[Don’t miss the first part of Scholars’ Lab graduate fellow Erik DeLuca’s series on his project, continued here.]
Check out this “trailer” I made for Community Listening:
The excerpts poetic opening of place is meant to link the listeners to the island environment and contextualize the content to come. This opening is composed of field recordings that I made in 2011 while I was the Artist-In-Residence in the park. We hear the high-frequency sounds of tiny invertebrates in tidal pools, underwater sounds of Lake Superior, fog horns, bell buoys, and the beeps of Rolf’s wolf radio collar receiver. These recordings are mixed with selections from a string quartet that I wrote for the park which was composed from spectral information of the fog horn recordings. To understand the diverse perspective of this network I conducted interviews with park visitors and employees. In addition, I gave several small sound recorders to visitors and asked them to keep audio diaries of their experience listening in the park. Using a digital audio workstation and a selection of this sound data, I composed the next section of the excerpt, a sonic representation of the community listening network. Using the technology I was able to poetically portray the polyvocality of the network in sound. Meanwhile, to maintain narrative continuity, a layer of environmental recordings continues, transitioning into a brief introduction of how the Peterson’s wolf/moose study benefits from the network. There is a considerable amount of noise in this recorded interview because I reverted to using my lo-fi, unobtrusive camera-sized compact sound recorder for interview tasks. I packed up my pro sound gear midway through fieldwork because it was acting as physical and cultural barrier between myself and the Peterson’s. They seemed to be lumping me into the media category of journalists who were flocking to the island at the time to report on the low wolf numbers. When I switched to the small lo-fi recorder I noticed a significant difference in the Peterson’s attitude towards me and decided that I would much rather deal with lo-fi sound quality in exchange for a comfortable and communicative environment. In fact, I have come to like these lo-fi recordings because they remind the listener of the recordist in the field due to audible disturbances and artifacts. My goal for this excerpt is to create a narrative frame to guide listeners through which allows for optimal room for self-perusal and discovery.