A photo from today’s soundwalk: Once again “walking" back in time (through my sonic memories) and this time reflecting on the experience of undertaking a commission that involved making field recordings in a remote Australian desert. The first thing I noticed after driving all day, to the sound of the vehicle on straight red gravel roads (like the one in this photo), was that when I finally got to the chosen location, that the desert was acoustically like stepping into an anechoic chamber. Not at all like the echoic portrayals in the American western films, just silent with almost no acoustic reflections … it was in fact a sound recordist’s nightmare, what was I meant to record here! Nevertheless as John Cage has explained, nothing is absolute silence and out of the nothingness and silence, my ears were in a way reborn to focus on the the smallest of small sound events in the landscape. I use the word reborn as listening this intensely to the desert I found deepened my relationship with the land to the extent that I almost felt like I was becoming part of the landscape. The whole listening experience took on a magical, perhaps even spiritual aspect as the location started to sonically reveal some of its secrets to me one by one that were not at all visual. Through this process there was a kind of an acousmatic imaginary stratum being mapped onto the land where the listener acts as a catalyst to hold the layers in place. It was also a great way to experience a new quiet location … try it for yourself, sit very, very still and just listen for as long as you can. I found the longer I listened the less I wanted to leave!
#soundwalk #colinblack #soundculture #doctorblacksoundwalks