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.
York, United Kingdom, afternoon
the hit of a gamelan Gambang through a frozen reverberation.
York, United Kingdom, afternoon
in the studio at the University of York creating music for the
residency program for which i was invited for. These are the sounds
i lived with all week, minor digital processing and looping of
traditional Gamelan instruments played in very non-traditional
York, United Kingdom, around 9am
a quiet walk back from the train station in a park.
York, United Kingdom, morning
a trip in the hotel elevator. guided by beeps and voices.
Whitby, United Kingdom, around 3pm(?)
a large games arcade by the beach. sounds exactly like a large
games arcade by the beach in the US.
York, United Kingdom, around 10pm
the courtyard pub outside our hotel window. made it difficult
24,000 feet above the east coast of the US, around 11pm
Delta Airlines cabin noise, en route to the UK.
Pound Ridge, NY, 8:40am
the first dead leaves of autumn.
Pound Ridge, NY, 11am
outside on the deck listeningn to what seemed like a conversation
between two or three crows.
Katonah, NY, around 3:30pm
a country fair not far from home. walking around while a man herded
sheep with dogs and a trio played rennaisance/folk music, appropriate
to the festival.
Pound Ridge, NY, 10pm
another nighttime moment outside of the house. the insect calm.
Pound Ridge, NY, before lunchtime
in the hallway outside of my studio ebowing my acoustic guitar.
some incidental sounds add texture.
New Rochelle, NY, around 11am
standing on the shore at the beautiful Davenport Park in New Rochelle.
very quiet. a few seagulls and a fisherman.
Pound Ridge, NY, 9:26pm
amplified roomtone and i wait for my Mac to boot into Windows.
Pound Ridge, NY, around 10am
ukelele in the hallway outside of my studio.
Pound Ridge, NY, evening
a strange loop made with an electric guitar and the Eventide Eclipse.
Pound Ridge, NY, 2pm
a heavy, steady rainfall. quite soaking.
New Canaan, CT, 11:40am
a meadow in Irwin Park, beautiful pre-autumn colors and gentle
sounds. similar to the sound from the 8th, but so much more gentle.
Pound Ridge, NY, afternoon
walking along tapping out a rhythm on my jean's pocket filled
Pound Ridge, NY, 9am
a simple walk down the driveway.
Pound Ridge, NY, 10am
outside swinging a plastic baseball bat, listening to the whistling
somewhere outside of New York City, around 11:30am
on a train between new york and washington DC, approaching philadelphia.
the train car was very quiet (i was the only one). i thought the
quiet rumbling was quite nice.
Stamford, CT, 12:50pm
a patch of tallish bamboo trees outside the Bartlett Arboretum.
they weren't tall enough or wide enough to get a more hollow sound,
but, good texture anyway.
Pound Ridge, NY, around 7pm
prepping the kitchen for cooking dinner. stove on, some produce
out, olive oil, working on the knife blade... was grilling some
salmon that had been marinading all day.
Pound Ridge, NY, 9:10pm
a loop using a slide whistle into the Eventide Eclipse. sort of
lonely and windswept, like maybe on the bow of a small ship at
night lost in an approaching ocean storm.
Pound Ridge, NY, 11:41pm
the calming sound of my Apple Time Machine backup drive, keeping
my data safe (for the time being) in its crunchy warmth.. not
unlike a crackling fire.