Memorial

 

 

Using ambient binaural recordings taken within Aberdeen Art Gallery's Memorial Court, and combined with archival recordings of war testimonials, Memorial, is a site-specific audio work which exists in two forms: as a headphoe listening occurence intended to be experienced within the site and as a four-speaker installation.

 

The Memorial ambient recordings were taken mainly from within the gallery’s Memorial Court using binaural microphones.  Its incredibly reverberant acoustics allow for a very long decay of sound.  This acoustic trait seemed rather symbolic of the nature of the location: sounds appear to be momentarily frozen both in time and space.  Among these recordings are the sounds of people talking in hushed tones, echoing footsteps, a child laughing and running, my friend whistling, and seagulls squawking above the domed roof of the Memorial Court.

 

Two other recordings were taken of ambient sounds from elsewhere in the gallery: the fountain in the main atrium and the ticking of the John Gartly longcase clock in the Sir James Murray Watercolour Room.  By relocating these sounds to the Memorial Court, I wanted the listener to encounter a sense of surreality by having distinct sounds that they will likely have already encountered before reaching the Memorial Court played to them, thus evoking an ambiguity of memory.