Notes on the Sound-Pieces in the Old Town Bookshop

The sound-pieces exhibited: A Destination for the Tourists, A Few Gems, Cardboard Tube, From the Cutting Room Floor, Make Sure That Doesn’t Land On Your Head, Obscure Requests and Victoria Terrace

These are amongst the shortest of the Thaw sound-pieces (From the Cutting Room Floor is under 20 seconds, whilst Victoria Terrace is just over that number). They are also, perhaps, the most “different” sounding: there are narrative tracks (A Few Gems and Obscure Requests), but concrete pieces are predominant. This is in part due to the interviews being conducted in the shop during opening hours, complete with the sounds of the customers and other ambient noise. The different feel that resulted from this shop-floor situation led me to play about with sounds a bit more (e.g. Make Sure That Doesn’t Land On Your Head)

From the Cutting Room Floor was included to acknowledge the presence of the observer/interviewer. With the exception of some selected sound amplification, the piece is presented “as it happened”. The title is analogous [referring to a pre-digital predecessor] and metaphorical [referring to the non act of removal: “Ah that’s what editing suites are for.”]

Cardboard Tube and Make Sure That Doesn’t Land On Your Head are different interpretations of the same incident. The sound of the falling objects which is “re-arranged” in the former, is further deconstructed in the latter: the two tracks of the stereo sound fragment being separated, cut-up and slowed down (with the exception of a small fragment which is speeded up) and once again re-arranged.

A Destination for the Tourists is a simple narrative/concrete mix. Like The Artist as Ethnographer it features the American tourists, who pretty much steal the show.


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