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 this project has been the fact that every day I have been forced to look. 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. Along with the recorder I will carry a small notebook and make a note of date and time as well as location and “subject.” 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



JANUARY 31
Norwalk, CT, around 12:30pm

sounds of children in a curved hallway at the Norwalk Aquarium.


 




JANUARY 30
Pound Ridge, NY, around noon

outside of the post office after mailing some packages. a lot of small birds in a large bush.


 




JANUARY 29
Danbury, CT, around 3pm

at my friend's vinyl cutting studio. this is the sound of the vinyl lathe as it cuts the first 12k 7" record. the song can be heard in the background. the lathe is the high-pitched noise.


 




JANUARY 28
Pound Ridge, NY, around 9:52pm

wind storm after today's snow, ice, and rain. wind chime designed by Paolo Soleri.


 




JANUARY 27
Pound Ridge, NY, around 9pm

more studio roomtone, 9pm.


 




JANUARY 26
Mt. Kisco, NY, around 6pm

waiting in line at the grocery store. a symphony of beeps.


 




JANUARY 25
West Nyack, NY, around 7pm

a video arcade in the Palisades Center Mall.


 





JANUARY 24
New York City, 7pm

crowd ambience from an art opening for Zimoun & Pe Lang's audio works at Bitforms Gallery in Chelsea.


 




JANUARY 23
Pound Ridge, NY, around 11pm

the hum and quiet sounds from the tv.

 



JANUARY 22
Pound Ridge, some time after 2pm

my cat Pixel sleeping and snoring on my desk. i was working on a new piece of music while he was doing it and believe it or not it fit so well with the song (really!) that i recorded him and added it in (but not the loud parts at the end). i love listening to him snore... it makes an already very human-like cat all the more "human."


 


JANUARY 21
Pound Ridge, 2:09pm

room tone in my studio. recorder placed on stack of external hard drives.


 




JANUARY 20
Pound Ridge, around 9pm

no surprises here. captured at a distance from replayed reports.


 




JANUARY 19
Pound Ridge, around noon

recordings so obvious and literal don't appeal to me much... however, this was just too fun to pass up. an excerpt of me pulling my son up a hill on a sled and then getting him set up to go down.... backwards, as he is quite excited about.


 




JANUARY 18
Pound Ridge, 11:36pm

snow falling on a microphone.


 




JANUARY 17
Ridgefield, Connecticut. around 1pm

recorded inside the lovely Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. i believe this recording was taken inside the camera obscura room as i noticed a hum in that room that i believe is the source of the tonal background of this recording. however, the prevelance of echoing feet and larger room reverb suggests to me it was recorded within the galleries (i had made recordings in both places). however, the hum here was not present at all in the galleries so i am going to say the larger spatial ambiance and footsteps were simply picked up outside the door by my recorder. my son was also giggling at his own shadow in the camera obscura, which is present in this recording as well.


 




JANUARY 16
Pound Ridge. 12:45pm

what strikes me about this sound is that the recording actually doesn't really sound like what it is.... so, i'll just leave it at that. suffice to say, it was VERY cold today. i love this recording as a bed of calming sound. my son's voice can be heard in the background (he was upstairs at the time) in the beginning.


 




JANUARY 15
Pound Ridge. 11:02pm

the baseboard heaters warming up in my studio again. this time accompanied by a help loop from an out-of-tune D-chord on a guitar thru an Eventide H3000. i thought the 2 went well together.


 




JANUARY 14
Pound Ridge. 10:49pm

turning on, fast-forwarding, and stopping reel-to-reel tape machine. 12 seconds.


 




JANUARY 13
Pound Ridge. 2:32pm

a small (very very small) stream of water that is constantly running in the bushes down from the hill behind our house. the neighbor’s rooster in the background, and a bird (crow?) call right before i picked up the recorder. this is the sound of a typical afternoon.


 




JANUARY 12
New York City. 9:33 pm

Grand Central Station. one of my favorite sounds in the world. the din of many people in this great hall. the station was much quieter at this time, quite lovely. i feel, however, that my recorder failed to capture a lot of the space. might be time to look at new ones, something of nicer quality.


 



JANUARY 11
Pound Ridge. 10:12 pm

cold and crisp night with a bright moon. one of our tall japanese grasses, which is still beautiful in the winter, was looking very photographic. this is the sound of the blades of grass against the microphone. about 200 feet away, ice was falling off a neighbor’s roof. i’m not sure if the recorder captured it. maybe.


 




JANUARY 10
Brooklyn, around 1am

leaving the Great Lake Swimmers concert. walking up 7th street towards the car.


 




JANUARY 9
Brooklyn, around 8pm

walking to the Great Lake Swimmers concert on 7th street. the sound of a light humming.


 




JANUARY 8
Pound Ridge, NY, 6:20

electric water boiler. boiling water for tea.


 




JANUARY 7
Pound Ridge, NY, 10:40am

ice storm that started last night. every blade of grass, every tree branch down to the smallest is cocooned in ice. placed the recorder inside of the mailbox. freezing rain and melting ice dripping.


 




JANUARY 6
Pound Ridge, NY, 10:33am

it’s cold today. the baseboard heat in my studio turning on.


 




JANUARY 5
Pound Ridge, NY 3:40pm

snow melting, dripping beneath deck


 




JANUARY 4
New York City, JFK airport around 5pm


on board air train from terminal to parking lot.

 



JANUARY 3
Kauai’i, Hawaii around 7pm

on board the flight from Kaua’i to Honolulu. over the general din of the airplane cabin various family members of mine can be heard talking. most noticably my mother and son.

 




JANUARY 2
Kauai’i, Hawaii around 5pm

the wet saves near Ke’e. there was a woman swimming out of the darkness, audible in the beginning and then talking to her husband (?). roosters in the distance outside. water droplets and the cave’s natural reverb.

 


JANUARY 1
Kauai’i, Hawaii 9:25pm


set the recorder on coarse sand. the ocean, wind and leaves overhead. the percussive sounds at the end are large sand particles.