Water Well

What does it mean to unearth an old historic well, to lift the lid on a space that has been closed, like a time capsule, for many years.  To let the air from the past escape and mix with the modern day?  This transference, this meeting point of past and present is at the heart of this composition. 

 

By placing a microphone down a well overnight, what do we hope to find?  Traces of history? Weighty tones trying to communicate through time? This composition is trying to uncover the voices of the past by coaxing tones that are meaningful to this location, a collaboration between an artist, a location and time. 

 

This composition was created entirely from the sound captured on a single night with recording equipment submerged deep within an old well that was discovered during renovations untertaken by the Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA).  It has had subtle processing done to it but no new sounds added. 

 

The process this composition underwent include:

 

Geographic Tuning  

The location of the well is at latitude 146 degrees, longitude 36 degrees. If we transpose these numbers to give them a musical note value, 148hz sits in between the notes C# and D.  Incredibly, 36hz sits in between C# and D also, but two octaves lower. 

 

So this composition starts with the sound of the well, tuned to match their geographic location, the longitude and latitude, which pulse throughout the composition. 

 

Time Focussing 

This composition is all about time. The historical value of the well, the connection that we have to the past through our interaction with this space.  What if we sped the recording up so it’s duration matched the elevation of the site? Sped it up to signify the sped up modern world. 

 

EQ Scanning

As we scan history to uncover facts, truths, and other connections, we put magnifying glasses and zoom in on interesting information.  The final piece of processing allowed in this composition was to subtly introduce magnifying glass for the ears, to zone in on different frequencies to see what information they held. 

 

A short 2 minute extract from the final composition.