Oblique Territories Part 1:planned recces and reading materials

At the start of October through to December this year I’ll be an artist in residence at Sauerbier House in Port Noarlunga. The Sauerbier House Cultural Exchange  is a program facilitated by Onkaparinga Council and provides a platform for visiting artists to create new works in-situ whilst engaging with the local community.

Given that I’m about two months out from commencing my residency, I’ve begun to make some preparations for the work I intend to do down there.

Here’s my initial proposal for the project – called Oblique Territories:

The intention of this project is produce a portfolio of works which encapsulate aspects of Port Noarlunga’s unique sonic environment. The primary work will consist of a multi-channel sound installation which will evoke and convey the unique sonic characteristics of the Port Noarlunga region utilising various sound composition and spatialisation techniques.

The second set of works will consist of small sculptural objects essentially ‘embedding’ sound in found materials. The intention of these works will be to situate and/or attribute unique sound events to natural and man-made materials located and found around the Port Noarlunga district.

I’m pleased to say that – at this stage – I haven’t deviated too much from my original proposal, and I imagine that the planned portfolio of works will indeed consist of an installation and series of sculptural works.

However, as part of my preliminary work I’m broadening the scope a bit.

Recently my attention has largely been concentrated on the Onkaparinga (Ngangkiparri) River and tracing it back to its source located between Charleston and Mount Torrens in the Adelaide Hills. Over the next few weeks I’m intending to make field recordings along the course of the river – from its source and following it down to its estuary in Port Noarlunga. Along with making the recordings in a linear path from source to estuary, it seems only appropriate that I’ll conclude the recording in Port Noarlunga by the time my residency begins proper in October (if I can hopefully get my timing right!)

My preparations and planning for this recording has been assisted greatly by contact with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board and local historian, Tom Dyster’s chronicle of his walks and observations along the Onkaparinga during the 1980’s – The Mother’s River (Mylor History Group, 2016)

Thanks to the NRM and Tom Dyster’s book I have located the approximate source of the river, a network of springs near the Springhead Luthern School. So, this is where I’ll be starting my recording, hopefully next weekend.

It also goes without that saying that the key inspiration for following the river from its source to the sea has come from reading and absorbing Olivia Laing’s beautiful travelouge, To The River (Cannongate, 2011) which documents her journey along the river Ouse in Sussex, weaving personal observations and histories into the writing.

So, stay tuned for further updates in the coming weeks!