Issue 85 — Spring 2016
Anyone who has tried to match the image of a haddock to the noise it makes will tell you that sound and appearance can seem completely unrelated. yet photographs and sound recordings can both testify to an event, or a place, or a personal experience in a similarly compelling way. Photographs are often accompanied by sounds, from the 'click' of a shutter to the spoken recollection of a picture's story. Photography and sound recording are often used in the same situations, be it recording wildlife or surveillance. In both the essays and portfolios, this issue of Source shows some of the way sound and photography relate to one another and suggest the great potenrial for further exploration of this relationship.
Jez riley French is a sound recordist and believes in the importance of prolonged and concentrated focus on the audible world. He has developed the idea of 'photographic scores'. These are made up of photographs and brief textual instructions, some are a form of script for musical action by performers, others prompt us to use the work as a guide to listening. 'Writing about the work, the musicologist Christopher Haworth, discusses the parallel concepts 'from landscape to soundscape, eye to ear, camera to microphone' that are brought together in the work.
Joséphine Michel's work also originares in an interest in the correspondences between sound and image. Michel suffers from hyperacusis (a collapsed tolerance to usual environmental sound), so that 'hearing experience both impels and shapes my images. They are all infused by the acousric qualities of the surrounding space' ln Mercures Michel considers 'the sound of birds as equally important to the way in which the animal might be imaged'.
Paul Gaffney's work was commissioned for a concert by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group to be projected on a large gauze curtain between the audience and orchestra. The music, composed by Simon Bainbridge, was inspired by his walk across the Dengie Peninsula in Essex to an ancient church. Gaffney's project started with a loose plan to respond to whatever he found on the Peninsula working along a pilgrimage route called St. Peter's' Way. 'I listened to the music quite a lot while I was there, and it came and went in my thoughts while I walked, so it was probably subconsciously affecting how I worked.' George Revill discusses how in the performance 'correspondences between sounds and images work to bring the experiences of landscape and pilgrimage together.'
The themes of this issue are further explored in a series of specially commissioned films and audio interviews can be seen on the Source website.
— The Editors