Abstract proposal

Audio captured on location, e.g. field recordings, can be a powerful tool for transporting audiences in their imaginations. Without manipulation such sounds have an ability to move listeners. Crashing waves evoke a coastal image. The sound of cicadas brings to mind the heat of an Australian summer.

Microphones capture vibrations that a recording recreates but the resonance within a listener can be more significant. Artists William S. Burroughs and Genesis P-Orridge have described the potential for editing techniques to create magic incantations. In ‘cut-ups’ they saw a method for revealing hidden intentions or for delivering subliminal messages. Media can be transformational within a receptive audience.

Contact microphones provide a perspective for the listener within the object being recorded. Vibrations captured using piezoelectric phenomena can demonstrate transformations, such as the filtering effect of reflected frequencies. I will argue this serves as an analogy for the ‘magic’ experienced by a listener, as familiar sounds stimulate a response and reflection. The thoughts triggered become transformed as they are balanced in the interplay of evocation and incantation.