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.
had to go to an unexpected funeral today.
White Plains, NY, 7:39pm
in an airplane, landing at white plains airport. almost home.
Scottsdale, AZ, around 9pm
i set the recorder into a large neon-lit "E" on the
outside of a hotel wall. the buzz is from the light.
Sedona, AZ, around 11am
at my sister's house listening to windchimes from a nearby neighbor.
Scottsdale, AZ, evening
my uncle and i playing a large steel bell sculpture at my father's
cousin's house during a small family holiday reunion. the bell
was thick and made of rusted steel. it had an incredible tone.
Pound Ridge, NY, 9:45am
the sound of a work crew taking a tree down outside our house.
recorded through the window. it was loud.
Pound Ridge, NY, 10:35am
the tines of a metal rake.
Pound Ridge, NY, 7:35pm
rubbing and scrapingn two small stones together.
Pound Ridge, NY, 8pm
a very silent night outside…. turned up about 30db through
Suffield, CT, 11pm
a music box in the closet of my parents’ house.
Brooklyn, NY, around 9pm
Sawako playing live @ Monkeytown, Brooklyn. recorded in mono at
11khz on my iPhone. thanks to sawako for letting me use her sound
Pound Ridge, NY, 8:55am
the sounds of scraping together Polaroid pictures.
Pound Ridge, NY, 10am
back to the guitar, still sitting on the floor plugged into the
Pound Ridge, NY, 11:10am
an aged acoustic guitar loop. no founds sounds today, creating
Stamford, CT, around 4pm
the soft hum of insects in the woods on a nature walk in Stamford.
Croton On Hudson, NY, around 3:30pm
a 12k drum circle jam. taylor deupree, corey fuller, kenneth kirschner,
and sawako beating on a large plastic trash bin found at croton
point park during a fruitful day of filming by the waterside.
no sound. too much filming
Brooklyn, NY, afternoo
in DUMBO, beneath the manhattan bridge. cold and windy, distant
Pound Ridge, NY, late morning
recording and filming in Ward Pound Ridge. poking around with
the microphone as the camera rolled on a hill of tall, rolling
Pound Ridge, NY, around 3pm
walking in the woods recording and filming with Corey Fuller for
the 12k short film project. this sound isn't terribly interesting,
but we were more concerned with the filming.
Pound Ridge, NY, 7:30pm
an almost unseasonably warm night. even outside it sounds a bit
Rockville, MD, around 9am
the ambience of an over-chlorinated indoor hotel swimming pool.
Rockville, MD, night
the amazing hum given off together by an ice machine and a soda
vending machine on the 11th floor of our hotel.
Pound Ridge, NY, 9:38pm
waiting for the computer to boot, playing a water glass in front
Pound Ridge, NY, late morning
a perfect fall day outside. a bit interrupted at the end by a
Pound Ridge, NY, mid-mornin
a large flock of birds partying in the trees behind our house.
Pound Ridge, NY, afternoon
nice, crunchy and warm AM Radio ambiance.
Pound Ridge, NY, 10am
turning on and off my tape echo. power on, then the tape spins
around for a bit and then stops. try again. i think it may be
New Canaan, CT, around 10am
a really nice insect sound i hadn't heard in this field before.
a bit different than the usual cricket-type of sound. really nice.