Archive for the ‘Sound’ Category

Everyday music

June 7, 2010

Birds singing and quacking: Belton House (Painting by de Hondecoeter acquired with the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 1984). ©NTPL/Christopher Hurst

Rock stars and the National Trust do have something in common, it seems: an interest in the small sounds that can be picked up in unexpected places.

Waves lapping: Brownsea Island. ©NTPL/Joe Cornish

Jarvis Cocker, the former Pulp front-man, has just produced a collection of sounds captured at National Trust properties. They include footsteps on gravel, on wooden floors and on creaking stairs.

Footsteps: Ham House. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

You can hear the nattering of birds, the lapping of waves, the clacking of billiard balls.

Billiard balls clacking: Upton House. ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

There is the chattering of children, the tinkling of a music box and the whirring of Victorian machinery. The tracks can be downloaded here.

Birds and water: Studley Royal. ©NTPL/Andrew Butler

The tracks are surprisingly dramatic, even symphonic. In a recent post on the Caught by the River blog Nick Franglen recommends listening to the entire album in one go and letting the soundscape unfold around you. 

Machines whirring: Patterson's Spade Mill. ©NTPL/Dennis Gilbert

These images remind me of my recent attempt to capture a few definitions of visual beauty. It makes me wonder whether images enhance sounds and music, or distract from them. Should one listen to Jarvis Cocker’s selection with one’s eyes closed or do the pictures shown here add something? What do you think?