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

 

 

JULY 31
Pound Ridge, NY, 9:00am

heavy, steady rain... waning.

 


JULY 30
Pound Ridge, NY, 10:10pm

me making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

 


JULY 29
Pound Ridge, NY, 8:51pm

the dehumidifier outside the studio. had to turn it on tonight.

 


JULY 28
Pound Ridge, NY, 2:45pm

brushing through various flowering plants in the driveway.

 


JULY 27
Pound Ridge, NY, 1:00pm

one of mine and savvas' new songs being played in the car (i was checking the bass), the recorder was outside the window.

 


JULY 26
Pound Ridge, NY, 4:00pm (ish)

pebbles rolling down slides made out of barrels, and pebbles hitting flagpoles.

 


JULY 25
Pound Ridge, NY, lunchtime

sounds from behind the house on a hot summer day.

 


JULY 24
Pound Ridge, NY, 4:00pm

more outdoor ambiance. i just love the gentle, tactile sounds.

 


JULY 23
Pound Ridge, NY, 1:30pm

a clicking noise outside that i thought would make a nice incidental sound in a song.

 


JULY 22
Pound Ridge, NY, 2:10pm

a juno-106 synthesizer pad playing over speakers at the other end of the room.

 


JULY 21
Pound Ridge, NY, 4:20pm

inside the car. rain hitting the roof. a terra cotta windchime my son just made at craft activity at the town library.

 


JULY 20
Pound Ridge, NY, 11:00pm

manipulating the contents of my office garbage can. plastics, cd cases, shipping detritus.

 


JULY 19
Pound Ridge, NY, 2:10pm

a walk through the grass. wind hitting the limiter.

 


JULY 18
Great Falls, MD, early afternoon

cicadas on a nature walk through the Great Falls park. these sounded more metallic than i'm used to. it could have been the surrounding rocks altering the acoustics or maybe my proximity to the cicadas.

 


JULY 17
Gaithersburg, MD, 1:30pm

playing a loop on a children's playground woodblock instrument.

 


JULY 16
Pound Ridge, NY, around noon

a nice spacious recording outside the house. a variety of birds and insects.

 


JULY 15
no sound.


JULY 14
Pound Ridge, NY, 10:40am

a guitar app on the iPhone that i use for learning chords. it has a cheesy guitar player in it as well. these are the sounds. maybe no so bad, if used right.

 


JULY 13
Pound Ridge, NY, after 11pm

just a late night, outdoors.

 


JULY 12
Pound Ridge, NY, 10:15pm

a sound i made on the nord modular G2 that was behaving in a very strange way. not sure what the bumping/pulsing was coming from.

 


JULY 11
Pound Ridge, NY, 12:57pm

i heard harmonica coming from somewhere and found that it was my son in his room with the door closed upstairs. i grabbed the recorder and sat on the stairs. if he had known i was recording he likely would have stopped.

 


JULY 10
Pound Ridge, NY, around 3:30pm

putting the recorder into the refrigerator and shutting the door. always wondered what it sounds like in there with the door closed.

 


JULY 9
Pound Ridge, NY, around 1pm

today i received the horrible news that a dear fellow member of the music world, Dani Banquet-Long, passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 26. she was one of a musical duo called Celer and i have listened to and enjoyed their music for a while. in fact, i have been in constant contact with the other half of the band, WIll Long, in the past couple of weeks as i just finished the mastering of their new CD. This is just horrible, sad news. you can read a message from will here. http://artificialcolors.blogspot.com/

today's sound is a simple one minute of silence in memory of a girl who had so much more to contribute.

 


JULY 8
Pound Ridge, NY, around 9pm

so happy to catch this sound last night. i brought my old, falling apart sound recorder with me in the car on a drive last night. this is actually one of the fondest sound-memories i have as a child. it is the sound of a baseball game being aired on AM radio in a car.

when i was very little my parents would load my sister and i into the back of the car for car trips to, what seemed like, far away places. i would be lying down in the back seat, half asleep, and with no idea of where we were going. my father would be listeneing to a baseball game on the AM radio (probably the Cincinnati Reds) and that particular sound would become a sonic blanket to me. there was something incredibly comforting about this scratchy voice mixed with the hum and bounce of a car going down the road in the heat of the summer. my memories of this always seem to conjur up thoughts of the evening hours. dusky summer, setting sun, fading heat... in mid-western America.

still to this day when i hear baseball games on AM radio i am instantly transported to the back of my parents car, curled up in back, on an unknown journey, yet feeling safe.

 


JULY 2-7
no sounds.

i spent July 2-5 camping in the Catskills Mountains in upstate New York. In a tent, on a lake... the sounds were amazing. deep frogs at night, birds i've nevre heard before, wind, waterfalls, heavy rain, fire. unfortunately the first night i arrived and turned on the sound recorder i found it failed to turn on. nor did it work the remaining four days. i suppose the cold weather zapped the battery. however, when i arrived home i found that the battery now no longer holds a charge at all, and i's only a few short months old. i recorded no sounds during the days troubleshooting this.

technoloy failed me last weekend, but my ears did not.


JULY 1
Pound Ridge, NY, evening

sounds of cooking. i've now forgotten what.