zig zag

Zig Zag and Twisted – Perspective, Steps and An Urban Soundscape

On this, the third side of my triangular urban walk this week, my main focus (or perspective) is on steps. It was a long set of scaffolding steps that I originally wanted to photograph and which turned into a walk round the block that revealed some other angular and twisted (spiral) steps. I was amused by the “floating” gate below which advertises the entrance to The Forge.

spiral steps

As someone who enjoys many different aspects of metal I couldn’t resist the first perspective shot below of the structure and pattern of shop front shutters, but as I turned the next corner I was also taken by the colour, repeating pattern and perspective of the short terrace across the street. I found other perspectives in the juxtaposition of buildings and trees with different styles of architecture being seen in the glass frontage to Swansea College of Art installed against the old Dynefor School building, the old red brick of the original College of Art and the more functional tower block of Oldway House. The tall trees in the vicinity give a further layer of perspective to the scenes and a welcome element of nature. A monochrome version of the image above can be found at Leanne Cole’s photography blog post MM 202

My soundscape for this week is an edit of a single field recording made as I walked the short length of this urban triangle. The walk on its own could probably have been done in 5 or 10 minutes but when I start looking and listening to the details of my surroundings time slows down (for me at least), which is a very pleasant thing!

The main speech marks for this aural element of the cityscape is the sound of the pedestrian crossing at beginning and end, but there are other phrases which I would describe as bold (the motorbike?) or underlined (the bouncing metal trolley/trailer?) as well as those in brackets or italics (the seagulls?). And what can be read between the lines? What would the soundscape be like if any individual elements were taken away? The clicks and bumps, the hissing, squeaking and clanks of different activities, the squeaky footsteps (listen carefully for that one) and snippets of conversation. It all goes to make up the layered aural fabric of an urban soundscape and the more I listen the more I hear and feel the textures in the air.

Swansea Urban Soundscape

Posted in Architecture, Photography, Soundscape, Urban, Walks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

13 Comments

    • Thank you Certainly my current tapestry design relates to both the urban and natural jungle but I’m not showing it to anyone until it’s finished

          • Oh My Goody Goodness!!!!!!!!
            Amazing! How did I never know about these before!!! I’m going to have to make a cuppa and enjoy them properly later in the day. Thank you, thank you for the link.

          • Thank you thank you I am so pleased you want to look. You’ll. see I have been at at it for some time. Currently I am working on a large piece (5’ x 4’) for the British Tapestry Group exhibition “Sound and Weave” and I have just received a grant towards this and developing new work from the Theo Moorman Charitable Trust. The tapestry will include interactive sound. I will be starting up a new blog on my website in the next couple of months. Thanks again

          • How wonderful – a tapestry with interactive sound – that sounds completely amazing. Must be so good to get a grant to develop your work. Exciting!

          • It is great to get the grant. I’ll need more than that to get far with the developments so I will be making other applications as well. Tapestry weaving can be so slow!

          • The artisan’s dilemna. Time you’d rather spend on the project I’m sure. Good luck with your applications, may the money flow your way quickly and easily!

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