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Closely Observed Trains

Barnard, Matthew



The binaural method was employed to capture the sonority of the overground and underground railways in England. As the binaural method works under the premise of recording what is heard by the recordist, the capture of sonic environments becomes intuitive: what you hear is what you get. This characteristic will be known as the ear-shot aesthetic. An inability to eschew the additional activity that isn’t necessarily of immediate interest, has forced the hand of the composer to consider a musical language inclusive of the situations surrounding engaging sound events. This composition is an exploration, then, not only of the sonically-engaging material of the railways, but also of the context: the compositional position that the technology has shifted the aesthetic into. <div>Programme Note: Comprising of reconstructed and transformed soundscape material, derived entirely from journeys I have undertaken on the train and undergound networks of England, Closely Observed Trains is a comprehensive study of the sonic environments experienced. In-ear binaural microphones were used to record all of the materials, providing a unique window on the sonority of public transport spaces and a peculiar perspective of the sonic environments. Aesthetically, the train is observed from various angles of interest; trajectory, mass, material, mechanics, rhythm and the wider, poetic and symbolising characteristics. No Nazi munitions trains were sabotaged during the making of this piece.</div>


Barnard, M. Closely Observed Trains

Digital Artefact Type Audio
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords binaural, acousmatic, soundscape,
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