Big City Sound and Light - Photo by Francisco Diez (CCBY)
For the final installment of the Late Reflections podcast, I present something in the creation of which I had some involvement. As yet another bow to the Wild the City string, Tess Bunny put together a team of keen young film students to make a short “soundscape film” telling the story of the sound of the city.
The film went through many iterations before assuming its final form (it still isn’t actually finished), but the ideas have remained the same.
In this episode Tess and I will run you through the story, letting you experience the sound yourself. As well as being interesting, think of it as a wee teaser for the film to come.
Two major issues inevitably arise in any discussion of the viability fo wind-farms as signifciant sources of renewable energy. The first is the issue of their aesthetic impact upon the landscape. This issue was the impetus for a recent campaign lead by ex All-Black Anton Oliver and others to halt plans for large-scale wind farms in Central Otago.
The second issue is the sonic impact of wind farms. They are notoriously loud. I wasn’t aware of how loud until I saw this video and it made me rethink my position about wind-farms.
I actually like the sight of sleek, modern windmills dotted throughout scenic landscapes. But I wouldn’t be so keen on them if I were forced to deal with this kind of noise. But then, we’re going to have to make some sacrifices somewhere if we are to make a significant switch to renewable energy sources, so where will these sacrifices come?
Following up on the first installment of my Late Reflections podcast series, here is episode 2, fresh off the press.
This time around you’re invited along on a personal tour of Tess Bunny’s Wild The City installation at Wall Street mall in Dunedin. Tess ran the installation in an attempt to raise awareness of her project. For a full working week the mall came alive with greenery and birdsong. This is the next best thing to seeing it for yourself, so have a listen.
A few months ago a video did the rounds that featured sound designer and composer Diego Stocco creating a musical instrument out of a tree. He carved away the branches to achieve a complementary set of pitches then proceeded to tap and bow away at them. It was a fascinating process to watch, regardless of the results, and now he’s done it again. But this time the whole affair is a little, well, smaller.
He has applied the same technique to a bonsai tree, to great effect. Stocco explains his processs:
“To determine the key I used the lowest note I could play and recorded the rest around it. Besides playing the leaves, I used bows of different sizes, a piano hammer and a paint brush.”
An interesting example of the intersection between art and nature! Check it out for yourself.
Here‘s a link with some more pictures and vids. Here is Stocco’s official web page.
Toiling away inside is never a bad idea in Dunedin when it’s drizzly out. Well, the last week in Dunedin has been pretty drizzly out. Luckily there was some work to be done on the Late Reflections podcast series.
So, I toiled. And now I present to you the first of three episodes recorded, compiled, edited and narrated by yours truly.
The series is based around the work of Tess bunny, a talented Masters student who I’ve talked about numerous times in the past. Tess is in her final year of a Masters of Science Communication at the University of Otago. For the creative component of her thesis she undertook a spectacularly large array of activities aimed at raising public awareness about issues dear to her. And she does a pretty good job of convincing everybody else that they should hold these issues dear too.
In a nutshell, her project aims to encourage the re-integration of “wild” green spaces into arid, concrete, urban areas. This, she explains, can be achieved in a number of ways, not limited to the planting of native species and the establishment of communal veggie gardens (one carrot each please – don’t be greedy!).
But Tess also places a huge premium on the quality of the soundscapes we immerse ourselves in on a daily basis. From my perspective, this is where things really get interesting. I won’t give too much more away because I wouldn’t want to ruin the podcast. Have a listen and you might just find yourself converted to Tess’ cause.