I have become interested in the idea of nature soundscapes, and how they can draw attention to a great empty space above me, framed with tall trees or perhaps just open sky with birds above.
I’ve been thinking about how a natural soundscape could compliment my work in an exhibition space, particularly the instillation work I had been thinking about.
Since my degree show is now online, making a soundscape to put on the page would be a great way to assist the work I want to show. Maybe adding to the theme? Or giving the space an atmosphere where the viewer, by putting on headphones and listening to the soundscape, is transported to somewhere else. Perhaps actually somewhere where they can more easily sit with the work on the webpage.
I might in a way be creating the mental condition for a view to view my work. I have read (and written in uni essays) about how the viewer is not distanced from their daily life when they view artwork online, like they are when they step into a gallery.
The act of stepping into a gallery is making a conscious choice to remove oneself from daily life. For me, and I think for others, a physical gallery gives one the space to experience art and also to contemplate it, without the context, distractions, mindset of viewing it at home, work, the bus etc.
Since the physical gallery space is not possible at the moment, for my degree show or generally, I am realising now writing this, whilst listening to a natural soundscape, that using a natural soundscape on my page may provide the viewer with the same kind of separated-from-daily-life experience that a gallery provides. And thus allow them to view the work in a clear context.
To think about how I want to make this natural soundscape, I am listening to this playlist on Spotify:
The first song on the playlist ‘Crispy May Morning’ does a great job of making me think of being in a forest, with a great height/ space above me, and wildlife making sounds far above my head. My brain literally thinks there are birds far up directly above my head.
Why is that? Because some sounds are further away than others. Some bird sounds are on one side of my ear, some on the other. This tells the brain that the sound through my ears isn’t flat, but sound that is from a three-dimensional space.
Sounds that sound like they are echoing in the space. That’s important.
You need a balance of sounds far away and up close to tell the brain there is distance involved in the sounds you’re listening to.
I want to almost place the sounds so that they enter my ears lol in a place that makes sense with how landscapes are ordered. So for example I wouldn’t want the sound of water seeming to come from above (unless there was a waterfall involved!) because water is on the ground.
Walking happening around around me use?:
Crunching underfoot. The shapes have to move across the soundscape to give sense of things moving in space, to there being space from where the recording was made.
This is a great one from the playlist that has sounds from left to right, moving, etc:
Now I want to do some more research into other soundscape artists. And also have a play at making some stuff myself!