tunnel. A consequence of this is that each blast wall ‘chamber’ has its own unique sonic characteristic, perfect for playing back contrasting compositions. One of the chambers is particularly sonically interesting; a layer of thick concrete has been added to the surface, resulting in an extremely resonant, reverberant space. Playing back long ambient sounds in this space provided a very strong physical sense of space.

Since then it has been presented at the University of Kent’s Symposium on Acoustic Ecology and at Culture Labs Work in Progress festival. It was Kindly commissioned by Newcastle Universities Northumberland Exchanges research program.

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