Listen | head 2: from Hengistbury Head Soundscape (06:20) 7.3mb
Listen | head: Hengistbury Head (03:20) 4.4mb
Listen | door: Durdle Door (02:53) 3.9mb
Listen | wakes: Gilbert White's Garden, Selbourne (02:04) 4.4mb
I am interested in the fence as a visual line; a boundary which limits and draws out place. The contact microphone not only brings these visual lines into the scope of audition, it also allows the ear to rub out the limiting space of the eye in favour of the dynamic unlimited auditory space of listening.
'Auditory space has no favoured focus. It's a sphere without fixed boundaries, space made by the thing itself, not space containing the thing. It is not pictorial space, boxed-in, but dynamic, always in flux, creating its own dimensions moment by moment...The eye focuses, pinpoints, abstracts, locating each object in physical space...the ear, however, favours sound from any direction.'
Edmund Carpenter,(1959) Eskimo. Toronto: University of Toronto Press
Many of the line recordings are made from locations which emphasise the visual: e.g. landmarks such as Durdle Door or vantage points such as Hengistbury Head. Conversely, wakes was recorded in Gilbert White's garden. Author of A Natural History Of Selborne (1875), White was the first naturalist to identify a bird (The Chaffinch) by its song rather than its appearance.
Head 2 was recorded in 2011, as part of a soundscape commission for BBC Radio Solent. The complete soundscape will be available here soon.