|keep an ear on...
INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON SOUNDSCAPE
abstractDaniel BLINKHORN Seascape triptych
Seascape triptych: This work illustrates my recent explorations of radiophonic triptychs, comprising 3 sections, with the structure of stereophonic – monophonic –
stereophonic for the presentation of sound portraits. Each of the sections in the triptych explores a specific aspect of a seascape.
seascape section i
The first section is based on a series of small, intimate natural sounds in a coastal inlet. The sounds of a gentle breeze, gurgling water, creaking branches etc have been carefully choreographed to reflect the sounds contained within this type of natural environment. The material has also been extensively transformed via DSP applications to illustrate some of the artistic possibilities possible within this environment when expressed through the imagination. It draws the listener’s attention to the minute and sensuous sounds of a unified nature surrounding the sea, forming part of a seascape.
cnidaria‐ monochrome –
seascape section ii:
Looking across the water, sounds can seem to mimic the visual sense of panorama; wind and wave sounds, seaspray and splashing. Underneath the waves however there is a very different portrait. The crisp, delicate clicks, pops, and snaps produced from a coral reef present a soundscape far more intimate and close‐ up as the many marine animals bustle and fossick amidst the reef. This section was recorded whilst diving in the Great Barrier Reef, and presents a somewhat playful miniature combining the coral reef sounds with breath sounds, attempting to capture both the beautiful sounds of a reef, coupled with my experience whilst snorkelling. This section is deliberately created as a monophonic composition, producing a striking contrast from the omnidirectional/omniphonic nature of sound as it travels underwater.
seascape section iii:
The final section in the triptych attempts to capture the sonic vitality accompanying the life of a colony of hermit crabs. After encountering a surreptitious colony of hermit crabs on an island off the coast of Venezuela, I was astounded to discover the wonderful world of sound contained within. As I stood and looked at the colony, I wondered what the small crabs sounded like. I was barely 5 feet away, yet could hear nothing of the activity within the colony.
Fascinated by the idea of the arcane and hermetic textures they might create as they jostled and wrestled over one another in a somewhat confined space, I
lowered a microphone into the colony in an attempt to eavesdrop, hoping to capture some semblance of their activities.
Much to my surprise, the intensified mass of beautifully articulated sound I heard produced a distinct impression of motion and dexterity as the crabs grappled and vied within the colony. As I listened, what struck me most was the disparity occurring between that which I saw, and that which I heard. To see the crabs as they moved so slowly and awkwardly over one another produced a striking contrast to the sheer density and intensified activity portrayed by the sounds this action appeared to make. This section was very carefully processed to reveal this heightened aural activity, whilst nudging and transforming some of the sounds, the overall shape of the work was designed to create a portrait of the colony, allowing the listener to observe another aspect of sound ecology from a seascape environment.
All material created whilst Radiophonic Artist‐ in‐ Residence, Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) 2010. All material recorded, composed mixed and mastered by Daniel Blinkhorn, with additional engineering by Phillip Ulman, ABC.
daniel is an Australian composer and digital media artist currently residing in Sydney.