15.11.19 – Jody Allen – Slicing the Troposphere – 18:36
This is a composition of field recordings taken at various wind turbine farms over the last year. They are recordings taken as part of a sound project I’m working on which looks at infrastructure; a sonic exploration into the unseen mechanics which underpin our daily lives: Power, transport, sewer systems, communications and supply logistics.
The recordings presented here are in a fairly raw state and will be developed and augmented within the wider body of work. However, I think they hold different value in their ‘solo’ and raw form – and may be of particular interest to listeners of TouchRadio.
The modern wind turbine is an awe inspiring machine – gracefully benign from two miles away, yet from within their shadow they assault an image of improbable violence on the senses. Designed to perform modern day alchemy through a screamed slicing of the troposphere, they detune the very skies which hang overhead and broadcast infrasonic resonances into the ground which i was able to record through a geophone from over half a mile away. Within the setting of ‘nature’, these machines are the very definition of unnatural; up close, their rotating violations of nature’s laws feel viscerally threatening.
But then these locations too are, by necessity, raw and unforgiving environments. Bleak moorland at raised altitude or wide unsheltered flatlands; horizon to horizon, exposed, desolate, dystopian. The wind howls across these plains, transforming the totally inert into the wildly volatile at an instant; bracken, heather, gorse, singing fence wires dissecting arbitrary shingle boundaries for mile upon mile.
The source material was recorded in multichannel spatial format using various ambisonic and stereo air mics, geophone and contact microphones matrixed to 5 channel surround. The composition was mixed in Ambisonic multichannel and is presented in three formats for listening:
1. Stereo mix for speakers
2. Binaural surround mix for headphones
3. Ambisonic B-format for decoding to a multi-speaker array
Sonosax SX R4+
Telinga Mk2 parabolic
JRF C-Series contact microphones matrixed to 5 channel surround JRF prototype geophone
With thanks to Jez Riley French for the kind loan of his geophone, Rudi at Helix Branch and Emily Mary Barnett for her photography/endless patience.
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