relatively gentle musical pieces – all involved a high degree of personal interaction through the compositional process even if they began with formal processes to generate the initial material
These three works come from specific ideas about the effect of processes that unfold over time – the way duration interferes with or helps determine our responses to our environments.
Yard is taken from four recordings of our backyard taken every 6 hours across a single day.
Across the road is from a series of recordings taken every Tuesday at 10am of a house being built across the road from where we lived.
Sandwich extracts the laugh track from an episode of “Friends”
Each of these pieces begins with a performance. In Brighton BagWalk I walked up and down between our flat and the train station in Brighton in the south of England, dragging a small bag along the ground like so many other tourists to Brighton.
Yeronga Pool is a piece for Queensland home and guests. Our house at the time was two story with a balcony overlooking the backyard pool. I borrowed a bunch of steel bowls and floated them in the pool. As we stood on the balcony drinking, we tossed pieces of ice off the balcony into the pool, aiming for the bowls. Recorded with hydrophones which do not in any way capture the wonderful resonance of the bowls and water. A great party activity if you have a pool.
Walk to Work is as it says – a recording of my walk to work at the University of Queensland in 2010. There are about twenty walks overlaid on each other. The walk took me from the suburbs then almost immediately into the cemetery at Fairfield, onto the pedestrian bridge, then through the UQ grounds. Three distinct environments each with their own soundscape.
This piece began as pure audio – multiple overlaid recordings of walking to work in the morning. And it still exists as a stand alone audio work. From the outset I was thinking of the way our brains must be diffusely encoding our everday environments, both reinforcing and discarding and wanted to make a video piece – incorporating image and sound – but lacked the technology.
Recently I gained access to some very cheap and small portable flash cameras that could be attached to my clothes, so I retraced my steps about 20 times and recorded video of the walk to work – through the cemetery, across the bridge and then around the lake to my office. (well my office until my contract runs out and I’m unemployed again). Probably about a dozen recordings worked, one camera dropped off my shirt and broke. After that I used a safety pin to hold them on and that was perfect.
I think of the patterns of light in the video as traces of the cortical activation of my brain as I walked through that environment – the cemetery, the bridge, the university gardens then finally the corridor to my office at that time.
I was thinking of the dynamics of biological motion when I made this film. The sound and vision is of a choir singing, then post-processed to only show activity at a particular spatial scale for the video. Similarly for audio but in frequency space
This short movie is part of a bunch of works I’ve done that deal with increased social constraints on variability of experience. I think we can trace the rising incidence of anxiety disorders to lower variability in the environment. But I wouldn’t expect anyone else to notice that when looking at any of the works – that’s just where my motivation comes from.
In this case I take a song and remove pitch variability in the melody
The Adelaide airport has (or at least had for a few years) a great sounding travelator just outside the gate that we normally arrive at. I went up and back a few times with the trusty fieldrecorder to capture the sound. I went looking for public domain video to accompany and liked this short sequence from a road safety video for children that combines paternalistic authority with grinding boredom.