These two sound files form a six week installation at The Skylark in Portobello, Edinburgh.
The mixes were designed for a very specific make of headphones and as a result this mix may sound a little odd played through a Mac/PC - so it's probably best to download them and listen on headphones. The headphone model in the installation is quite low in top-end so you may find you need to adjust your EQ.
STATION OF THE FOUND (SKYLARK MIX)
AN ART-RAIL COMMISSION : www.art-rail.co.uk
PART OF ART WALK PORTY 2016 : www.artwalkporty.co.uk
PART OF STATIONS OF THE LOST : www.stationsofthelost.bandcamp.com
Part One: Mary 25’17”
Part Two: Ian 20’30”
What is this?
The listening station in The Skylark hosts two soundpieces that play all day every day between early August and mid-September* Slip on the headphones. If you need to block out more sound from the bar press the headphones close to your ears. I had to find a balance between not deafening folk and isolating the café atmosphere upstairs. The pieces have been designed to work if you only listen for a short time, but also if you want to stand here for 45 minutes! If you want to listen to the audio at home, this material will also be on the bandcamp site from Aug 15th.
Ian Fyfe and Mary Florence are two esteemed Portobello / Joppa residents who allowed me to edit interviews I made with them over the summer of 2016. The work is part of four site-specific pieces I have produced for two organisations – ‘ArtRail’ and ‘Art Walk Porty’. More of that in a moment.
This particular work features piano improvisations underneath some of the isolated and repeated quotes from the two individuals who I wanted to feature because of their ages (average age is 80) and knowledge of the town. It’s like a kind of fusion between an ambient soundscape and documentary radio. The conversations were loosely orientated around travel and journeys. In the work of Ian Fyfe, conversations about a long career as railway signalman are contrasted with artist Mary Florence’s life. She is speaking passionately about her father who was captured in Singapore and became a prisoner of war. She is also speaking about her batik practice and painting. Sometimes I make edits where the listener is unsure what the questions or conversations were, and as a result one can make various interpretations about what is being said and dream along.
Some of the dialogue is deliberately repetitive as a nod to Steve Reich's 'Different Trains' composition - which I recommend.
Art-Rail and Art Walk Porty are hosting several related pieces I made in 2016. In Portobello Library, from the 8th to the 15th of September, there is a bright yellow plinth that displays a limited edition book of fictional stories I have written as part of this commission, which will be available in the library, alongside mp3 players and audio CDs – and a website (www.stationsofthelost.bandcamp.com
) which contains everything you need to walk round the town and listen to another way to discover Portobello, Joppa and Brunstane.