Uley Long Barrow - composite audio 1

by Site Singing

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This track was created from the recordings made on entering and while inside Uley long barrow. I spliced up the recordings so that each individual sound, and the intake of breath preceding it, could be arranged to form a sonic ‘shape’. This was an experiment in sculpting the individual sounds into the architectural shape of a specific place, in this case, the barrow as seen lengthwise, so that the listener has a kind of spatial experience of the site. The idea to form the track this way came from having drawn the barrow in profile, and a half remembered notion that English composers Tallis (1505-1585) and Byrd (1540-1623) wrote vocal polyphony in the shape of, for example, an arch under which the piece would be sung. I tried to find confirmation of this, and am still researching it. To do this, I took the initial lower pitches, and layered them ascending pitches, then completed the form with descending and low pitches. When I was recording in the barrow, I did not have this in mind yet, I was intiutivley just trying out different sounds and textures and listening to the space this way. Because I was moving around inside the barrow, this track ends up having voices from different distances, creating a combination of different dynamics. I consciously left in moments where I had to pause for breath, due to my body being compressed.


released August 21, 2014
Ellen Southern



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Site Singing Bristol, UK

Use of headphones recommended.




"I am enjoying freeing my voice from any kind of formality or expectation - its more about sound that music at this stage. I am open to music evolving but its nice to just be listening anew - to myself and to the sites and their surroundings" (excerpt from blog entry for Uley and Nympsfield).
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