An Orchestra Playing In Traffic

I chose to recreate the atmosphere of Hyde Park, and it’s surrounding activities. What led me to this choice was the parks abundance of nature and wildlife, although at times scarce, it still provides a break from the bustling urban lifestyle. I wanted to capture the unique atmosphere of the park, to evoke the serene sense of calmness that is seen through nature. I believe the urban lifestyle takes you away from that as we become surrounded by machines and skyscrapers and consumed by work, it’s important not to forget we still live in a shared space, an ecosystem filled with many other animals. Although more often than not, such a thing is easy to forget.

I was inspired by Janet Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet (2001) and Alter Bahnhof (2012) exhibitions. The Forty Part Motet demonstrated how a sense of ambience is create through sound, and the Alter Bahnhof showcased how vocalising ideas left a great impact upon the audience.

My sound piece moves in two parts, the first being that of nature. I recorded sounds from Hyde park, a birds song, the bristle of fallen autumn leaves, and the calm of the wind, and I layered it with a wind chime. Together they create a sense of meditation, as if embracing the ambience of the park. To emphasise this, I incorporated a portion of a speech from a film titled ‘Racing Extinction’. The speaker announces the problems of our modern world, highlighting the fact that we a driving many species to extinction and one day, perhaps most animals will disappear. The second half is in complete opposition towards the first. I recorded sounds from construction sites, people talking amongst the street, and peak hour traffic. I mixed it in a way that would create a crescendo at the end, followed by a brief silence where the only sound left is the chattering of human voices.

Visual representation

My visual representation makes use of colours to represent the juxtaposition between the two halves of the composition. Nature is represented through soft colours whereas civilisation is depicted in red. The White which appears to tear through the painting can be interpreted as birds in flight, or our disruption of the natural world. — Janet Cardiff, Forty Part Motet, 2001, Henry Moore Sculpture Gallery. Janet Cardiff, Alter Bahnhoff Video Walk, 2012, Viewers are given an ipod and headphones and asked to follow the prerecorded video through the old train station in Kassel

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