Because we've hit our first milestone, 10%, 10 sites out of 100 visited, recorded, edited, and published, I feel we can now say that our project is fully underway. The list laid about in front of us is a bit daunting, spanning the entire state, North to South, East to West, with festivals and annual celebrations, geographic phenomena, socio-cultural events, and historical locales we certainly will have our hands full for the next 18 months. But we're not complaining. It's already proving to be an incredibly deep lesson in so many faculties and is an incredible blend of sonic curiosity, creative endeavor, and hometown wanderlust.
The 100 Soundscapes of North Carolina project is our latest effort to churn something new into the sound design and field recording realms while creating a valuable and enjoyable set of ambisonic recordings of the diverse landscapes, people, events, and history of the Old North State. Once completed, we will be touring North Carolina to host 12 public listening events (either standalone or alongside other local celebrations) where any and all will be able to experience ambisonic VR soundscapes from across the state, taking an aural tour form the mountains to the Piedmont to the coast, and most likely hearing something new which they didn't realize was right in their own backyard.
The idea for this project originated from when I was living in Oita, Japan. During a group trip to Onta, I listened as giant mallets powered by a channeled water system would lift back and slam into heaping mounds of clay, working it slowly over many hours to become the perfect consistency for pottery and other clay works. The sounds of the running water, the creaking wood, the splatter and thud of the kara-usu (唐臼) ... was mesmerizing. A bit more digging led me to find that the village of Onta was on the list of 100 Soundscapes of Japan. What luck! This idea that the sounds of a specific area could be identified and appreciated, cherished so that people could be aware of it and go to experience it first-hand was just brilliant to me. Sonic conservation, exploration, and cultural recognition from different modality.
It took sometime to revisit that concept back in North Carolina. As Eiravaein Works has been a passion to start and a joy to grow, I have found myself looking for a new aspect of designing sound and recording in the field that served a different purpose and created a different production. As we move forward with 100 Soundscapes of NC and travel across the state to discover these aural landscapes, we're hoping we also start to generate momentum in a new direction for the world of sound design and the shire of the field recordist.
10 down, 90 more to go.
For the curious, typical kit: Sound Devices MixPre 10T, Rode NTSF-1, Rycote, Mogami, K&M, Orca