Wednesday, 11 June 2008

recording diary: Prague # 2

(firstly, anyone who wishes to submit thier own recording day diary please get in touch - I think it would be interesting to hear how others experience thier time recording)

So, over the last few days I have been recording the Skolska 28 gallery space itself. Situated in a small courtyard with overlooking windows from several flats there is, especially in the evening, the usual overspill of folks watching the telly & having the occasional sing-song !

Working with a pair of NT55's i've found these mics very sensative to placement issues - with much trial & error involved. Also, when using the omni capsule they do seem to need a fairly major low-freq cut.

Having said that the combination of the l-shaped main gallery, with thick stone walls & full wooden floor have resulted in some nice recordings.

On Tuesday 10th June I went to record the Josef Sudek gallery. I've been a admirer of Sudek's work for many years, so having the chance to record the small house gallery (built to the same outer design as his original home / studio on the site which sadly burnt down several years ago) was exciting. The staff there were great - I imagined i'd have to do whatever I could in an hour or so after closing, but they handed me the keys & said 'lock up when you've finished' & left me alone there for as long as I liked !

I set to work on recording the sonic architecture of the main room & the former darkroom space + making several contact mic recordings of the various windows (to mirror Sudek's 'view from my studio window' series).

I also recorded through the back plate of one of his old large format camera's - which was an unexpected addition. Lastly, one of his chairs creaked and groaned like no other chair i've ever heard, so out came the mics again !

Having the chance to record these aural elements of spaces is something that I regard as a privilage and a joy. So much of the architecture, the special quality of spaces is often overlooked, filtered out or, during re-development or restoration, is lost. Of course in the case of the Sudek house it is now impossible to know how the original building sounded. So many culturally important spaces simply disappeared without ever being captured in terms of thier unique sound.

Today, I lead a small sound spotting walk around Prague & will post about that next time.

1 comment:

jgrzinich said...

Hi jez, I've just posted a recording diary of sorts regarding my current travels: