6 times Sounding Images blew your mind. You’ll never believe #4…

A Beach near Trouville – Eugene Boudin

Ruth Knight
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Following my time researching in the Barber Institute, I have gained a greater understanding of both the piece and the context in which it was painted. The transformation Trouville took between 1850 and 1870, due to the construction of railways as well as the publicity gained through writers and artists such as Monet and Boudin himself, is now something I want to focus on sonically.

I aim to create two contrasting worlds, one highlighting the natural beauty of the beach, the other focusing on the changing aesthetic of Trouville. These two worlds will be juxtaposed firstly through harsh jump cuts, and will eventually mould into one.

The lone fisherwoman is an important aspect of the piece. Boudin previously relied on figures to create movement and interest in his paintings, but here, combined with the vast sky, and the unusually large canvas, the lone fisherwoman reinforces the solitary nature of the coast. I have therefore been thinking about her journey and how I could represent that in my piece. I’ve decided to record a simple looping melody on the viol that will develop over time.

I have also been thinking about the overall aesthetic I would like to create. The following piece by Jónsi and Alex illustrates the use of subtly changing loops, something I would like to utilise in my piece, as well as an overall feeling of ebbing and flowing, an obvious property of the sea.

Primrose Hill – Winter.

Josh Chapman

Eye-catching, no? Sounding Images contributor Dicko seemed to think so, read his blog here.

winter

I was instantly drawn to the paining’s shear size and abstract nature in its gallery context; the immediate neighbours are painted in a more classical style (find out more about one of the neighbours here)

During my research on this painting, I discovered that Auerbach painted Primrose Hill, the famous London park, at different times of day in different seasons. I have included some of the other painting’s as well as working sketches below.

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In the first linked post above, the conflict between natural landscape and cityscape is discussed. With Primrose Hill being the primary subject of the works, the city is always in the background. This will carry over in my composition as my ‘city’ field recordings will be ever present in the background – listen to one those field recordings:

This recording has the sound of busy London, but also birds and trees too.

The winter edition is very dark and gloomy – research collected from the Barber Institute of Fine Arts suggest the painting indicates dawn, not dusk as commonly suggested. From top to bottom, the painting starts light with yellows and greens, perhaps the sun breaking through the cities skyline. As we head to the southern hemisphere of the painting it becomes denser and denser. This is consistent in the working sketches too, and with the use of panning, volume and working with space and perspective, I aim to recreate this effect in my composition.

With my own ‘working sketches’ – I have tried to start thinking about how I will recreate this.

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3 thoughts on “6 times Sounding Images blew your mind. You’ll never believe #4…”

  1. Ruth – I really like your idea of using a single looping viol melody to represent the fisherwoman. I think it will really convey the sense of loneliness and isolation the painting projects, and I feel it would fit well with the Jónsi and Alex texture you might explore. On a further level, even though you don’t mention it, the decision to loop the viol melody is interesting as it could symbolise the repetitive life of the fisherwoman, trudging back and forth across the beach every day in order to make a living. I look forward to hearing this aspect of the piece and seeing how it develops!

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  2. Josh – I enjoyed your visual deconstruction of the aural landscape you’re going to create with your sketches. I hadn’t ever thought of sketching the various sections that exist within a painting, it seems very beneficial from a practical standpoint of being able to musically account for the vast visual stimulus found within the Auerbach. Does this mean you’ll have a narrative journey, focusing on certain sections in detail as part of an overarching structure? Or are you going for a more omnipresent kind of representation, being able to hear each area together as one immersive experience?

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  3. Josh – I really like your systematic approach to depicting the painting. It’ll be interesting to see how our interpretations of the work differ, as I’m also exploring the conflict between natural landscape and cityscape. I remember noticing the ever-present car noises when I visited Primrose Hill, so I love how you’re using that as a primary motif in your work. As Simon said, it’ll be interesting to see how you go about interpreting your sketches in sonic form, whether it’s a matter of journeying through each segment of the painting, or digesting the work in its entirety, via a more soundscape-based compositional method.

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