Growing stories for different climates
As part of LCAB’s artist residencies, electoacoustic composer Julia Schauerman is collaborating with PhD student Theo Tomking. They reflect on the project so far.
Julia and Theo will produce an acousmatic story composition - a soundscape mixed with spoken word which evokes specific places and time periods - entitled Growing Stories for Different Climates to tell a story of sustainable food production.
Theo: “Collaboration between me and Julia on our project has been excellent. We have been busy collecting field recordings, identifying external collaborators and audiences, and narrowing down the scope of the piece. Julia’s insights into sound have been inspiring, and she has taught me new skills that I aspire to apply to my PhD research. We believe the final piece will be of interest to many audiences and inspire positive change in society.”
Julia: “I am really enjoying working with Theo, his enthusiasm for his field of research is infectious and his openness to explore ideas and develop new skills is wonderful.
We are very excited that, shortly, we will be contacting relevant organisations and individuals to discuss their possible involvement with the piece, for example, taking part in recorded conversations, providing archive material, participating in a soil science workshop and/or listening to the completed piece.”
Theo talks about his changing relationship with sound
“I have really enjoyed taking field recordings; it's been a chance to pay attention to sounds that are happening around me, things that I often take for granted and don't notice in my day-to-day life.
I've been into photography but this is a completely different way of relating to what is external to me. With photography I am looking at something over there, with audio recording I am listening to the sounds around me, taking time to position the recorder to best capture these sounds. It is a sense of being with what is happening.
I am appreciating different sounds, not judging them. I am not thinking, when I hear a car driving past, 'that's a car' or 'what type of car is it?' I am thinking about the sound as it is rather than hearing a sound and picturing a car. I just hear a sound for sounds sake.
Taking field recordings in the Seychelles last month, sometimes being mindful and relating to my external surroundings, was such an important way of understanding certain spaces and picking up on things that I would have missed out on, really connecting with the place.
Sound is really important, it's something I would really love to look into more and especially in my PhD research. I plan to do recorded interviews, but it would be great to see if there are other ways of mixing sound into my research."