St Livres, Switzerland, Binaural Phonographic Documentary. DALLAS SIMPSON
(Green Field Recordings 2011)

St Livres, Switzerland, Binaural Phonographic Documentary by Dallas Simpson is a phonographic documentary entirely recorded with binaural in-ear mics that give a personal perspective of the location.

According to Dallas Simpson’s words: “The aim is to capture the sound of the location itself, without using the human voice directly either as narrative or commentary…Movement through the location allows an element of spatial choreography – the composition of movements of sounds in space and placement of sound elements in the 3-D perceptual sound space.”

The term “Spatial Choreography” perfectly represents the core element of this audio work: the location itself collapses within the aural map and the movements of the recordist become the compositional gestures of the sonic portrait.

The space is represented here with a distinctive observational point of view allowing the sound to be fully perceived as the main trait of the location, therefore the idea or the concept of sound is no more “attached” to objects, on the contrary the soundscape becomes a complete “environment” on its own retaining all the materic and visual informations, and mapping them in an aural cloud that just needs to be explored.

As already stated this is a composition made by movements and, being movements naturally bound to space, the perspectives being captured by the recordings maintain a solid and evident link with distances and time, as if space and distance were located inside the visual/concrete domain and their aural counterparts, respectively sound and time, were the main features inside the aural domain.

This is similar to perceive the location as:

Location = spaces & distances + sounds & time

but the “equation” is not completely correct because in order to have the complete definition of a location I would add a third factor which is the presence of the recordist/listener who acts inside a complementary layer/domain that constantly interact with the others two. But it’s definitely true that the location ‘speak for itself’ and recordings like these perfectly summarize the attitude of pure objective documentary recordings.

-Elliot Loe

Dallas Simpson website
Green Field Recordings website