Cootamundra/WIRED EARS (day 2)

A very sunny day in Cootamundra! By the time we drove out to the farm the wind was considerably weaker to that of the day before, which boded well for the wires, myself and my fellow participants. (I woke up in the morning with a face feeling like it had been sandblasted, and a tube of moisteriser was promptly purchased from the local chemist down the road.)

We spent the first half of the workshop interacting with the wires and split into two groups – one group exploring the various pickups used to receive the wires’ vibrations and signals and the other group playing the wires by positioning polystyrene boxes along points of the gully wire (as basic transducers/loudspeakers) and using the nylon bow, voices and customised instruments to generate sounds conditioned by the physicality of the wire as well as the wires’ own sympathetic vibrations and harmonics. Some of us had our personal recording devices on hand and at one point I trekked over to the other side of the gully wire and captured some incredible distant voices and resonances from the polystyrene box positioned there. Unfortunately, as favourable as the conditions were at times, the actual ‘singing’ of the wires still eluded us.

The second half of the workshop consisted of listening to recordings that had been made from the specially positioned pickups on the three wires. David and Alan discussed some strategies and techniques that are important to composing and mixing with the wires. I found this session particularly interesting, and a (slight) diversion later in the day dealing with the difference between randomness and chaos was most welcome!

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