listening to the Tate....
early this year I was commission by the Tate to create a piece for headphones, due to be installed for one month in early 2013. The piece will feature surface vibrations of the Tate Modern building itself & this week I began making recordings on site.
during the day I collected recordings of the currently empty (of art work) turbine hall space & railings - the latter picking up not only visitors to the gallery but aspects of construction work around the building.
after closing I had permission to remain in the building overnight & record the empty spaces of each gallery, the turbine hall, newly opened tanks & further surface vibrations. The experience of being in these spaces, alone, listening closely was quite something - giving me time to connect with the audible signatures. It does take time - to move from a pre-arranged recording opportunity to finding the sounds, the experience of listening that goes beyond that, becomes connected to personal motivations.
By 11am the following morning my ears were full, for now. I’m not at all interested, in my own ‘work’, in the mere collection of sounds. What matters to me is the personal & the private connection to listening & to capturing moments, therefore to record is not always a matter of opportunity but of a meeting between that opportunity, ones feelings and the intuitive.
leaving the tate on this visit allowed me the ‘space’ to come away feeling satisfied, excited to listen back to the recordings I did make & still connected to the listening experience rather than the recording one.
this is how I can work.
Later that day I gave a talk to the Association of Motion Picture Sound - a chance to meet some new folks & one or two who’d been on some of the field recording courses I tutor on & then, the next morning I met with Angus Carlyle, who was interviewing me for a book due to be published in 2013. We had a good chat about my work, for the book, & then sat outside the british library talking about our children and our personal connections to sound. On the train home I felt, as I often do, sensations of joy that I am able to spend some of my time listening, recording moments & talking with people who share a fascination with the audible.
the inspiration is made up of life.