A collection of past works, commissions and personal explorations in sound & nature.
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If a tree falls in a forest, and no-one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Caroline Steel speaks to experts in hearing, biology, philosophy, physics and sound design, which takes her to some unexpected places. Professor Stefan Bleek is an expert in psychoacoustics who says that sounds only exist in our heads. Dr Eleanor Knox and Dr Bryan Roberts are philosophers that make her question if anything exists outside our own perception. Professor Lilach Hadany wonders if it’s limited to humans and animals - could other plants hear the falling tree too? And Mat Eric Hart is a sound designer who says that sound is subjective – it’s always tangled up with our own interpretations. Things get truly weird as we delve into the strange implications of quantum physics. If there is such a thing as reality, doesn’t it change when we’re there to observe it? Does the tree even fall if we aren’t there? Presented by Caroline Steel and produced by Anand Jagatia for the BBC World Service.
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Shortlisted for the "Best Artificial Sound" category of the Sound of the Year Awards 2020 presented by The Museum Of Sound in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
"I imagine this sound to be what we would hear if we could poke our heads under the ground and submerge our ears in the deep root network of trees. I have often attempted to record the sounds of trees, and even recently have been leading field recording workshops exploring this very practice. Though the practice is often challenging! With this sound, I wanted to create a space that would sound natural, despite its artificial nature. The source of this sound was created using a single contact microphone placed on the central stem of a pine cone. With my fingers I manipulated the scales, much like a kalimba player would to play the instrument. I then used an array of multiple effects in editing, including reverb, time stretching and frequency modulation to create the finished sound."
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Prepared soundscape using field recordings made from the group workshop organised by Phonurgia Nova, hosted by Mat Eric Hart in partnership with the Bibliothèque Départementale CD13, at the Médiathèque of Saint Martin de Crau,.
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Commissioned piece for a public exhibition at Zona Mista gallery in Bermondsey, London in 2019.
Layered foley sounds & field recordings are combined to create an illusory sonic perception that appears to be familiar, yet much like a ghost ship approaching in the fog, its presence is mysterious, unnerving and untraceable...
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Pine tree whispers carried across the mountain forest by La Mistrale.
Listen closely for the fragile creaks and sighs of the tired branches.
Recorded at Sainte-Victoire, France. 24th October 2020.