Inverness to Edinburgh: Sonic Memories and Geographies

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Inverness to Edinburgh: Sonic Memories and Geographies is a series of recordings taken on a 200 mile journey by bike across Scotland, traveling over hills and wild camping. The real and imaginary space of the recordings is explored through presenting the original unaltered field recordings (Geographies) combined with sound compositions based on imagination and memory (Memories).

The locations in chronological order are;

Loch Ness – Recordings taken from in and around the Loch using a combination of binaural microphones and hydrophones. The composed piece focuses on the resonance of the water – processing and rearranging the audio to reflect this.

Invernahavon – Contact mics were placed on the branches of a tree, picking up the ferocious wind as it interacted with the tree. The composition creates a hyper-real version of this, focusing on the tonality produced by the interaction between wind and tree, morphing the short impulse sounds into pitched material.

Pitlochry Botanic Garden – The recording focuses on a wooden set of wind chimes. These were played in a performative manner to highlight the range of sounds possible. The core of the composition is the manipulation of a short melody written at the site, this is combined with the morphed sound of the wind chimes.

Pitlochry Suspension Bridge – Explores the interior resonance of the Pitlochry suspension bridge by placing contact mics on the bridge itself. The composition enhances the lower frequencies of the bridge and slowly morphs them into tonal drones – reflecting on how I imagine the bridge to experience sound running through it.

Edinburgh – Features the sounds of three different places, relating to the city’s size in comparison to the other locations I visited. These locations are: the washing machine in the campsite (much needed after the long bike ride), an installation with running water at the Royal Scottish Academy and creaking floorboards in the Edinburgh museum. The composition focuses on the creaking floorboards in the Edinburgh Museum. A specific feedback system using a series of single sample delays was created for this, reflecting on the history of the place and how it constantly loops back to its own history through the displays.

The original field recordings and memory compositions where published in a series of guest posts on field recording and sound art project Cities and Memory.

The works have been performed and broadcast: Cities and Memory, Oxford, UK Resonance FM, London, UK, NAISA, Toronto, Canada

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