TAYLOR DEUPREE : ONE SOUND EACH DAY, 2009

On january 1st, 2008 I began a project where I would take one polaroid picture every day of 2008. It was a fun, challenging, and sometimes frustrating endeavor, but I now have 365 polaroids portraying the ups and downs and travels of a year in my life. And 2009 is upon us...

The most rewarding aspect of that project was the fact that every day I was forced to look at the world around me and experience each day on a very visual level. Oftentimes, though, I'd pass over what turned out to be a great photographic opportunity in the hope a better one would be around the corner, resulting in a mediocre photo for the day. However, the project was not about the “best” photography but rather simply of a diary of seeing for a year.

As 2008 drew to a close I set my sights to 2009. A picture-a-day was very challenging, do Igive myself a break, freedom from carrying the Polaroid with me every day, freedom from having to constantly be on the lookout? Or, was the forcing of this creative project on me every day a priceless exercise? Never one to rest, I have decided that in 2009, starting on January 1st, of course, I will carry a small digital audio recorder with me every day of the year and record one sound per day.

As a musician I rarely work with “field recordings” although I am familiar with them enough as a sound source and have used them in my compositions from time to time. However, I am always listening and find beauty and serenity in many of the everyday sounds that surround me. This exercise will not only force me to listen more carefully every day, but expand my own sound palette. Like my polaroids, it will not be about capturing a "perfect" sound, but be a simple audio diary of each day. Undoubtedly, there will be many wonderful sounds that I capture, but that is not the primary focus of the project.

I will not set a time limit on each day’s recordings, but rather make each recording as long as it needs to be to capture whatever it is i’ll be recording. The only rule I will set on myself is that all of sounds must be recorded through a microphone, no direct line connections into the recorder. This will assure a certain quality (at times, poor) and character. These recordings will be featured on my blog (12kblog.wordpress.com) and, of course, this web page.

If 2008 was a year of seeing every day, 2009 will be a year of listening. The death of Polaroid's instant film market has made the Polaroid-a-day difficult to continue... My project was timely. Needless to say, as a photographer, I will never stop looking, nor will I rarely be caught without a camera, but to form a year’s worth of living and travelling with an audio diary will be a new way for me to experience each day.

- Taylor Deupree



JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC

 

 

AUGUST 31
Pound Ridge, NY, 4:35pm

a little way to end the month of sounds...

 


AUGUST 30
Suffield, CT, 11am

an old “electronic message taker” from the 80’s that had some talking on it left by my nieces at some point in the last few years. great static textures mixed in the broken voices. in the background my son plays with a slide whistle

 


AUGUST 29
Suffield, CT, around 5pm

small rattles made of seeds and gourds that were leftover from our teenage years at my parents house.

 


AUGUST 28
Pound Ridge, NY, noonish

walking down the driveway to check the mail, carrying the larger of the two Santa Fe bells. a pleasant rain is falling.

 


AUGUST 27
Pound Ridge, NY, 4:10pm

ukelele noodle, scraping the strings....

 


AUGUST 26
Pound Ridge, NY, 7:26am

various percussions looped through the Eclipse. mostly two bells i had picked up in Santa Fe the other week. this loop is nice, sort of watery. reminds me of an ocean late at night, perhaps on the deck of a boat, masts and ties squeaking to the sway of the waves.

 


AUGUST 25
Pound Ridge, NY, late morning

more Eventide Eclipse noodlings. ukelele, outdoor microphone noises and various sound bits.

 


AUGUST 24
Pound Ridge, NY, 11:16pm

looping and ebowed acoustic guitar.

 


AUGUST 23
Pound Ridge, NY, 11pm

tapping the side of our water heater.

 


AUGUST 22
Pound Ridge, NY, 2:52am

awoken around 2:45 this morning by torrential downpours outside. incredible. staggered into the living room half-asleep to grab the recorder. this recording doesn’t capture the heaviness of the rain, but definitely the steady volume can be heard drenching the surrounding forest.

 


AUGUST 21
Pound Ridge, NY, mid-afternoon

another looping jam with the Eventide Eclipse. i love this thing… also posted a high-res, and longer, version on Soundcloud at: http://www.soundcloud.com/12k

 


AUGUST 20
Pound Ridge, NY, 10:49pm

we try to avoid it, but sometimes we can't, especially when it's 85 degrees in the house this late at night. this is the sound of the HVAC cooling system in the utility closet at home.... yes, air conditioning... the sound of relief.

 


AUGUST 19
Pound Ridge, NY, around 3:40pm

more ukelele... sort of like the imperfections of this progression and my less-than-stellar playing.

 


AUGUST 18
Pound Ridge, NY, morning

some more Eclipse. this one a bit more raw and sparse. just noodling around.

 


AUGUST 17
Pound Ridge, NY, 11am

first experiment with the Eclipse. didn't realize it was a looping algorithm. i was playing a guitar through it and then realized this wonderful jumble of sound was actually looping. very nice.

 


AUGUST 16
Santa Fe, NM, around 8am

shaking a tree, whose leaves sound wonderfully paper-like. unfortunately some close-mic contact spoiled the gentle leaf-rattling.... but, still OK i suppose.

 


AUGUST 15
Santa Fe, NM, late night

another late-night insect lullaby on our last night in Santa Fe.

 


AUGUST 14
Sandia Park, NM, around 2pm

an amazing wind-up scene of carved wooden musician dolls playing "back in the saddle again". the fact that the sound of the mechanical device itself is practically louder than the music is fantastic. was recorded at the TInkertown Museum, one of the most fascinating places i've visited in a while. strange, eccentric place!

 


AUGUST 13
somewhere along Route 14, NM, near 5pm

stopped at a roadside pulloff of an old, graffiti-covered, giant metal cistern. there was was a hole in the side and i was able to throw rocks in at the broken bottles and listen to the metal-drum reverb. unfortunately, my sound recorder was out of battery power and i had to resort to using the iPhone as a recording device which did not come out so well.

 


AUGUST 12
Cochiti Lake (?), NM, around 1pm

making humming sounds and walking around inside an early native-american cave dwelling.

 


AUGUST 11
Santa Fe, NM, around 9am

banging on a rusted steel table on the patio of our casita. rather bell-like, and strong.

 


AUGUST 10
Santa Fe, NM, late night

just an amazing bed of crickets and insects. different here than the dense woods of home. a great sound to fall asleep to every night.

 


AUGUST 9
Arvada, CO, around 9pm

in a friend's driveway prepping the return of the rental car. the sounds in the beginning are zaps from a bug-zapper across the street. dogs bark, and general suburban ambiance prevails.

 


AUGUST 8
Denver, CO, afternoon

off in a quiet alley in Denver in the afternoon

 


AUGUST 7
New York, NY,

it's been so long, i honestly forgot what this sound is... but i love it! but.. now that i hear it more... i think it may be from Denver.. not from New York... hmmm.. oh well.

 


AUGUST 6
Pound Ridge, NY, 10:25pm

a toy robot bug crawling around on my snare drum.

 


AUGUST 5
Pound Ridge, NY, around 1pm

found a nice chord progression on the ukelele. sitting outside on the stone wall playing. maybe some traffic and cicadas in the background.

 


AUGUST 4
Pound Ridge, NY, 2:05pm

cicadas are popping up everywhere. just listening off the deck .. humming.

 


AUGUST 3
Pound Ridge, NY, 11pm

a Vornado fan that suddenly stopped working. it would rev up and rev down, and buzz... but the blades wouldn't move. sounded cool, though. recorded it before i throw it away.

 


AUGUST 2
Pound Ridge, NY, 11:30am

drumming on a couple of water bottles with my fingers while driving home from running errands. fortunately, i can steer the car with my knees.

 


AUGUST 1
Pound Ridge, NY, 1:20pm

ebowing my acoustic guitar outside on the deck after lunch with the cicadas.