Towards the end of February, Jonathan Prior and I organised a day of training in audio methodologies for researchers and research students at the University of Edinburgh. This was the second, advanced level day of a two day programme we’ve been piloting. We invited sound artist John Wynne to come and lead the day, and were totally delighted with his contribution. He has a history of making fascinating work investigating sonic phenomena such as alarms, endangered click languages, a heart and lung transplant hospital and lots of old hifi speakers (see his website for details).
The highlight came at 11am when – moments after John had been presenting his work on auditory warnings – the fire alarm went off. I’d temporarily forgotten that it is tested every Friday morning. It took me a few moments to work out whether this was (a) part of John’s work, (b) a test fire alarm, (c) a real fire alarm or (d) all of the above.
We had people from all over the University attending. The photos below show a musician, a sociologist, a biologist and a guy who I think does neuroscience in a place called the Centre for Integrative Physiology.
I used the day to work on a piece of music/sound art I’m developing using lots of portable tape recorders. I also had a chance to take my newly acquired Sound Devices 702 field recorder for its first outing to record some droning air vents around the University.
The 702 is an awesome piece of kit. It’s built like a tank, the preamps are superb and the LEDs are bright enough to burn your retina, as you can see from the photo below. They make them like that so you can still see what’s going on even in bright sunlight.
I’ll be uploading some recordings I’ve made with this very soon.
The training seemed to go down well. There were lots of positive comments in the evaluations, so we intend to organise more of this sort of thing in the future..