Study members* and invited participants
PMusic: Open Compositions
Sound of the Field'
Mail Art Sound Art project
Field Study is a Mail Art group - postal address: Field Study, c/o
David Dellafiora, P.O. Box 1838, Geelong, Vic 3220, Australia
Sound of the Field' features sounds sent by Field
Study members (and invited participants). The
brief was an open one - participants were asked to
'send something that's an aural snapshot from your life'.
Twenty eight people - ranging from composers to non-musicians
- responded to this project, leading to the assembly of
sixty sounds (or 'Sons')
in total. Sounds were posted (as CDs), emailed or phoned.
The TSOTF notes contain
this Parallel Music (PMusic)
piece, five channels of the randomly-chosen Sons are performed
for a duration of approximately one minute; the volume
of each Son and its pan (stereo position) are also determined
by random processes. The result is lively, anarchic, wayward,
often raucous and occasionally sublime - very much, I
feel, in the spirit of mail
you would like to take part
in a similar project
please visit Consemble
thanks to all contributors (listed
in order of sounds received):
John Alexander Stevens; David Barker; Pauline Chee-A-Nam;
Saul Mapray; John Matthias; Phillip Ramsay; Tom Stevenson;
Geoff Stocker & Lisa Katzenstein; Nomi; Kevin Harper;
Simone Lemmon; Jem Finer; David Prior, Martha Aitchison,
Phil Wyatt, David Dellafiora & Sue Hartigan;
Max Eastley; Siobhan McKeown; Kate Marr; Peter Cusack; Eileen Bonner; Jack
Hubert; Eleanor Carr; Shane Jarvis; Wayne Stefano - see
the full details here.
|notes on the project
Field Report (journal of the Field Study Mail
Art group) is an annual publication assembled by Dave
Dellafiora. Field Study members send 100 A5 duplicated
pages as their contribution to the Report and in return
receive a copy of the 'Journal of Field Study International'
as one of the more welcome items in the post (- for
more information about Field Study visit sketchBook
about my contribution to the Report during 2005, I decided,
given my interests, it would be an appropriate idea to
set up some kind of sound project, using the mail art
network to provide sonic materials in the same way visual
elements are often submitted and built into a larger work.
The first invitation to this project was expressed as
a Field Study emanation which ran as follows: 'Invent
a music that changes its colour when played - invite others
to participate' and was listed as 'score
84' as a reference to and continuation of my work with 82
Scores. The report page also gave an address for a
Field Study project webpage and in writing this, the title
became 'The Sound of the Field' and the full TSOTF brief
was also established.
the time, I saw this as a very small-scale enterprise
and one that wouldn't have occurred to me had it not been
for the prompting of the Report. However, as the sounds
began to accumulate and I started to work on presentation
and coding, it dawned on me that 'The Sound of the Field'
was indicating the potential of a whole new area of collaborative
practice for PMusic and has since led to my thinking and
development of the Open
Compositions area of this site, particularly the Consemble project.
Sound of the Field is a mail art project inasmuch as:
the first appeal was to Field Study members; the sounds
were 'posted' to me either as emailed MP3 attachments
or as CDs/DVDs via the postal system (I don’t like
the term 'snail mail') or, in two instances, as phone
calls. The work draws upon the aesthetics and ethos of
the mail art network - democratic, uncensorious, non-hierarchical,
playful, committed. However, the net was widened to include
other invited participants and so the work called upon
people outside of the usual mail art circle. I must also
add that, although I do engage in some mail art projects,
I cannot claim to be a regular organiser or contributor
and so have listened the welcome advice and experience
of artworker David Dellafiora. I'd like to think this
work is best described as a mail art/PMusic hybrid.
difficult to find the correct word to describe my role
in the proceedings - since 'composer' would imply that
I’m taking credit (auteur-like) for the
overall piece, which I cannot do because the piece has
been constructed from the various sonic elements posted
by a variety of people and it is from this variety (and
energy) that the piece derives its charge. 'Organiser'
is better perhaps, but still implies someone with an overarching
responsibility which doesn’t seem to quite exactly
describe what happened (music sometimes being defined
as 'organised sound' - which would return me to the role
of composer). Facilitator or co-ordinator are perhaps
nearer the mark but have a rather bureaucratic ring to
them. Perhaps a new word for this role is yet to be invented
but I want to stress that I really just feel part of the
team of 28 people who created this sound art work.
sounds themselves come from a range of geographical locations
and the piece serves (although this was not an intention
at the time) as a social document - a mapping of sounds
heard in 2006.
work (as in all Open Composition project work) is underpinned
by the following:
1./ the work will use the PMusic method to produce a
form of indeterminate music/sound work
2./ no commercial gain will be made from the work
3./ any performance or publication of the work will
fully credit all contributors