Big thanks to Leslie Deere and Nadine Richardson for coming into the studio this morning to discuss the new compilation of field recordings and improvisations made at Kew Gardens, Neck of the Woods. As they mentioned on the show it’s available at X Marks The Bokship on Cambridge Heath Road in Hackney: this bookshop sounds great, stocking loads of self releases, handmade CDs and more:
Also mentioned was Lisa Shonberg’s project Field Guided, more info on which is here.
Guests on the show for 14th June are Leslie Deere, Riz Maslen and Kaffe Matthews with their project, Neck of the Woods. See info below.
Neck of the Woods
Neck of the Woods is an artist lead compilation brought about from commissioned sound works at Kew Gardens. In the summer of 2011 Leslie Deere, Riz Maslen and Kaffe Matthews were commissioned for sound installations, which exhibited during the length of the Kew Summer Festival. The bespoke sound works were installed in Kew’s most iconic spaces including the Palm House and Redwood Forest.
Last year was the UN International Year of Forests. In honor of that, and the majesty of Kew, the idea of conducting site responsive field recordings was born. Most of these artists travelled to Kew, chose a location on the garden map and conducted one-take recordings responsive to the space. Nadine Richardson played Asian flute in the Bamboo Forest; Philip Granell improvised with violin in the Waterlily House. Other artists have conducted field recordings in alternative areas around London and abroad, offering a glimpse of varying outdoor locations and atmospheres.
This limited edition, handmade release is a celebration of field recordings, conducted in cherished places, hopefully capturing a memory and a whimsical moment in time.
Featuring Artists: 10 Sui: Leslie Deere: Patrick Farmer: Kaffe Matthews: Riz Maslen: Nadine Richardson: Angharad Davies: Phillip Granell: Dawn Scarfe: Saskia Moore.
This week I went to he Dalston Rio for the first time and was pleasantly surprised by the acoustic environment I found there.
Most recent times I’ve been to the cinema i’s been to multiplexes or otherwise somewhat plush or high end places. The room is very soft, carpety and dull sounding to dampen any room-noise; the seats are on a steep incline to ensure everyone gets the best view; and the soundtrack is bass heavy, booming, yet crisp and, above all, loud.
The Dalston Rio differed from that and it changed my experience quite profoundly. While the room still feels plush, it’s not been acoustically engineered in the same way as modern ‘plexes – the space still sounds quite lively and doesn’t have the muffled feel of a modern screen; The seating, as the picture shows, is on a much gentler incline; and the film’s soundtrack was played at a much more moderate volume than is now normal.
The cumulative effect of these three factors could be seen as a negative one: The experience as a whole was much more “noisy” by usual definitions, the noisefloor was much higher; The view was less clear and it felt like I was leaning back to look up at the screen rather than a typical forward/downward TV-viewing posture; and people’s coughing, shuffling and laughter was more noticeable due to a combination of the three factors.
But for me this extra noise served to enhance the effect of the film. Watching the Liberace story seemed much more credible to be in what felt like a 1970s cinema. The whole experience felt much more social, communal, to hear others’ reactions to the film and interactions between one another. Perhaps it relates to my love of record crackle, tape hiss, environmental sound and the like – these sounds that are generally seen as unwanted noise to me add some kind of authenticity.
I’ve just started using Spotify and have made a little sampler playlist for the show. It’s a selection of the sort of stuff I play, all fairly short tracks, a little sampler of what you might expect on the show. I’ll be updating it as time goes on too and I discover new artists and little gems.
Unfortunately Spotify isn’t great on experimental music and sound/art, plus I tend to play a lot of netlabel and unreleased stuff, so it’s only really a taster!
Click here to go to the playlist.
Here’s a great blog about contemproary classical and experiemtnal music across the capital and beyond. Written by author and music journalist Tim Rutherford-Johnson.
Great documentary on the American composer, singer, dancer and performance artist Meredith Monk; such an inspiring artist in her work and the way she talks about it. This film contains plenty of interviews and clips of performances.
Hosted by the superlative UbuWeb:
Oram’s Cagean inclusion of some of the sounds of her environment in a track.
Or, A Cat Meowing Through A Tape Delay.