Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Field Recordings’

Hudson River fishermen heading out at dawn, Peter Lourie, 1998
Hudson River fishermen heading out at dawn, Peter Lourie, 1998

Last February 2020, I visited the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary Trail in the Hudson River to make some field recordings of the environment surrounding the brackish tidal marsh. The Constitution Marsh is one of five large estuarine environments connected to the Hudson River and provides natural habit to several species of birds, fish, plants, and many vertebrate and invertebrate species. This wetland area is located on the east side of the Hudson, near Cold Spring, and is surrounded by the Hudson Highlands.

The soundscape above was recorded on a small hill overlooking the tidal marsh. It was a very windy day, so I sheltered the microphone between the rocky steps of the trail. The resulting recording captures the sounds of branches and dry leaves rustling in the wind, bird calls, and the sound of the Amtrak train on the distance with its characteristic horn. The marsh provides foraging, nesting, and resting habitat to more than 200 species of birds. However, this New York State Bird Conservation Area is still subject to a large conglomeration of human-made noises like the train and low flying airplanes.

Hiking trail at Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary Photo Jessica Andreone.jpg

Inside a hollow tree, 2’14”. Feb 2020, download

The more pervasive sound in the area is the constant sound of airplanes. I tried to record the sound of a passing aircraft through the vibrating trunk of a tree by placing a microphone inside of a hollow tree. The airplane’s sound reverberating on the wooden walls resulted in an eerie drone sound.

Reeds, Water and Wind, 2’08”. Feb 2020, download

Phragmites australis, the common reed, is a non-native marsh plant spreading in many of the Hudson River wetlands. This plant forms fast-growing stands of stems, transforming the diversity of the habitat into a monoculture by crowding out native vegetation. Reeds introduce changes to the local microtopography, increase fire potential, decrease salinity, and outcompete plants. These changes have a ripple effect that ends up degrading the diversity of wetlands and coastal marshes and endangering wildlife. The Constitution Marsh Audubon Center dedicates its conservation efforts to the control and management of reeds in the area by using black geotextile material to flatten and cover patches of the vegetation. This method raises the temperature of the soil, killing the root system of the plant, allowing for the future growth of native vegetation.

Small brook flowing into the tidal marsh, Hudon River, 2’08”. Feb 2020, download

Carlo Patrão
*photos by the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center

Hudson River map

Read Full Post »

Kalun Leung is a trombone player based in New York City. This interview was recorded during a visit to Freshkills Park in Staten Island organized by the sound artist John Roach, the designer Andrew Shea and their students from the New School. The group is developing a series of installations for the park that translate ecological data into sensory experiences. Freshkills Park, once the world’s largest landfill, is now being transformed into a public park three times the size of Central Park.

Kalun Leung
Sound the Mound

Read Full Post »

Podcast – Download

If the eye is entirely won, give nothing or almost nothing to the ear…and vice versa, if the ear is entirely won, give nothing to the eye. One cannot be at the same time all eye and all ear. – Robert Bresson, Notes on Cinematography

This episode of Zepelim sets out to make the eye impatient by presenting the sounds of non-dialogue scenes edited from 10 Manoel de Oliveira films. The cinema of Oliveira is known for its careful balance of image, words, and silence. There is a frequent use of static frames and extremely long takes wherein the characters deliver their lines while facing the camera, as if their dialogue was taking place in a play. This way, the spectator’s attention is deflected from the image and zeroes in on the words being spoken. In contrast, scenes without dialogue gain their significance as highly visual experiences – the ear tends to rest while the eye “is entirely won”. From the perspective of someone working in radio, I became interested in the auditory ambiance of Oliveira’s wordless scenes and background sounds that under normal film-viewing circumstances might blend in with the process of intaking image and either get overlooked or woven into the fabric of the image.

By separating sound from its image, Zepelim aims to explore the rich auditory dynamics of Oliveira’s non-dialogue scenes. The sounds presented in this collage are not organized according to the films’ chronology or storylines. Rather, they are grouped as much as possible according to other properties like volume, pitch, and intensity of the samples as well as by common themes like footsteps, motors roaring, wind blowing, characters breathing, wood creaking, etc. In the context of radio, these sounds become the focal point while unique new visual layers are free to form in the listener’s imagination. The sounds were taken from the following films: The Hunt (1963), Past and Present (1972), Benilde or The Virgin Mother (1975), Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1997), My Case (1987), The Cannibals (1988), Word and Utopia (2000), The Uncertainty Principle (2002), Belle Toujours (2006) and Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl (2009).

Manoel de Oliveira was born in Porto (1908) to a wealthy family from the North of Portugal. His father was the first man in Portugal to produce light bulbs. The young Oliveira had an ecclectic youth – competing at the pole vault, working as a professional racecar driver, and even performing as a trapeze artist. When the dictator Antonio Salazar seized power in 1932, Oliveira was just beginning his filmmaking career. His first films were documentaries (like “Douro, Faina Fluvial“), but in the early 40s he made Aniki-Bóbó, his first feature-length film. Over the following decades, Oliveira continually pioneered new styles of cinema and eventually secured his place as one of Europe’s most prolific and important filmmakers. At the age of 80, he hit the pace of making one film per year. This year Oliveira is 103 and still going – the world’s oldest active filmmaker.

Produced by Carlo Patrão
Narrative Readings by Susana Sampaio Dias & Erica Buettner
This show was featured in the edition #407 of Framework:Afield.

 

Read Full Post »

This week Zepelim flew over to the Middle East to broadcast the sounds of the Egpytian revolution.  Sharing the vibration of the sucessful revolution in Tunisia, on January 25th, thousands of Egyptians began to protest in the streets against poverty, unemployment, government corruption and the leadership of President Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled the country since 1981. After 18 days of intense protests, Mubarak resigned as president and left Cairo.  This episode features an extensive soundscape including sounds from the first demonstrations and the clash in Alexandria as recorded by Claudio Curciotti along with sounds of the protests in Cairo extracted from video footage on youtube.

Alexandria: Soundscape of Revolution

Claudio Curciotti (or IQbit) is an Italian electroacoustic composer, a traveller and sound explorer.  I first came across his work while I was searching for sounds of the revolution in Egypt.  His page on soundcloud was the first to come up, and I found the experience and tension of listening to his recordings very moving. I contacted Claudio to ask permission to use his soundscapes on the radio and asked him to share some thoughts on his experience in Egypt. Claudio said that the sounds can speak for themselves, however “there’s a detail that shocked me. The moment of silence right after a shootgun”. Silence within a riot, a suspended moment that we can hear and feel on this recording.

Claudio Curciotti

The work of Claudio Curciotti can be followed on his new web project Field Abuse, made in collaboration with the photographer Eleonora Trani. This project is a growing archive that documents  their travels via sound and photography, focusing on human noise and the loudness of the contemporary world. Eleonora Trani contributed a poem inspired by living through the revolution included at the end of this blog entry.

Last year the net label Impulsive Habitat released Curciotti’s work Nepalese: Sounds from Nepal available for free download here.


Ahmed Basiony & 4’33” Egypt

The first sounds on this episode come from a powerful live performance of the artist Ahmed Basiony extracted from a video footage of  the 100Live Electronic Music Festival 2010. Ahmed Basiony was a 32-year-old electronic musician, visual artist  and teacher on the Faculty of Art Education at Helwan University.

Ahmed Basiony (1978-2011)

Basiony died in the January 28 protests in Cairo, he was severely beaten by the Central Security Forces.  According to some reports,  he was shot five times, and his body was run over by a vehicle. You can visit his online memorial and read more about his life here. Dedicated to the memory of Basiony, the sound artist John Kannenberg posted a 4’33” field recording made outside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo that can be heard at the end of the episode.

Throughout this episode we can also hear music from the Egyptian composer and musicologist Soliman Gamil A Map of Egypt Before the Sands (Touch, 1997); some of the early work with manipulated wire recorders of the Egyptian composer Halim El-Dabh at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Studio; sounds from one of the radio albums of Sublime Frequencies, an Egyptian FM experience with Radio Palestine – Sounds of the Eastern Mediterranean; sounds from Ancient Egypt by the Lebanese ethnomusicologist Ali Jihad Racy; and excerpts from R. Murray Schafer’s musical and performance RA.

Alexandria. Darkness. Light

by Eleonora Trani

Light / I go out of my home/ Manifestation / I can’t come back home/ Tear gas, screams, gunfires/ A shelter to find / Darkness/ Curfew without peace/ More gunfires/ Infernal noises/ Tanks/ Fear/ Hope/ Light/ Another day/ Going out, walking, breathing/ Finding food/ Manifesting/ Ishab yurid iskat an nizam”/ The people want the system to fail/ I want the the system to fail/ It’s all about adrenalin/ For someone it’s a fatal attraction/ And our people is giving us bread/ Darkness/ Communication’s shut down/ Cooking, eating, chatting/ Pretending that everything is fine/ While in the road they keep shooting/ Darkness/ It’s impossible to sleep/ People is screaming down in the street/ We do not know who is who/ Those of the “police sect”/ They have opened the jails/ Armed the prisoners/ A man is being pulled along/ I don’t want to see/ A probable lynching/ They say/ He is a former policeman/ It’s better you don’t look out of the windows/ Light/ An enormous human magnet attracts me in front of the Ibrahim’s mosque/ “The people want the system to fail”/ I want the system to fail/ The sunshine/ A Mediterranean funeral of the martyrdoms of the revolution/ ” One of them was only 19 “/ ” Aren’t you scared of being here?”/ I’m not/ What protects me is/ This light in front of the Mediterranean and in the people’s eyes/ You see the light of fighting and dignity/ The bodies are coming out of the mosque, wrapped in the shroud/ The fever is getting higher/ But is a good and fair fever/ A longing for freedom/ I feel myself being under that shroud/ We all are that boy/ It is a universal fight/ We are at least ten thousands/ Walking, manifesting/ The people want the system to fail/ And I’m with them/ Darkness/ One more curfew/ Uncontrolled news/ They will cut water/ No, light/ Perhaps both of them/ They are shooting guns/ We look each other in the face/ We seem suddenly more aged/ And suddenly we are born again by the wind of the Revolution

Light…

PodcastDownload

Carlo Patrão

For me it is a nice way to tell our stories. About the sound, what to say… just lisen to that.
Anyway there’s a detail that shocked me. The moment of silence right after a shootgun. You can listen to that in the recording I’ve sent you before.
For me it is a nice way to tell our stories. About the sound, what to say… just lisen to that.
Anyway there’s a detail that shocked me. The moment of silence right after a shootgun. You can listen to that in the recording I’ve sent you before.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: