Coffee room

Here’s another composition assembled from recordings of hum from a fizzy drinks machine and the ticking of an old clock, both located in the coffee room at the Institute of Geography. I must be a musician at heart because no matter how experimental I get with my field recordings, I’m always drawn to the ones with stereotypically musical features such as pitch and rhythm.

Drummond Coffee Room.mp3

Coke-machine-web

The mic I’m using, which can be seen in the picture, is a Rode NT4 stereo condenser. I highly recommend it. If you can live with the fixed XY cardioid pattern, the quality is unbeatable for the price. Personally, I find that having the pattern fixed actually makes my life easier as it’s one less variable to fiddle with. You just point and shoot. I see from Janek Schaefer’s website that he’s also a big fan of this mic. It can be powered by a 9 volt battery if phantom power isn’t available, which means you can use it with devices such as minidisc players and cassette recorders. Some of my best recordings have been made with this and an old Sony minidisc recorder..

Armitage Shanks interface

Just before Christmas, I made some recordings around the Institute of Geography at the University of Edinburgh. I was joined by Jonathan Prior, a PhD student there who shares my interest in audio methods.

The first thing I’ve edited from that session involves layered recordings of the mens’ toilets. Jonathan and I both agreed it would be a bad idea to loiter in the ladies with a big furry thing, so call us gender essentialists but we stuck to our home turf. Maybe at the workshop in May someone of the fairer sex can do the womens and we’ll compare.

Special thanks to Jonathan for getting a nice pic of my bald spot.

Drummond Gents.mp3

Gents-web.

Experimenting with Geography workshop update

A brief update…

The deadline for applications for this event passed recently. I have received 42 applications – we have a maximum of 28 places, so if you’ve applied your chances of being offered a place are quite good, although not all the places are funded for accommodation and travel.

I’ve emailed everyone to confirm receipt of applications, so if you sent in a form and haven’t heard back from me, that probably means something has gone wrong and you should get in touch asap.

The outcomes will be announced by March 1st..

Experimenting with Geography

‘Experimenting with Geography: See-Hear-Make-Do’ is an event dedicated to developing a diverse range of craft skills associated with audio, visual and site-specific methodologies, at different city locations, both inside and out-of-doors. It will take place at the University of Edinburgh, 3rd-7th May 2010.

Applications are invited from early career researchers and PhD students to participate in this ESRC-funded International Training School.

I’m really excited about this event. We have a great line up of guests including sound artists (Jacob Kirkegaard, Matt Rogalsky), visual/site specific artists (Louise K Wilson, Sans Facon) geographers (Nigel Thrift, Trevor Paglen, Hayden Lorimer, Eric Laurier) and a visual anthropologist (Sarah Pink). It’s going to be a whole week of fun stuff. We even have some fully funded places (travel, accommodation and food costs all covered).

Check out the project page for more information and how to apply to take part:

http://michaelgallagher.co.uk/experimenting-with-geography

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Sonic methods in human geography: RGS-IBG 2010

Jonathan Prior and I are organising a session at next year’s Royal Geographical Society annual conference, which takes place 1st-3rd Sept 2010 in London. If you’d like to submit an abstract, please get in touch. The call for papers is below, more general information can be found at www.rgs.org/AC2010

RGS_logo

RGS-IBG 2010 Session Proposal

Sonic methods in human geography

The proposed session seeks to bring together researchers who are actively using sound to explore geographical issues. The session aims to provide a platform for methodological development to complement the growing interest in the geographies of sound and music (e.g. Anderson et al, 2005; Cameron and Rogalsky, 2006; Wood et al, 2007). We particularly encourage proposals which will involve novel or experimental uses of sound in their presentation at the conference. We would also welcome contributions from researchers and practitioners in other disciplines whose work has geographical relevance (e.g. sound artists, experimental musicians, anthropologists, musicologists, sociologists, architects, etc).

We are looking for papers that address, though aren’t limited to:

  • Sonic research methods: soundwalking; deep listening; multi-sensory ethnography; acoustic mapping; sound design and architecture; acoustic ecology; field recording; sound art and experimentalism.
  • The interface between academic research and creative practice in the sonic arts.
  • Cartographies of sound and other forms of representing sound.
  • Experimentation with different forms of sonic dissemination: blogs, podcasts, performances, radio broadcasts, electronic journal articles with embedded sound.

Session organisers

Dr Michael Gallagher, Research Fellow, Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh, michael [dot] gallagher [at] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk

Jonathan Prior, Human Geography PhD Candidate, Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh, s0674977 [at] sms [dot] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk

Submission deadline: 22nd Feb 2010

References

Anderson, B., Morton, F. and Revill, G. (2005) Editorial: Practices of Music and Sound, Social and Cultural Geography, 6(5), 639-644

Cameron, L. and Rogalsky, M. (2006) Conserving Rainforest 4: aural geographies and ephemerality, Social and Cultural Geography, 7(6), 909-926

Wood, N., Duffy, M. and Smith, S.J. (2007) The art of doing (geographies of) music, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 25, 867-889.