WILDERNESS LAB: RECORDING SOUNDSCAPES IN THE BUNKERS

Matt Gingold and I had done much exploring of spaces at Point Nepean and ruminating about sound. It was the second last day of the residency and the talk was finally over. We were chomping at the bit to get into our favourite acoustic bunker and make our imagined freeform racket. With percussion tools aplenty, microphones, walkie talkies and two heads full of ideas we rolled in, set up and got primal.

The space we liked was pretty sonically complex; inside the large network of bunkers, down stairs, with other rooms connecting to it from beside via windows and above via tunnels. We liked the complexity of the acoustics, the quality of the reflections, the reverberation and frequency of the room. But what really sold us were these big old plastic ammo containers that we could play like bongos! The character of the room was further set by these giant prints featuring archived photos of soldiers impotently manoeuvring said containers as part of another daily routine in a war game with no particular enemy and by all accounts, no outcome.
The isolation, boredom and misery were palpable themes running through the whole site at Point Nepean and this was the perfect setting for our little improvised performance. I explored mostly voice and matt explored mostly percussion, agreeing on one simple parameter before we started: lets play with restraint.
What amounted was a one hour immersive sound meditation were we managed to hold close our sensitivity to sound and space, exploring and applying pressure without falling into predictable extended crescendoing noise. As a first sonic conversation Matt and I felt pretty excited about this dialogue we opened up together and potential for performances and collaborations to come.

 

Louise Terry

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