Footsteps in the Sand

Rhosilli Bay, at the end of the Gower Peninsula, is a great place to walk. The cliffs above the bay extend out to the Worm’s Head and can get busy on a weekend if the weather is good. The bay, however, like many of the large beaches on the South Wales coast, has the space to cope with a good number of visitors and not feel in the least crowded.

As with any beach, the patterns and textures in the sand change with different conditions and the shells, stones and rivulets underfoot create a range of sounds that all have the aural backdrop of the waves and the wind. The colourful rock of the cliffs (see yesterday’s post) reflect and amplify the sound of the sea but walking away from them allows the nuances of the crunch of tiny shells or the squish of soft wet sand to come through.

And above all that, the birds. Walking back up the cliff, even the smallest of birds can make themselves heard against the sound of the bay. You will need to watch the video at the end of this post to hear and see it all.

Coastal Walk Rhosilli-6

Coastal Walk Rhosilli-5

Rhosilli Rivulets

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video. Click the image below to watch the video.

Paypal button

A Walk Through Marsh Grass and Across a Yellow Field

This post is pretty much just what it says on the tin!

Using the excellent RODE recording app for iPhone (though not their iPhone mic) I got, precisely, the sound of the wind in the marsh grass when out walking in the evening recently. I held the iPhone right in amongst the grasses which had the added advantage of muffling the sound of traffic on the motorway as well as stopping the rumble effect of the wind directly on the mic.

These field recordings on their own are not going to be for everyone but I enjoyed listening to the changing sounds of the grasses as the wind strength changed and find, as with the recording I do for StillWalks videos, that the sound does so much to help visualize the memory.

Marsh Grass

Marsh Grass

Yellow Field

Tangled and Mangled

The effects of yesterdays dreich morning can be seen in that old freezer I have been photographing recently. The wet metal reflects the weather we had at the start of the day which created new colours and patterns only seen in these conditions.

And the sounds this can make? I continued working with them and here are a couple of experimental mixes. Next week I will try to explain some of my use of metal . . . watch this space!

You can click the mp3 files below or play the SoundCloud files which only appear on the blog page, not in an email. Ideally you would listen to these through headphone but it’s no big deal.

Old Freezer

Old Freezer

Old Freezer

Old Freezer

IMG_8637

Same environment, different viewpoint

Things are brightening up!

But it was a dreich day when I came down the garden to my studio this morning. So, to stay in keeping with the brightening day, I have decided to put up a few more of those colourful metallic “canvases” I have snapped recently.

Today I will work some more with the sounds I have been recording from this material but here, in the meantime, is a snippet. What does it sound like to you?

rusty metalrusty metal

rusty metal

metal

A Visit to Middlesbrough – Claes Oldenburg and Haroon Mirza

The Bottle of Notes sculpture by Claes Oldenburg  is in the centre of Middlesbrough by MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art). There have been plenty of photos taken of it before now, but these are mine!

We had a short visit to Middlesbrough at Easter and managed, amongst other things, to see this, the MIMA exhibitions, the Anish Kapoor sculpture at Riverside Park (see tomorrow’s post) and had a walk round Great Ayton.

Bottle of Notes

Bottle of Notes

Bottle of Notes

MIMA

One of the exhibitions we saw at MIMA was Untitled Song by Haroon Mirza. I can’t show photos other than this wall in the gallery, but I did record part of the audio in the exhibition. Here is 30 seconds of it.

Haroon Mirza

You may not find the sound particularly easy to listen to – it’s not exactly popular music – but there was more to it than this sample and it worked well with the space and the sculptures by James Clarkson, some of which had been modified by Mirza.

Maritime Quarter, Swansea – Different Scales

I have managed, in the last photo of this series, to bring the scale of the Meridian Tower down to that of the Helwick Lightship sitting in Swansea’s marina.

The sounds of the marina can be a fascinating orchestra of rigging when the wind is up. On this day there was just the lapping of water under the floating booms, passing voices and high heeled shoes. They would not have been there if the marina wind orchestra had been playing!

Swansea Marina sound sample

You can listen to this on SoundCloud below (if you’re on the blog) or click here.

Meridian Tower

Meridian Tower

Rigging in the Marina

Rigging in the Marina

IMG_7249

Helwick Lightship

Helwick Lightship and Meridian Tower

Helwick Lightship and Meridian Tower

Different Scales

Watching

It seems to me that these stones are an audience in the circle watching the tide –

Watching

Watching

– but really it is their balancing act that is the attraction!

Balancing Act

Balancing Act

With each StillWalk I produce, I select nine or ten images as stand alone shots and make them available for purchase. These are two more from the “Coastal Walk” in Spring in South West Scotland. The photos are available to buy at PhotoBox.

Waiting

Looking out to sea and waiting – that is what these “standing stones” appear to be doing!

My StillWalk, “Coastal Walk“, in Scotland in the Spring features these shots. The balanced stones looked as though they were just biding their time and waiting for some spectacular event – or perhaps they were just soaking up the sun while they could.

Sculpture on the Beach

Sculpture on the Beach

Patterns in the Sand

Patterns in the Sand