For my final edit I wanted to create a sound portrait that relates to how background noise can add to and emulate stress levels. When working on a project I have noticed how if i’m particularly trying to concentrate on something then the sounds around me seem to get amplified and become disruptive.
I decided to take the sounds I recorded and focus on the more mundane general atmospheric sounds and layer them in the Adobe audition so the track gradually became more intense as more sounds were added. I had to loop some of the initial sounds so they lasted long enough to fill the tracks length, I also had to increase volumes so that they could still be heard when the additional sounds were included.
Although the majority of the sounds were general background sounds I also wanted to include some close up recordings of more detailed sounds that would help the audience understand what they were listening to, I included the sounds of the microwave, tumble dryer and oven being turned on for this purpose. The track starts with a freezer drawer being closed and I wanted to return to this for the end of the track as if the sounds were being turned off suddenly. I included the microwave sound again to finish as I felt it sounded like a heart rate monitor and fitted the theme I was trying to create a sense of heightened tension and stress.
Final Sound File
I think my final mix has the desired effect in creating a sense of place and also works well in terms of creating a mood. I really like the tumble dryer which has a natural rhythm to it. I found the multitrack editor very useful for placing sounds and have learnt the importance of using layers to create an overall track which has a desired effect as opposed to just making a track that has a series of sounds just placed in sequence.
For my individual SISE sound project I have decided to experiment using my kitchen to create a sense of space. I spend a lot of time working on my my computer in my kitchen and have noticed how many sounds there are constantly in the background while I work.
I wanted to capture these sounds and build layers of them so to give a sense of place. I also wanted to amplify the sounds to represent a sense of overbearing stress on a persons concentration when trying to work in such an area.
Some of the sounds I captured will not be useful for my project but I captured them because they sounded interesting and i think could possibly used to start my own library of sounds that I could use in future projects.
I particularly liked my recordings of my freezer. I’ve nicknamed it ‘The Lonely Freezer’ because of the depressing sound the door makes when opening. On my recording internally of the freezer if you listen carefully you can also hear ice being formed on the mic which I found fascinating while initially experimenting with sound.
Below is a link to the full playlist of sounds I captured.
Bill Fontana, initially a composer but I think his recent work ties in with the work we have been concentrating on in our SISE project in terms of creating a sense of place. Fontana became interested in exploring how every day acoustics of the world can become musical. He has recorded a number of sound portraits around the world. Fontana presented the installation ‘Vertical Water’ in New Yorks Whitney museum in 1991, this sculpture involved the use of sound taken from Niagara falls played through speakers placed in the concrete facade of the museum Different frequencies were played from different speakers placed around the wall. The sound of the falls created an effect that masked out the general sound of the street.
“ Fontana’s sound environments renew our awareness of the places we inhabit and the
powerful role sound plays in both our sense of self and memory. Fontana’s work is
predicated on a sophisticated investigation into how we perceive sounds in the world.
He has created a series of compelling projects that subtly treat the interplay between the
origins of sounds and the contexts in which we perceive them, causing the viewer to
become conscious of himself and his senses as he hears and perceives anew the world he
John Hanhardt, Guggenheim Museum
This is the most inspirational soundscape for me so far by Bill Fontana of San Franciscos Golden Gate Bridge. I was thinking of using bridges in my project an I think it would be really interesting to create something like this and relate it to images of the bridge.
The images put the audience at the location and we can relate to the sounds but without them (and with them to a point) the sounds are very unnerving especially the sound of the fog horn which also reminds me of the communication between the spaceship and scientists in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters’ movie from 1977
Following on from our sound capture session I set about editing my sound to put together a sound portrait of the Arnolfini arts centre. I first did a short test on the two sounds we took outside on the harbour side of the man sawing wood and boats bobbing in the water. It was surprising that when mixed together it does create a life like ambient sound track and I can see how the atmospheric sound in the harbour adds a realistic dimension to the close up sound we got of the sawing wood.
I used the editing programme to mix together some of the sounds we took in the Arnofini centre. On listening back to the sounds there was a lot of gain in the recordings which is something to consider on my next task. There is also a lot of background noise in the close up recordings. I think using a shotgun mic to get better directional sound would be more appropriate for recording of close up audio.
I mixed the recordings to create a snapshot from a perspective of somebody walking into the art centre and taking the lift to different floors. I began with the harbour sound and the sliding doors. There is ambient sound and footsteps as the subject walks to the left. The close-up sounds of the lift announcements worked well and the sudden closing of the doors did a great job acting as cuts for the sound to change. Think the mixing between the lift and he coffee shop was the best example of a change in sound and listening back I think I gives a realistic interpretation of the type of sound you would hear in this situation.
For Task 1 & 2 of this exercise myself and Anthony decided to visit the Arnofini arts centre at Bristol harbour side. The choice for this location was initially spurred on by sound. As we walked past scouting for locations we noticed the sound that was coming from the opening and closing of the electronic doors, we discussed the benefits of recording in an enclosed environment and having more consistent access to sounds so we went in and asked for permission to record which was granted by the centres marketing manager.
Inside, the Arnolfini had a mixture of different sound characteristics. There were some rooms that were large open spaces with hard floors, some small carpeted rooms that offered a different set of acoustics and there was a coffee shop that had a lot of background noise. In the uncarpeted rooms the sound was generally cleaner and there was a lot of spill coming in from other areas. Carpeted rooms were more muted with sounds confined to that space and a softer sensation.
General impressions of the atmospheric sounds were consistent to what I would expect to hear in an arts centre or museum with large open spaces with minimal coverings, the sound of the coffee shop leaking through to the art space reminded me of a train station concourse, maybe a London underground ticket hall while the sounds from the carpeted reading rooms upstairs in the building reminded me of an office with the light buzz of electrics and the overhead air conditioning being more noticeable through the false ceiling.
Task 3 & 4 – Listing and Gathering of Sounds.
Having taken a walk around the building w ban the task of listing and recording of sounds. We wanted to get a mix of atmospheric sounds and close up recordings of particular sounds that we could layer over an atoms track to create a snapshot of the sound generated from the Arnolfini.
List of sounds:
TV Exhibit (static sound?)
Footsteps walking around the main exhibit space
Sound of lift (interior/exterior/announcements)
Reading room general atmos sounds
Sound of theatre room with exhibit playing in the background
Old slide projector
We returned to the Arnofini to capture our sounds and labelled them as we went according to the file number so they could be easily referenced later in the edit.
On our way back we also noticed workers sawing wood on the harbour side so we asked if we could record it close up as it may be useful in the future if we wanted to create a database of sounds for use in our projects.