Tuesday, 3 May 2011
As I am essentially creating soundscapes I thought I would research into origins and the definitions of them. The term was first coined by R. Murray Schafer, a Canadian composer best known for his World Soundscape Project. It's goal is "to find solutions for an ecologically balanced soundscape where the relationship between the human community and its sonic environment is in harmony." This refers to "Acoustic ecology" which is basically the connection between living things and their environment through sound. This can be presented in many ways but often having recorded sounds of the environment carried by an orchestra. This is far more literal than my work yet still relevant.
I once read a theory that everything has a limit to the amount of heartbeats it has in a lifetime, which is a similar number throughout all varieties of mammals. The theory is that the smaller the animal is, the faster its heart beats therefore it dies sooner than a larger animal whose heart beats slower, thus living longer. The hypothesis was first proposed by a biologist named Raymond Pearl in 1926. The theory is not an exact science and is disregarded as solid fact by the general thought behind it is considered to be true. I liked the thought of a heartbeats counting down like a ticking clock and wanted to show this through sound. Being a drummer I wanted single notes rather than a constant sound to represent each beat, much like the heart itself. This is where I began experimenting with various objects.
John Cage is a huge figure in the world of music and art and the combination of the two. He is best known for his 4'33". A piece of music in which during the whole 4 minutes and 33 seconds of 3 movements not a single note is played, yet a full orchestra and conductor is present. This was "unheard" of in 1952, when it was written. It delves into ideas of how sound is perceived and that the environment, the room and the people within it are all a part of the music. This got me thinking about whether absolute silence can ever be acheived. I came to the realisation that even in the deepest most silent part of the world as a living thing we constantly make sound through our heartbeats and breathing. This is how I came to looking at life and the universe.