release date: 16 March 2021
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sound art installation: soundtracker

This program explores one of my installation works titled ‘soundtracker’. A multi-source, multi-speaker listening environment, adaptable for different spaces, soundtracker presents fifteen hours of audio excerpts from field recordings I’ve made over 40 years. Each excerpt is about 6 minutes long.

soundtracker is presented in a very dark room, illuminated only by diffuse natural light entering through a circle of white Japanese shoji paper that transmutes the crisp distraction of external views into diffuse luminous presence and shadow-play.

In the darkness, five identical sculptural forms sit on the floor, in a circle surrounding a custom-built 5-sided bench seat. Playback devices and speakers hidden within the cryptic shapes endlessly shuffle-play over 150 tracks to create an ever-changing sonic-poetic atmosphere.

The installation environment alludes to the calming shadow-cloaked spaces within traditional Japanese architecture so well described by Jun’ichiro Tanazaki in his 1933 essay ‘In Praise of Shadows’.

Visitors enter the space from the brighter outside world and find their way to the bench, to sit and listen in the subdued light for as long as the unpredictably variable surround-sound mix holds their interest.

soundtracker provides a penumbral space for reflective quietude in an evocative liminal emptiness.


Locus A

0:00-4:30 Bundanon evening 29Oct13

4:30-9:30 Kinetic installation of 150+ hand-worked drink cans 01Mar15

9:30-16:20 Origma Reserve (OR) 29Oct2012

14:50-18:45 Under northern pylons of Sydney Harbour Bridge 11Aug13

18:45-25:00 Pond, Adelaide Botanic Gardens 22Oct13

25:00-27:40 Raindrops falling from trees onto overturned metal bowls

27:40-31:35 Local rail, Hakone, Japan Sep1988 

31:35-34:20 Black cockatoos, OR 06Sep16

Locus B

0:00-3:35 Time-stretch, rain drops in downpipe 06Jan2016

3:35-6:00 Water in gutters, Honen-in temple, Kyoto

6:10-11:05 3-pendulum harmonograph 15Feb2015

11:10-14:45 OR 09Dec2013

14:55-21:00 Evening camp near Tennant Creek, Northern Territory with Warumungu families and cultural workers developing Nyinkka Nyunyu Culture Center 2003

21:00-26:20 Hillside washaway, OR

26:20-31:20 Wooden door, Bundanon residency

31:25-35:30 aleatoric ensemble unit

Locus C

0:00-4:50 School group in garden, Ginkaku-ji temple, Kyoto

4:50-9:45 Diamond dove & fly swarm, OR

9:50-13:50 Time-stretch, striking bamboo Adelaide Botanic Gardens 19Oct13

13:50-17:10 Male superb lyrebird, raindrops falling from trees 03Apr15

17:10-20:35 Time-stretch, contact mic, pen plotter, Monash University 12Dec12

20:35-22:35 Council street-washing vehicle, Redfern

22:35-29:40 Time-stretch, below decks, overnight on research vessel, Shark Bay, Western Australia 2004

29:40-33:55 Local train to Uji, south-east of Kyoto 03Nov14

Locus D

0:00-2:00 Temple bell, wind in trees, Shoren-in, Kyoto

2:00-5:00 Kinetic installation walkthrough 01Mar15

04:50-09:00 Gyuto Monks of Tibet, Bondi Pavilion, Sydney 21Apr16

9:05-10:50 3-pendulum harmonograph

10:50-18:00 Water over stones in gutter, Jakko-in temple, Ohara, Kyoto

18:05-19:35 Stingless native bee hive, OR

19:35-25:30 Pilgrims & monk chanting heart sutra, Mimuroto-ji, Kyoto 

25:30-26:40 Gang-gang cockatoos, OR 10Dec2012

26:40-32:20 Night, OR 08Feb2014

32:20-33:25 Wharf, Man O’War steps, Sydney Opera House, night 29Aug12

Locus E

0:00-0:45 Tourists, Bondi Beach, Sydney 29Aug12

0:45-5:50 Frogs in dam, night, Dungog, New South Wales 03Oct16

5:50-11:50 Demolition work, Hobart wharves, Tasmania 24Nov14

11:50-19:50 Cicadas, Kyoto Botanic Gardens

20:00-20:15 Wonga pigeon flies away, Origma Reserve, Sydney

20:20-25:30 Evening thunderstorm, OR 05Mar14

25:30-30:15 Raindrops falling onto metal dishes, ground, and deck, OR

30:15-32:45 Time-stretch, rainwater dripping into cave pool, OR 18Jun13

32:20-35:30 Night, black field crickets, OR 16Mar14

OR = Origma Reserve, an off-grid bush retreat north-west of Sydney, NSW