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The Smooth Space of Field Recording : Four Projects - Sonicinteractions, Doublerecordings, “Dense Boogie” and ‘For the Birds’

Hawkins, Ruth. 2013. The Smooth Space of Field Recording : Four Projects - Sonicinteractions, Doublerecordings, “Dense Boogie” and ‘For the Birds’. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This practice/theory PhD focuses on four projects that evolved from a wider field recording practice. Rather than treating individual recordings as isolated objects, each of the projects was concerned with the ways in which ‘straight’ field recordings become implicated with both other instances and genres of recording and real-world environments. The dissertation and projects attempt to reconcile, what has been depicted within the acoustic ecology movement as, the detrimental effects of ‘millions’ of recording productions and playbacks on individuals and global environments, by exploring alternative conceptions of environmental recorded sound.

This is partly achieved through developing a distinctive account of field recordings that links these to haptic expressions of spatiality and perception, from a range of sources. Amongst these, concepts of ‘acoustic’ (Marshall Mcluhan) and ‘smooth’ spaces (Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari), are compared to depictions of environmental recorded sound, from key figures in acoustic ecology (including R. Murray Schafer; Hildegard Westerkamp). Haptic spaces are introduced through discourses that relate the playback of recordings to the figure of modulation; that also connect private listeners to public environmental musics. Multiple and repeated instances of recording are then linked to resonant, liminal and simulacral depictions of recorded sound. These are significantly drawn from discourses of influential ‘ambient’ musics; and accounts of field recording that focus on their content, rather than original production.

These concerns are practically explored through environmental and mimetic strategies of recording. The projects mainly focus on ambient background recordings and appropriated or much repeated subjects of field recording. The critical effect of these is largely produced during playback: using software applications that change this in some way, or by diffusing multiple recordings simultaneously in a sound installation. The projects attempt to realise ‘smooth’ productions of field recordings; that are able to relate different sonorous and non-sonorous forces together.

Please note that parts of the electronic thesis - including some audio tracks on DVD I and all of DVD II - are redacted or otherwise not available online.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music
Music > Unit for Sound Practice Research

Date:

2013

Item ID:

9610

Date Deposited:

17 Dec 2013 13:42

Last Modified:

05 May 2016 15:28

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/9610

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