This months Sound Haiku’s starting point was this beautiful minimalist haiku by Issa –
This dewdrop world
Is but a dewdrop world
It was written on the first anniversary of his child’s death and has a one-word prescript: ‘Grieving.’ According to Buddhist teaching, life is as fleeting as a dewdrop and so one should not grow attached to the things of this world. It is an ephemeral, transient world, and this we must accept. Even so, we suffer, and we grieve. For this, we are given equanimity, on the one hand, and compassion, on the other.
Issa’s response: ‘and yet…'”
This is also my response.
So, some may know from listening to “Synapse”, that I have PPS (Persistent Nerve Pain Syndrome)and music although a great distractor, sometimes is an expressor of the day I’m having.
Following on from Issa’s haiku and on a particularly bad day for me, I took my sound recorder outside on a very rainy day. I captured some of the sounds of my garden including raindrops falling into a plastic bowl, starlings, crows and a robin singing his heart out. There was also the usual background noise that we mostly ignore such as passing lorries and cars, dogs barking, people talking, the A19 etc,. However, the resulting sound haiku, processing the field recordings, ended up being a heightened echo chamber of sounds, which sonically expressed that day – competing birds and noise.
Like nearly all museleon tracks, best listened through headphones.
Artwork based on photographs I took of some Starlings having a bath in a puddle and here is the sound file artwork-
This months Haiku has arisen due to a dangerous thing for me – a trip down memory lane. Several things and ideas happened at the same time, all based around the one theme – Crows.
I was in the garden and recently the large sycamore has gained some new residents – Crows, which I took some recordings of, and I thought these might make the basis of a sound haiku, linked into this haiku by Matsuo Basho –
a plum tree.
Then I began wondering about the term…A Murder of Crows, which for some reason led me down the infernal memory lane, stopping at a poem I learnt at school (aeons ago), the ‘Twa Corbies’.
This poem always fascinated me and the original Scottish version appealed to the grusome inquisitiveness in me as a child. Most versions of this ballad and the English version ‘Three Ravens’ are slow and forbidding, as the said Corbies discuss the rich pickings of a fallen Knight.
However, I always thought this was a jolly conversation as the Corbies get a slap up meal at the end and so my haiku ended up, by chance, as a jolly little tune based on an imagined chat between three crows.
Like most of my tracks best listened through headphones.
Artwork by Museleon
If you prefer the more traditional tale here’s a couple of favourite versions of mine –
I’ve been creating a collection of tracks based on imaginary train journeys, the kind you take in your mind, based on field recordings. This is based on a reading of Quatrain by Omar Khayyam and is the journey you take looking back on the past.
Dedicated to those left behind.
Particular thanks to Nik Paget-Tomlinson
(3bagbrew) for the recording Muchty Chimes – http://www.nikpt.com
Acknowledgement also to the Freesound community (freesound.org) who are a source of the sound wonders of the world.
Quatrain by Omar Khayyam read by John Schuurman – LibriVox Weekly Poetry – librivox.org
On a recent visit to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead I came across a small room with 4 screens, each one displaying a conversation with the four recipients of the BALTIC Artists’ Award 2017: Jose Dávila, Eric N. Mack, Toni Schmale and Shen Xin.
There were headphones to listen to their words but not putting them on, all I could hear were the sounds of the headphones, sqeaky floorboards, children and distant conversations from the gallery.
I didn’t have my recording equipment only my phone.
The resulting sound files had the essence of what I had experienced and had a recording oddness which, as Museleon, I like.
I created an original piece – ArtistsTalk using several sound files and then took that piece and being an electronic musician, processed the files and created 4 separate pieces each representing an artist. All 4 tracks were combined into the final track.
Like most of my tracks, best listened via headphones.
Things you do when you have a spare few hours : )
This is the second sound reimagination that I have done for the Cities and Memory Soundmaps.
Here is the original field recording recorded by Protyasha Pandey.
“These are the recordings from a demonstration – the occasion is the declaration of the Delhi municipal elections – and its win by the BJP being celebrated in the urban village of Shahpur Jat. There is the sound of “Nagada” drums, “dhol” drums, “khadtal” cymbals, bells, whistling, man speaking over a loudspeaker, and several people chanting, “Modi” (BJP being Modi’s party)”
Here is the Reimagined Sound by Museleon –
After reading articles about Mr Modi and about this area of Delhi, I thought to create a totally imaginary Indian street scene, which combined some sounds associated with Indian cities and the use of the exuberant and joyful soundfile, to create a pro Modi demonstration passing through. I sourced other field recordings via creative commons including birds, crows, a flute seller, Delhi and Calcuttan street traffic, and the sound of the Kali Bells from a temple.
On researching Mr Modi, I found that he had two favourite films, one is Guide (1965) and the other is Jai Chittor (1961). I sourced a track from this film – “O pawan veg se udanewale ghode – Lata – Jai Chitod” from an Indian Bollywood movie soundtrack site and used it as if playing from one of the small shops, that I imagined I was standing outside of.
At this time of year there are a lot of Frogs in the garden pond and they call to each other especially when it rains.
This haiku is based on Basho’s poem –
the old pond: a frog jumps in the sound of water
The frog chorus is a combination of a field recording of toads and frogs singing at night in a small village in Mali and experiments with the sound of a guiro.
As Museleon, I am really interested in the tiny sounds, the anomalies and the mistakes, as together with a self imposed limit on processing, they can create beautiful patterns, rhythms and sounds, which are often best listened to through headphones.