Sunday, 23 March 2014

re-posting / gathering of a few short extracts from experiments with 

(adapted) geophones

geophones are measurement devices for monitoring seismic activity. 
they're not really designed for audio although some are often hooked up to audio recorders - with varying degrees of success.
 and so, for the past couple of years i've been experimenting with different ways to adapt the geophones to give a decent audio signal.

below are some of the resulting'll need headphones or proper speakers (not computer speakers) to hear these....

an earlier test, shortly after an initial adaptation of a single geophone - ground spike placed against the railings of the humber bridge....

you'll need headphone for this piece & the geophone recording comes in stronger towards the middle of the piece...

in this piece for tate modern, the end section was recorded using geophones placed on the floor of the turbine hall during the night....the sound we hear is the earth vibration filtered through the structure - mixed with the slight rumble of traffic and the river....a section of this recording was also exhibited at Tate Britain, pressed onto vinyl - it was quite something to watch people trying to hear the sound....


& again, you'll need headphones or speakers (not computer speakers) to hear this track properly - the geophone coming in towards the middle of the piece....

bower floor | dawn chorus with rain | canyon wires
music sits above and under the first impression.
when duration allows these things come into focus, increasingly.
in swifter moments a sense of quietude is possible.
still, finding pace with listening as a lens, moving
recorded september 2012, during time spent following a residency at The Wired Lab, this piece begins with two recordings playing at the same time. One of a bower floor, with contact microphones and geophone (nb. some of these low frequencies will not be audible via computer speakers) alongside a dawn chorus amidst light rain - drops falling centimetres from a conventional stereo microphone. Towards the middle of the piece, a further contact microphone recording enters, revealing one of the most bizarre fence wire sounds i've yet managed to gather. Despite returning to the same stretch of canyon fence several times, this particular effect was only present on one occasion and lasted for around 10 minutes. My best guess is that humidity and the rising temperature combined to create a momentary, unrepeatable and extremely evocative effect on the wires. It is this infinite and unpredictable aspect to listening in situ that continues to fascinate me. Getting closer to and underneath the surface of environments and spaces is a constant revelation, a constant pleasure.
jrf c-series contact microphones | jrf prototype geophone | sanken cuw-180

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