|"We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved... (Our) inner life moulds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it...”
Shoghi Effendi, 1933.
1st Movement - Prelude: collecting litter and detritus for appropriate recycling or disposal around the performance area and placing sound objects at specific locations, with strong personal vocal commentary.
2nd Movement - Performance: an intuitive sensory engagement with the location responding to the sonic potentialities of the place and performing with some carried and deposited sound objects used to prepare the environment. No vocal commentary.
Lambley Dumbles is very close to the heart and soul of the artist who has been visiting this location for around 40 years.
For this World Listening Day environmental performance I have recorded the preparation of the location, which involved first ‘cleansing’ the site from the accessible contamination of litter and detritus strewn around the site and by placing some sound objects at various locations along the performance route. The items used as sound objects, in this case two titanium metal sheets of military origin and three recycled lengths of plastic piping used in domestic plumbing, have symbolic and metaphoric significance for the artist.
The sound objects are used in a variety of ways - to ‘interrogate’ the elements of the location by transmitting, conducting, resonating and reflecting sounds derived from plants, rock surfaces and the flowing water. The resonances of the sound objects themselves also add colour to the sounds elicited and the sound objects are also performed as sound instruments, the pipes being mouth blown and the metal sheets bowed to offer a variety of sounds in response to the environmental emanations. A classic posture of ‘call and response’ - the environment calls and I respond…
Recorded binaurally by sampling my own ears, which allowed me to spatially choreograph sounds distributed in three dimensional space through movement, posture and gesture. This is a vital part of my environmental performance – that it should be totally immersive: sonically, spatially, perceptually, emotionally and spiritually.
As the work was recorded live in a single continuous take, inevitably unforeseen things happen. At one point the strap on my recorder mysteriously ‘failed’ and the recorder dropped to the ground, at other times sound objects were inappropriately dropped and occasionally I stumbled and nearly fell on the slippery and uneven terrain. These major ‘accidentals’, which would otherwise distract from the creative flow of the work, have been edited out of the Performance, while a few other minor ‘accidentals’ have been left unedited. The whole work was recorded in one uninterrupted unrehearsed single take.
Recorded with a Sound Devices 744T digital recorder using custom modified DPA 4060 microphones. Edited using Prism Sound SADiE6 software.
Dallas Simpson, October 2020.