Atelier Expérimental, Clans, France, September 2020

Atelier Expérimental is a residency programme organised and run by artist Isabelle Sordage (http://www.isabelle-sordage.fr/) and I was one of four artists selected in 2020 to work there for a period of two weeks.

Full sound and video documentation of the composed piece with live sound manipulation, using water recordings. Watch on YouTube (26'42")

Edited documentation of the composed piece on Vimeo (11'35')

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Video documentation of the project is now complete and links to both a full length version and an edited version are available for viewing, as can be seen above.

 

As mentioned on the previous page, my aim for the residency was to work further with the double cassette player mechanism salvaged in Marseille.

I wished to make further recordings of the device, as I feel there is a rich sonic palette held within, but also had the idea to return to an approach I have used a few times over the years whereby I play sounds through motors to activate them, rather than using Arduino programming. I will still use this approach but would like to make projects that repurpose devices that are activated by site-specific sounds.

During one of my exploratory walks in and around Clans, I began recording the channel of water that runs under the village and down the hill. I had noticed some odd rhythms in the flow in places and decided to chart my walk from the fountain where the road joins another, back up to the village, in opposition to the flow.

From previous experience I know that running water contains a wide bandwidth of frequencies and some quite powerful low frequencies can be used to create movement in speakers, and indeed motors.

Initial tests with water sounds were worryingly unsuccessful, with the motors seeming to be trying to run in both directions... but once I brought up the volume level, sure enough they started running. However I returned to this stuttering motion as it can create some interesting rhythms, and sounds from the various styluses I have crafted from guitar strings - it is an instrument after all!

The current version of the piece still has no definite title, but the working title for a possible future performance (at Data in Marseille) is "Hydro-electro-acoustique".

But as can be seen, and is mentioned above, the full piece now has an accompanying video - and it's important to consider the work this way. The visuals demonstrate and illustrate the process but this is a project about the sounds gleaned from the device as much as the device itself.

This is one reason for my choice of macro footage - to abstract the device and concentrate on the movement, the choreography of various parts, and the way the device has been adapted to generate further sounds.

In conclusion, having continued to work on the piece further in Marseille, I feel it needs recomposing and in different ways for both live performance and possible future publishing...