The Poetry of Sound Investigation.
At the start of 2014, I arrived back in Adelaide after a ten year absence. I was born and had lived most of my life in the sleepy hamlet of Adelaide. As a youth, it was the big country town moniker that made me search for greener pastures. The artistic and music scene of Adelaide at the advent of 2004 was limited, and was one of the main reasons I went Melbourne in the hope of more opportunities. After applying to a number of Melbourne based universities during 2013, and being rejected - Adelaide University accepted me. It was challenging to return to Adelaide after a long absence, but I was determined to make the most out of this opportunity.
When the new university year actually got under way at the end of Febuary 2014, I was feeling a little lost...so I decided to explore O'Week festivities on campus. I took my trusty I-Phone Rode Microphone, my field recorder for this project and proceeded to create the first sound map for this project. These two sound maps (see map below), Inside The Hub, and Outside The Hub were recorded on the 26th of February 2014.
After a dream, and after I had defined my sound mapping project - I decided to make a journey to where I had grown-up. I wanted to gather sound memories, so if I never returned to Christies Beach and Noarlunga at least I had these sound maps I had gathered as a way to connect me to my childhood.
The next field recordings gathered for this project was in Belair Conservation Park. Like the Christies Beach sound maps, these were an exercise in sonic memories. The first sound map was the Belair train platform, here the difference between Noarlunga platform and Belair couldn't be more stark. Noarlunga had the lost human soul and was surrounded by urban decay. Whilst the Belair ones were actually beautiful...even the noise pollution of the departing train was gorgeous. These sound maps were created over two trips, but due to my stupidity I actually threw the best one away. It had the most perfect fly buzzing around, and because I had recorded this project with a stereo microphone...it created a real sense of depth. These sound maps also represent the concept of Acoustic Ecology best, this is because sound mapping was designed to highlight noise pollution and how sound affects people and their enviroment. The Upper Stuart Store sound map, with its beautiful silence punctuated by whizzing cars demonstrates how noise pollution creeps into the most serene of places.
When I did the first Belair sound map on the way back I stopped at North Terrace Rail Station - the main intersection of Adelaide and created a sound map. Here the grand building resonates with waves of people. This is because it was the first day of the football year, and it was also the opening of the upgraded Adelaide Oval. See below for sound map.
After the North Terrace train station map, I decided to investigate the famed Central Market in Adelaide's CBD. Although I had been here a few times in my youth, it was not a place I had visited much whilst I lived in Adelaide. I thought that, the Central Market would be an ideal place to create a 3 dimensional picture in sound. This could be achieved by taking a sonic snap shot of each corner of the market, as well as one in the centre. These sonic snapshots are rich and dense - a cornucopia of sound.
The final set of sound maps were taken at Adelaide Airport as I left for a trip back to Melbourne. By this time, my sound mapping investigation had morphed beyond the limited concept of both Barry Truax's and R. Murray Schafer's Acoustic Ecology experiment and sound mapping practice - into a way to preserve memories and even tell stories. The Adelaide Airport sound maps were a story of a journey, however, I missed an opportunity to capture a plane taking off or landing, which would have really finished this particular story.
Below are all the sound maps for this project, just click on a red marker and the sound map will play.
One final note on my sound mapping project, although for the most part these sound maps were a success, because I was designing the project, learning the language and even the technology - there are a number of things I would have liked to have done better. Better photos for one, which would have really drawn the listener into the sounds for one, but you live and learn.