i find it fascinating that when a place is consecrated to silence, the thing we focus on becomes not silence but sound. and the soundscape becomes very clear, as the small sounds are not masked by the usual chaotic wash of human voices and devices. this recording was made in the “quiet” coach of a very long train travelling along the south coast from truro to london. our gentle hifi clarity lasted as far as plymouth, where we were joined by a mass of exuberantly chatty people.
bradford centenary square, 5.27pm. a huge crowd had gathered to watch the england vs trinidad & tobago world cup football match on the big screen in the square. [not the most relaxing of situations, or the quietest!]
leeds city art gallery, around closing time. preparations were being made for what was apparently some sort of after-hours business presentation. a nicely hectic moment in a usually very calm space.
in the underground deer shelter at the yorkshire sculpture park, bretton hall, near wakefield, visiting an installation by “light-artist” james turrel.
the installation was beautiful transcendent stuff, but i was fascinated by an aspect probably unintended by mr turrel—ie the soundscape [as you’d imagine, maybe]. the shape of the interior of the deer shelter [square, with walls which slope inwards towards the bottom] and the hard materials of which it is built, make for extremely reverberant acoustics, where all sound is very interestingly transformed, so even the crows flying overhead [heard through a hole in the roof, through which a section of sky is revealed] end up sounding electronically treated.
9.50pm in the café at south square centre, thornton, after an event entitled “no fun intended: a complete waste of an evening”—a performance by poet, humourist & resident of chiavenna, northern italy, ray ball.
centenary square, bradford, in peaceful early summer, early evening mood.
a wide variety of human life gently going on here.
in the queue in the newsagents at leeds bus station, waiting to buy a bounty bar.
stereo shop assistants bravely & efficiently wading through an endless stream of customers.
more sounds of birds in captivity, this time in the outdoor aviary at cliffe castle, keighley.
i was totally captivated by the sad, mournful sounds of the diamond doves, contrasting so sharply with the mad exuberance of the canaries & budgies.
a lovely sunny day and the first cricket of the season—a “ladies” match—at thornton hilltop cricket club.
the women’s game seems to have quite a different atmosphere from that of the traditional male version. a different way of displaying cameraderie, mainly. reminds me in some ways of the girls’ hockey games i used to see at school.
but, of course, nothing changes the classic sound of “leather on willow”, or the gentle ambience of english sunday cricket.
5.30pm, thornton cemetery, with the birds tweeting in the trees, both my dogs wandering around by my feet, and mad holiday traffic racing along on the road just down the hill.