From the recording Our Living Rivers and Glens
What an amazing project this has been and I have loved being involved and have really enjoyed the social interaction of talking to people online, whether in meetings or group work sessions. The map itself has been a real treasure trove and I find it very interesting and informative about the very things on our doorsteps we take for granted or in my case don’t look for. The visual side of it including film has also been very inspiring. As I researched the map I realised there was a lot of audio also from birdsong to bees and singing stones to running water and I wondered if I could use these sounds in someway to create a backdrop for composing a melody. The icing on the cake came when I heard a recording of a sliding glacier put up By Steve Garrett. From here I started loading up audio files into my track and then started experimenting with various sounds. I tried playing sounds at half speed and then changing the pitch of various clips. It was at this stage that I played it to everyone at my creative composition workshop. In this discussion and previous discussions with Jill we were talking about how slowing down birdsong and changing pitch displayed the amazing intricacy and complexity of their songs. I was able to take lines or snippets of their melodic lines to add to a phrase or indeed a complete phrase in the case of the very first one in my composition. This came form a curlew’s song slowed down and lowered in pitch. At the same meeting we discussed how listening to a phrase like that might be different to how you as an individual would compose and in my case some of the interval jumps that happened were unusual to my own writing style, mind expanding! The birdsong used were Curlew, Chaffinch,and skylark all great for ideas. There were some external factors that changed my melody approach also and firstly when I halved the speed of the singing stone recording there were much stronger tonal notes which clash with the original phrase and that is where the development of the third and fourth part come from. So when I came to doing the final composition recording I had a rough plan but I went with the flow and I loved the combination sounds of the singing stones and the glacier and found the rhythm soothing and it reminded me of a creaking deck on a wooden ship and became quite trancelike for me. Hope you like it. So recorded sound were all the birdsong I have previously mentioned, the singing stones, the glacier, the bees, some technology and then just the spill of ambient noise from field recordings. I feel privileged to have been involved and I would like to thank everyone who made it happen.