Binaural Audio walk, July 2007.

Feast MA Exposition, Nottingham Trent University

Visitors to the exhibition were invited to borrow an MP3 player and go on a guided walk. With the unsettling preamble: ‘I usually only hear it at night’, the narrator takes the listener on a journey, directing them down steps, round corners, through doors, to a dark space where ‘ the air feels heavy and damp, making it hard to breathe’ and where a moving black shadow appears just at the edge of vision. The narrator’s superstitions (‘I try to avoid the white tape on the stairs’) and fears (‘we’re being followed…’) are reinforced by sinister music, strategically placed, and by the ambient sounds of accompanying footsteps, of doors opening right on cue, of drilling, banging, a gasp of fear, thunder, running water, the echo of a voice, a brief, muffled commotion and then, the narrator’s voice stops – silence – until another voice, as if over a two-way radio, announces the discovery of a dead body.
Listening to the recording, our awareness is heightened at the same time as it is bemused, disorientated: the particular qualities of binaural recording create a 360- degree experience of sound which blurs the line between fiction and reality, so that we are thrown off-balance, unsure what is ‘live sound’ and what is recorded: prey to our own imagination.

– Deborah Dean, Visual Art & Exhibitions Manager, Nottingham City Museums and Galleries

Listening to Unheard Sounds
Unheard Sounds exhibition space
MA Fine Art flyer

*Unheard Sounds is a site specific binaural audio walk, to be listened to at the Bonington building at Nottingham Trent University.  Please listen to Unheard Sounds via stereo headphones.  Approx 5 mins

Lucy Stevens’ artistic practice examines the acoustic ecology of the natural environment, using field recording, digital illustration, performance and printmaking as a tool to visualise sound produced by wildlife, weather and other natural phenomena.

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