In this episode we turn our attention to those everyday sounds we often overlook: the creaks, the squeaks, the buzzes and the pops that we build our daily soundtracks around without necessarily noticing.
Whenever travelling in a new place it’s easy for our attention to be hijacked by the grandiose: the British Museum, Tower of London, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge. End to end, our flat is a modest 32 footsteps. At first, when we paused to listen closer, all we heard were random, almost opaque, individual noises, but as we refocussed our attention — maybe as we plodded into lockdown, maybe as we fell into restlessness and insomnia, maybe as the world we knew ground to a stop — patterns of composition, harmony and story took shape. And it was the familiarity of these stories that comforted me, despite having never listened to them before. I found a grounded counterpoint in an emerging world that isn’t mine (or yours, for that matter — it is too much to say here it’s now the virus’s). For me, lockdown is like sleepwalking though a restless Dream-Wake hybrid world punctuated by fatigue, insomnia and curious dreams that, dull at their edges and obtuse and fractured, create No Time. And I’m not alone, lockdown has spawned a world-wide epidemic of weird, mysterious and self-contradictory dreams.
In this soundscape, we explore, and in part decipher, the mental and physical landscapes of London during lockdown. Through the intricacies and half-spaces of a recurring dream about leaving a house — any house, my house, your house — we attempt to uncover the overlooked stories of our homes.
Opening & Closing Credits by Unregistered Master Builder
Background music, Markus J Buehler Viral Counterpoint of the Coronavirus Spike Protein (2019-nCoV)
Justin Mullins for SFX
BBC SFX Archives
London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO Bandcamp page)
Sound Design at Greenwich blog
Coronavirus has created an epidemic of weird dreams
Why is Ryanair taking to the skies when there’s nowhere to fly?
Transition Events (excerpt from my novel set in a hybrid Sleep–Wake world where nothing is as it seems)
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