A multi-channel sound work for Joseph Banks: A Great Endeavour, an exhibition about the passionate botanist and explorer who joined James Cook aboard the Endeavour to explore unchartered lands. The Collection, Lincoln.
The 25 minute piece begins with field recordings made in Bardney Lime Woods in Banks’ home county of Lincolnshire. Rooks, blue tits, warblers and the wind in the trees set the scene for this sonic voyage which charts Banks’ expedition to Tahiti in the first leg of Cook’s first great voyage in 1768.
Banks’ first entry in his journal marks the start of the voyage. Departing smoothly from the busy port of Plymouth, the Endeavour sails to Madeira, Rio de Janeiro on to stormy Cape Horn and then across the Pacific to the crashing waves of Matahavi Bay in Tahiti. Here, the gentle soundscape of rural Lincolnshire gives way to the excited lorikeets, Polynesian starlings and cicadas of tropical Tahiti. The sounds of singing, drumming and nose flutes represent the indigenous peoples he encountered and respected.
The piece concludes with the ebb and flow of Tahiti’s surf and William Cowper’s poem The Task, which imagines Banks as an adventurous bee, busily foraging for pollen.
To Paradise can be heard on the Soundwall at:
10.30am and 2.30pm Monday – Friday
10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday and Sunday
February 14th – May 11th 2014
Voice of Joseph Banks – Dr Finn Pollard
Voice of William Cowper – Mark Forster
Thanks to Daz Disley for technical support.
Composed specifically for the Collection’s unique Soundwall – a 22 loudspeaker, 33 metre sound system. This online version is stereo only.
Parts of this soundscape feature in Philip Stevens’ short film David Attenborough: Sir Joseph Banks – Endeavour.
Soundtrack for the first audio-visual work by The Society for Ontofabulatory Research. “Airminded is an 18-minute essay film which counters the unchecked celebration of aviation heritage that is a defining part of the county of Lincolnshire.” Limits Of Seeing (2013).
Phonography is an audio time-lapse project in which the sounds of a specific location are sampled during one revolution of the Earth. 1,440 one-second slices (1 second per minute) are captured over a 24 hour period to produce a waveform that acts as a sonic map of the day.
At a glance, the 24 minute long waveform reveals the rhythm of the day in a particular place. The periods of activity such as rush hour and playtime at the local school, along with periods of stillness such as the other-worldly quiet before the dawn chorus, can be seen in its peaks and troughs.
The project aims to capture these 24 hour sound maps of various locations around Lincolnshire. Locations of dense sonic activity such as the A&E department at Lincoln County Hospital along with locations of rural quietude will sit together as a collection of contrasting waveforms.
This soundwork also explores ideas around how we recount our day through the recollection of fragments. The waveform is a map of the journey through 24 hours – the fragments are streamed together in the low resolution sample of the day. Like the wide mesh of the trawler’s net aiming to capture only the bigger fish, the slow pulse of the recording traps the longer duration sounds and recounts the day’s events. However, the methodical nature of the pulse captures chance happenings – each individual slice being a self-contained sonic world in which daily life is distilled into both recognisable and abstract fragments.
The set can live online or can be exhibited in gallery spaces. The audience can simply view the waveform, can listen to its full duration or click within it to specific points. The pieces will be hosted on Soundcloud allowing comments to be added within the waveform itself.
This is a piece that came out of playing with the Monosequencer in Ableton Live 9. All the synth lines are composed with it resulting in interesting polyrhythmic patterns.
The title refers to the Father Willis organ in Lincoln Cathedral. The track contains a sample from a performance by Colin Walsh playing it for a BBC Radio 3 live broadcast.