Thinking about place

Next week I will be arriving to Xiamen University, City and Gulangyu Island to begin a sound art workshop and a place based research project that will look to the resident memory in contrast to the authorized historical; i.e., beginning with the personal photo albums, cultural archives, and listening to the stories surrounding the artifacts. Listening (and looking) is much more interesting than talking.

In the map above, you can see that Xiamen City is surrounded by water, sprinkled with small ponds, lakes and canals. [NOTE: regarding the points on the Google Map.  Seems that the landsat imagery is more accurate than the drawn map so for purposes of accuracy, I turned on the satellite information instead of the road map. This is a bit frustrating, that these two versions are not accurate.]  Over the next two weeks I will map the sounds underwater and juxtapose them to sounds above, linking them  geographically to the built environment.   Most important are the relationships to the natural sounds to human noise.  What does noise tell us about a place?  Does this impact how we interact in a city street, a park, a neighborhood or in private space?

Most interesting to me are the smaller sounds that are often invisible or inaudible, or unnoticed.  Below the surface of the water and above around the same general area can often sound different, revealing unique physical characteristics. Below are two audio recording examples from above and below the surface of a body of water.

Above the ground located in a storm drain and pond located in Gainesville, Florida, USA.
Trumpet(s) by art-radio

Underwater in the Blue Lagoon, in south east of Reykjavik, Iceland

…more to hear and see.