found sound collage : three ideas : poems, process, pods

1)  poems

I would like to record myself reading a small selection of poems I wrote last semester. My practice for revising the poems was sometimes to completely dismantle what I had written and then put the poems back together in different forms. Often the new forms were not complimentary to the work, but allowed me a new perspective from which to reconstruct within my original parameters. I imagine taking a similar approach with audio editing would allow me greater freedom, in the sense of immediate feedback. Also, I am interested to create many layers of simultaneous sound, which is not possible with only the written word. I suppose conceptually, one could make an argument that this might be achieved, but I doubt the sensory experience would be as satisfactory.

2)  process

I recently made a recording of my semi-morning process of making coffee. (The process is semi-morning, as most mornings I opt for tea, but this ritual does not produce as many interesting sounds.) The sounds are my footsteps entering the kitchen, filling the kettle with water, turning on the gas stove, opening cupboards to retrieve coffee beans and a cup, grinding the coffee, walking out of the kitchen, returning when the water is boiling, pouring the water into the coffee press, pouring the coffee into a mug, and finally sipping the liquid. I am wondering if I should focus on just one recording, layering repeating sounds over each other, or if I should make multiple recordings and layer them on top of each other to hear how the timing varies with each. Over the last couple of years, I have been saving my coffee cans, and currently have a total of forty. I am thinking to string them together (with a bit of space in-between) to create a hanging wall, preventing access to my kitchen. I would like to place miniature speakers within approximately ten of the cans to play the final collage. I believe the visual and the sound together would address the process of consumption inherent within human existence.

I have recorded other kitchen sounds including the dishwasher running, emptying the dishwasher, and making loose leaf tea (this has a more satisfying sound than simply making bag tea, as the perforated metal tea spoon makes a nice ring in a ceramic mug). I have not yet recorded cooking sounds, which seems strange to me as I am typing this, since I cook quite a bit. Then again, for the installation, I am attempting to create a domestic space as it might exist in a dream state and/or on the astral plane. Therefore, it makes sense for me to stick to morning coffee since I am often still half asleep when I enter the kitchen for my AM caffeine fix.

3)  pods

I have a collection of seed pods that make a nice, if subtle, rustling sound when shaken. I would like to record these for the purpose of layering and amplifying the sounds. I am planning to use the seed pods within an installation where they would be hanging slightly above the head of a seated visitor. The atmosphere I am attempting to create in this space is safety, intimacy, and a sense of connection with natural elements. Inspired somewhat by Cardiff & Miller’s FOREST (for a thousand years…), I would like to blur the distinction between the sounds the seed pods naturally create with their recorded (layered, amplified) sounds. To do this, I will install miniature speakers close to where the seed pods will hang.



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