Welcome to Listening Post: a page dedicated to works that inspire the SoundFjord Team!
This page has been incited to concentrate attention on a number of inspirational sound artists and their works. Over a given period, chosen artists are given a spotlight: works are available to listen to (and in some cases, download where permission has been granted).
SoundFjord also details further information about the artists and their works, so you are able to fully acquaint yourself with their creative practices.
Duncan Whitley | Select Works (2003-Present) | Online: 16 March - 28 April 2013
Duncan Whitley is the first commissioned artist in SoundFjord's new commissioning programme. The result, Sbarbi's Arrow - and installation with sound video and narrowcast correspondence direct from Spain - opens at SoundFjord on 21 March and runs with a rich programme of associated events until 22 April 2013. The exhibition and events programme are free to attend. Click though to further information on events and the exhibition here:
We are delighted that Duncan has highlight select aspects of his research and practice in the following Listening Post. The works - focused around field recording and environmental sound recording - move in a trajectory towards his current practice, and the commissioned work.
Below you will find works from his portfolio, in chronological order (earliest to latest, and works-in-progress - which have not get been seen) alongside relevant links to Vimeo and YouTube clips, collaborative artist and organisations.
Black Box: recordings from inside a Molotov Cocktail (2003)
Black Box is one output from FUELAIR, a collaborative project between Christian Nold and Duncan Whitley. The project was developed during a period of time in which Western military forces were known to be employing thermobaric bombs in the Afghanistan.
"In the first FUELAIR field tests we began to develop a low-tech audio recording tool designed to capture the impact and ignition of a petrol bomb from within. The tests probe the capabilities of the tool, aiming to optimise sound fidelity at the critical moment of ignition. Using slow motion and real time digital video and audio captured by the device to document the trials, the focus is upon the strange and unexpected sound transmitted from within the Molotov Cocktails."
FUELAIR was shown at the Cubitt Gallery and at Dorkbot (London) in 2002. 'Black Box: Recordings from inside a Molotov Cocktail' was released on a limited edition cd 'FILE05', curated by Juneau Projects with Helen Legg.
Associated artist: Christian Nold
Rachel & Rathbone (2004)
Rachel and Rathbone is a field recording (environmental sound recording) piece in 3 parts.
The piece documents the double-demolition using controlled explosives of two high-rise towers, named Rachel and Rathbone, on the Downs Estate in Hackney (London). The recording was the first of a series of recordings I made initially as field-research towards a possible installation, later to become an open-ended archive of stereo and multi-channel sound recordings documenting the 'blow-downs' of high-rise buildings in UK cities.
La Madrugá (2007)
A series of soundscape recordings from Seville's Semana Santa processions in 2006, originally released on the khora netlabel. The recordings were made using binaural and pseudo-binaural sound recording techniques, and they 'come alive' when listened using headphones.
"This material was recorded between midnight and 9 am on the morning of 14th April 2006, on the streets of Seville during the celebration of Semana Santa (Holy Week). These pieces, documenting 'La Madrugá' (the morning of Good Friday), are selected from a larger series of sound recordings throughout the week of Semana Santa in 2006, which map the winding processions of the 58 Sevillian Catholic fraternities, each with their distinct characteristics.
This series of recordings forms an informal exploration of some of the specific roles of sound(s) within the complex symbolism of the processions: the knocking of the 'llamador', the shuffling of the feet of the 'costaleros' (the forty or so men who carry the heavy wooden floats bearing images of Christ or the Virgin Mary), the instructions of the 'capataces' whose job is to guide the costaleros' movements through the narrow streets. These are preliminary sketches, or studies, towards the development of multi-channel and installation work."
Original text from khora release, Duncan Whitley, 2007.
Joga, Isso! (2011)
Joga, Isso! is a working through of sound recordings gathered during two residencies at Binaural / Nodar between 2008-2009, composed and produced specifically for 'Three Years in Nodar: Context-specific Art Practices in Rural Portugal' (published Edições Nodar, 2012).
The composition is one output of the larger project G. D. Parada, culminating in a sound and video work of the same name, for single-screen and multi-channel sound environment. Watch the G. D. Parada trailer for further information:
Associated organisation: Binaural / Nodar
58 Processions: Listening Through Holy Week (2012 [First edition, 2010])
58 Processions: Listening Through Holy Week is an electronic publication documenting the research and practice in the field and studio of Duncan Whitley and James Wyness, from 2007-2008. It is a significant release of field recordings from their work within the Holy Week processions of Seville during this period, and documents their installation ’58 Processions’ in the crypt of St Pancras Parish Church (London) in 2008.
Available for download as a PDF, the publication features twelve sound recordings, and writing by Duncan Whitley, James Wyness and Katherine Hunt. This revised edition features new writing by James Wyness, and two previously unreleased recordings from the artists’ fieldwork. The introduction is written by Simon Day, co-director of London-based arts organisation Measure, who co-produced 58 Processions.
Published by Labculture Ltd., 2012 ISBN: 978-0-9560187-3-1 in association with Measure.
NB. For full multimedia functionality including playback of embedded sound please download and view in Adobe Reader or Acrobat.
Current works in progress...
El Buen Fin (2012)
A video/sound sketch documenting a detail of the procession of the brotherhood of "El Buen Fin" of Seville, on Holy Wednesday, 2012. This work and the following video form part of an extensive studio in video and multi-channel sound, observing Seville's Semana Santa principally through the sense of sound.
El Museo (2011)
A video/sound sketch documenting a saeta sung by Pepe "El Perejil" to Cristo de la Expiración of El Museo, in Plaza Museo in 2011.
Duncan Whitley practices as a visual artist and sound recordist. His creative output ranges from project-specific field recording archives, to multi-channel sound work, film and video, and site-responsive sound installations.
As an artist working with both musical and "non-musical" sound, he is fundamentally concerned with themes of acoustic communication – language mediated in and through sound – and the experience of visual and acoustic space. His approach to working with sound is at once forensic and poetic, marked by both rigorous methodology and a delicate, subtle aesthetic language.
Duncan explores themes of sound, space/place and collective memory: in the empty wards of ex-NHS hospital buildings; in the football stadiums across the breadth of the UK; in the religious processions of southern, Catholic Spain; or in the journeys of shepherds in the Portuguese mountain villages of Magaio. Much of his recent work explores emergent issues in contemporary sound work, in particular those related to contemporary ethnography and socially-engaged art practice.
In his ongoing research into the saetas flamencas of Seville he works with the British Library, the Platform for Contemporary and Modern Flamenco Studies (part of UNIA – the International University of Andalucia Arteypensamiento), and Weekend Proms (curators of Sensxperiment and Andaluciasoundscape). His work has been exhibited recently as installations at the Museu Serralves (Porto, PT), Herbert Art Gallery and Museum (Coventry, UK), and his sound and video/sound works have been presented in festivals across Europe, such as Valfino al Cante (IT), Gorey Arts and Film Festival (IE), CTRL_ALT_DEL (TR). He is currently an associate artist of Binaural/Nodar (PT).