Sheet Erosion is the third episode in a series of works based around ideas of audio archaeology and found sounds. The setting this time is the city of Brest in France. The piece is created from recent field recordings made in early 2020 during the storms Ciara and Desmond and a batch of found open reel tape recordings from the 70s and 80s. The tapes include domestic home recordings but mostly document the recordist, Michel’s tastes in music and radio programmes of the time. In listening to the tapes it occurred to me that what we choose to record is actually a record of ourselves – our tastes, interests, emotional state or personality even. Each recording in isolation provides little in terms of clues but en masse a clearer picture begins to emerge and certain character traits start to become identifiable. Recorded with a mic in front of a speaker rather than directly cabled, daily life bleeds into these lo-fi recordings of radio and TV programmes – ambiguous activities in the background, babies crying, feedback, chairs scraping, chatter, etc. In the composed work family histories and musical tastes are transposed over a more contemporary soundscape of Brest. Over-saturated tape distorts time as well as sounds. Speeds change. Chronologies become confused. Different instances in time are blended and fused. What seeps through these chronological crevices are events and incidents unmoored from linear time taking place in a chimerical non-space. Although the location remains the same would it be in any way recognisable to the inhabitants chronicled within it?
Field recordings used in the piece include: Le Téléphérique de Brest (cable cars), hotel lifts, wind whistling between railings on the Pont de Recouvrance, wind whistling through gaps in doors, traffic, ventilation units, fans, light bulbs, alarms, automatic toilets, soap dispensers and hand driers.
"Sheet Erosion. Audio Archaeology Series Volume 1: Lisbon"
"Sheet Erosion. Audio Archaeology Series Volume 2: Laem Thian"