Small Sounds Up The Wall (2018) for Alison Knowles
part one of Four Audible Experiences of Movement of Sound in Space
this is a 2:28 excerpt of the binaural documentation of this orchestration for 16-channels created as one of four short installations in the Audiotheque 2.0 opening sound art exhibition project on display from September 13-December 15, 2018 at Audiotheque
Few words about Small Sounds
Small Sounds are the result of various sounding strategies applied to objects or captured from sources the natural sound of which isn’t readily perceivable by the naked ear. A feature of these pieces is the impression of sound being heard from the perspective of the probed sound source. To hear these sounds, transducers of different kinds are used the same way a microscope is used to discover fascinating features of the real world too small for us to see without it.
Back in the early 1990s, Russell Frehling gifted me a couple of the phono cartridges David Tudor had given him after a trip back from Japan. He used them for Cartridge Music. That was before I met David. A cartridge is designed for record players but also functions pretty much like a microscope, but for sound. That is when I started collecting Small Sounds.
The sounds you hear in this recording are made with myriad tiny objects and debris I find mostly during listening walks all across Miami—or wherever I happen to be working or visiting. I find them on the beach sands along the coast, at Everglades National Park and at places where I spend a lot of time.
I am attracted to things small. Sometimes I have even stolen little things from the floor in friends apartments who seem to have discarded them, or on the floor of a restaurant, or in a parking lot. I was so delighted when I met Sam Ashley. He told me I was collecting oracles. He and I really hit it off, i think.
Even a cat’s whisker can be amplified enormously in order to study its sound signature. This is one way I have chosen to become intimate with my city, with people, nature and the notion of purpose.
The featured image is of small sounds on cassette
Claudia de la Plage de Miami Beach, FLA/BRA Festival, Audiotheque, Miami Beach | April 2, 2014
Small Sounds for Sale, FLARB Media Festival, Aqua Hotel, Miami Beach | August 23, 2002