World Listening Day 2017
“Listening to the Ground”
Sea Lament by Museleon
“Can we listen for the sound or sounds of ground? Are we losing ground? Can we find new ground by listening for it?”—Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016)
I have had a deep admiration of Pauline Oliveros ever since hearing ‘A Love Song’ many years ago, which I find deeply affecting. What really strikes me about her, was her generosity to and acceptance of, other music creators.
“And who is a musician? Anyone according to Oliveros. She wanted music to be free from specialists, and instead open to everyone regardless of status, experience, or ability.”
Well that includes me.
“Pauline defined deep listening as, “listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one’s own thoughts as well as musical sounds.” She urged us to, “Take a walk at night, and walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.” ~Andrea Williams /WLP http://www.worldlisteningproject.org/
I had a few experiments with sounds related to the actual ground, which I might post in the future but I decided to relook at the word Ground, as it does have several meanings.
Obviously there is the noun –
The solid surface of the earth:
Then this struck a chord…
An area of land or sea used for a specified purpose:
“Shore dumping can pollute fishing grounds”
That got me thinking…
As I have said, I love poetry and came across a poem by Carol Ann Duffy, “Keep it in the Ground” – http://www.carolannduffy.co.uk which is about climate change and it does have sea references.
Taking a few words and combining them with my own recordings of the Kittiwakes and seashore here in the North East of England, I created a piece linked to the idea of sea pollution. I have many recordings of Kittiwakes but being an electronic musician primarily, I am interested how sound can change into something else with a few simple processes and here a “spoiled by wind” recording morphed into a mournful sea bird chorus. The wind rumbles on occasion and there are some odd anomalies, but as Museleon, these are the weird sonic strangeness’s that I’m really interested in.
What I can say is it is not a pure field recording as I am not a field recordist. It is a sound picture and like most of Museleon tracks is best listened through headphones.
Artwork by Museleon based on a photograph “Dead Kittiwake probably caused by oil pollution (13/2/ 2006)”
Waterfowl Research Group of Taiwan
Changua Coast Conservation
credit – 2.0 Generic (CC-BY-NC-SC 2.00 Attribution – Non Commercial Share).