Day One: Settling and Acclimatising
Adjusting to the general shock of arriving in a place so beautiful and not nearly as remote as you might think.
The soundtrack is provided by frogs.
Day Two: The Light Fittings are Shaking
Ok, that only happened once. But clearly Sound Horn prefers to be out of doors. The studio is beginning to sing. The frogs are still accompanying.
The guy on the Ableton tutorial videos is my new best friend. I may need to credit him in the final work. The scale of hardware and software issues combined is becoming more apparent.
I walk down to the shoreline and listen. Aware that I’m growing a new awareness for the sonic environment around me. Everything hums, everything makes noise. The rural is layered by sounds of traffic, boats, cars, farm vehicles, occasional overhead planes.
First steps feel tentative and cautious.
The nearest internet spot is at the top of the hill, so I begin a route between the cube for snacks, kettle breaks and frog watching, the internet at the top of the hill for advice and more tutorials, the studio to test the advice and find new questions to head back up the hill with.
The walking balances out my screen time, I hope.
Day Three: Screen Time
Beginning to sketch out ideas to push the abilities of the sound in the piece, using the installation to create, hide and share the surrounding environment. As a physical-maker/sculptor – my role in this digital world is a slightly less obvious one, as I navigate slowly and awkwardly towards an ephemeral goal.
Step beyond my own fear and start to record my voice. And listen to it. Over and over until it slowly stops being mine. This cycle is starting to feel a bit witchy, and I am inspired by both an earlier vocal workshop with Hannah Tuulikki at the end of last year, and the incredible installation Tremble Tremble by Irish artist Jesse Jones, that I was fortunate to catch at the Talbot Rice.
In the evenings, the other Cryptic artists are beginning to congregate at the top of the hill. The advantage of a large kitchen, well stocked library and the lure of the internet pulls strong. There are some exciting projects emerging from the various spaces around Cove Park!
Day Four: Cycles and Sketches
Assembling a series of ‘sketches’, towards a cycle of pieces that can play through the Sound Horn installation. Whether each of these will stay as the piece progresses is less obvious, but the process is becoming more enjoyable as I embrace the intuitive.
I’m making lists of next steps, bigger questions and attempting to map out both the sound and the installation itself.
The progression of the work from recording through to headphones, to the six speaker layout and on to the outdoors makes it apparent how much the sound changes through each section. It’s time to step do some testing. I scout out over lunch and hope the weather will hold for the next few days.
I am spending a week at Cove Park as part of the Cryptic Artists Residency, developing the work Sound Horn. Originally conceived as an idea with sound artist Justin Prim, I’m now taking the piece forwards for a new installation in 2019.
Special thank you to the Cryptic team for an amazing opportunity, and to the Cove Park team for their warm welcome and beautiful location to be based in for the week.