The Shore of Stones Suite

by Dallas Simpson

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    • LINK for photos + video from the recording location -





• Dallas Simpson

The Shore of Stones Suite (2015)

1st Movement - Birling Gap: The Shore of Stones. Birling Gap is a small steep valley between the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs on the South Coast of England allowing access to the shore and the sea. This is a pure binaural soundscape of the sea on a stony shore. The stones are moved by the breaking of the waves, particularly on the backwash, creating a characteristic sounds of 'stone resonances'.

2nd Movement - Birling Gap: Seascape Improvisation. This is the same shore location as 'Birling Gap - The Shore of Stones' above, in this work I am improvising sounds with found stones and using two large stones to interrogate (elicit sounds) from the chalk cliffs rising from the shoreline. There are phases of raw antagonistic stone sounds - the sharp banging of stones, and phases of sympathetic sounds in the manner of 'call and response', where I am imitating the sounds of the waves breaking on the shore using different sounding techniques, for instance, the scraping of two individual stones together and group displacement of stones on the shore using my knees.

3rd Movement - Dungeness: Sleepers and Stones. This is at a different location about 10 miles (16 km) south of Birling Gap. Dungeness is one of the largest expanses of shingle (small pebbles and stones) in Europe. At this location there is a derelict house built of wood and a walkway of wooden sleepers sunk into the stony shingle. This improvisation uses a chalk stone from Birling Gap and a lump of road aggregate found nearby, both being used to stimulate the sonic potentialities of the old wooden sleepers of the walkway. This location is near the Dungeness terminus of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch light steam railway and it is possible that the wooden sleepers of the walkway originated from the railways tracks in the distant past.

Technical: The Birling Gap works were recorded live on location on 16th August 2015, the Dungeness work was recorded live on location on 18th August 2015, all as single takes using custom modified DPA4060 microphones for in-ear use. Recorder: Tascam DR70D using split level recording. Post production and minor editing using Reaper and SADiE 6.1 software.

• All recordings are in binaural stereo, please use headphones for the best appreciation of the spatial qualities of the recording.

Photographs: dallas & helen simpson,
Video: (using camera mics only) dallas simpson.
August 2015.

• See also the link above for the photos and video from the recording location


released September 28, 2015



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