field recording

if the project seems broad, scattered, loosely organized, and unfocused, that's because it is. but one crucial theme is the experience of making-in-real-time, acting and reacting in a live way.

the records then are soundscapes of a "genuine but ephemeral set of circumstances existing in a precise moment of time," rather than soundscapes "meticulously fabricated and controlled in the vacuum of an audio editor".1

actual events from a specific time and place ... a moment’s explicit actuality and serendipitous fragility. (Swift 8)

... a soundscape is not simply a sum of all these sounds; rather it is a particular subset filtered through the context of a given environmental condition (Swift 6)

Curiously, wishing to capture these events often blocks these events from occurring. This could be an example of the observer effect, a "common phenomenon where the act of observation can alter the situation being observed." (Swift 3) Perhaps the psychic attention to recording takes valuable attention away from the actual act, a moment of flow, a sort of reset.

Oft noticed is autotelic free play on an instrument -> maybe a moment, groove, emerges - though to capture this! -> stop playing, set up recorder, try to find it again, takes some time, energy is distracted, and the recording then captures this difference and distraction, not the original moment of free play and discovery.

Several strategies to deal with this have been considered:

Setting these to run still requires some forethought, whereas the moments occur seemingly unexpectedly/unpredictably, and most notably while not recording. A possible possible solution is to intrinsically integrate the recorder into the sound ecosystem so that recording is a seamless act with listening while using the system.

as an aside, the work is about sounds situated in spaces. > One of Bernie Krause's tenets is that sounds should experienced in the context of their environment rather than attempting to isolate the sound. (Swift 10)

  1. Swift 

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