Tuesday, 2 October 2012

feeling when to record
remembering to not record

Whenever i’m asked what it is I do, or how I want to be referred to when it comes to my creative explorations, the words composer, field recordist, artist are often ones that are applied to how these areas are perceived. However, when it comes to music / sound then for me the word ‘listener’ comes first. I spend more time listening than recording these days - to listen closer, deeper, better is one of the key points & most rewarding aspects of these explorations. 

When it comes to field recording, democratic by nature, although technology has advanced, I sometimes find myself asking whether the actual experience of listening can be overlooked.

I’ve realised more & more that often when you record your concentration is on the act of collecting. You monitor the sounds rather than simply listen to them. Sometimes a sound will enter the audible field that is less pleasing to your perception of the previous few minutes listening. When this happens its possible to think only in terms of the possession you will take from the location - the recording. The fact is that all those sounds are the location & if one constantly thinks of what one will ‘own’ by recording it then the question arises of whether this influences the way one listens at the time.

Of course, there is the temptation when one is equipped with a recorder & microphones to collect sounds on an obsessional level. Certainly I know that for myself learning to not press the record button was a pivotal moment in my development as a listener & in terms of the work I might produce.

my compositions are about these choices, the moments when ‘record’ feels right, the times when not pressing ‘record’ informs my sense of place. 

moments exist in, well....moments. What we have of them if we press record, or the shutter of a camera, can be very slight. I feel it is the intuitive & emotive impulse that is my creativity. These sensativities are subtle, private & individual.

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