Visitors listen to Don’t Shoot the Messenger at Wirksworth Festival

12 September 2010

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Download Don’t Shoot the Messenger

7 Sept 2010

Look out for the markers around Wirksworth town from Saturday 11 September 2010.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger (Wirksworth) is a site specific, downloadable binaural audio sound walk, inspired by the adaptation of one of the most common ‘city birds’- the feral pigeon. ’City birds’ is the terminology given to species, always ready to exploit a potential food source or a suitable nesting site. The walk takes the form of a tour guide based on the exploration of public space, including spaces where pigeons nest and roost. The walk addresses the notion of the pigeon as vermin and celebrate the important roles throughout history.

The soundscape has been constructed (via in-ear microphones), using layers of recordings including ambient sounds of the city, with directional instructions and a narrative.  Using theories of psychogeography, the narrative will explore my own experience of the city as well as local residents and commuters and the notion of a pigeon’s perspective looking down onto the city.

Download all tracks and add to an audio device to listen to in Wirksworth town.  Each track has 10 minutes of silence at the end to enable listeners to have more control over the pace of the walk.  The sound walk will take approximately 16 minutes to complete.

All tracks have been recorded using in- ear microphones to produce binaural audio recordings and need to be Listened to with stereo headphones.

Download Track 1 (with extra 10 mins) (16 .9 mb)

Download Track 2 (with extra 10 mins) (18.3 mb)

Download Track 3 (with extra 10 mins) (14.1 mb)

Download Track 4 (with extra 10 mins) (15.5 mb)

Each track will take between 1 – 3 mins to download.

To listen to Don’t shoot the Messenger pick up an mp3 player and headphones from the Heritage Centre from Sat 11 – 26 Sept 2010.   Pick up a map and (if you are loaning an MP3 player), some simple instructions from the Heritage Centre, Crown Yard, Market Place, Wirksworth, Matlock DE4 4ET.  Call: 01629 825 225

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Listen to Don’t Shoot the Messenger

7 Sept 2010

All tracks have been recorded using in- ear microphones to produce binaural audio recordings and need to be Listened to with stereo headphones.

Track 1 (4.45 mins)

Track 2 (6 mins)

Track 3 (2.30 mins)

Track 4 (3.30 mins)

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Thank you

7 Sept 2010

Thank you to everyone at Wirksworth Festival for being super supportive and for letting me use the offices to edit the sound walk.

Thanks to everyone that agreed to let me interview them- Marion, Margaret, Jez, Evan and the two Joan’s from the Heritage Centre… and to those that were recorded as I was passing by them.

Thanks to Mark for letting me use his beautiful song- The King of Rome.

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I can’t meet up Im editing

5, 6 and 7 Sept 2010

Editing the sound walk together and trying to make sure that each track has enough detail to guide the listener around the town can be a challenge.  The timing of the walk is important, so trying to guess how slow or fast people will walk (I can be pretty speedy, so have had to slow down to a more relaxed pace!)

Ive tested the sound walk by listening to it at Wirksworth and following the route I will take listeners on.  Ive visited Wirksworth many times to test the walk, during the day, at night, in the sunshine and in the pouring rain… so if anyone lives in Wirksworth they may have noticed a lady wearing headphones, carrying a note book, with a pen in her mouth, walking the same route again and again.

The lovely people that run Wirksworth Festival have been very generous when it comes to letting me use their offices to edit the sound track.  So a big thank you is owed to them all!

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The Wild Cherry B&B

28 August 2010

Margaret who has lived in Wirksworth for 15 years and has ran The Wild Cherry B&B for 4 and a half years, kindly agreed to let me interview her for the sound walk.

Margaret opened the b&b because she loves people and loves to share.  In the sound walk she has described some of her experiences with guests, including a couple that design rockets and a lady obsessed with Virginia Woolf.
Margaret brought her daughter two doves as a birthday present, that are currently kept under a net in her garden.  The homing net is used so for approx 8 weeks so that the doves know where ‘home’ is, they are then free to come and go as they please.

Margaret hopes to one day have a large flock of doves to fill the skies and compliment the outstanding views from her b&b on Green Hill.

Margaret outside The Wild Cherry b&b

Margaret's daughter's doves in a homing net in the garden.

The scoffing sound of the hungry doves eating their seed has been added to the sound walk

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Weekends in Wirksworth

7, 8, 14, 15 August 2010

Spending my weekends in Wirksworth is becoming a regular thing.  I actually feel like its my second home, the people are lovely and welcoming and the tea rooms and cafe’s do a great selection tea and cakes- that me sorted.

Last weekend I had the chance to interview more residents and to take a closer look at the town with a short guided tour from Marion, who lives in the round house, just off the Causeway.

Today (15 Aug) Ive decided to change the route for Don’t Shoot the Messenger (sound walk), because  I didn’t feel as though it was taking listeners high up enough, to be able to view the town from above (from a birds eye view) and this was one of the most important criteria for this walk in particular.  It would also be a great shame not to show off the many windy steep pathways that lead to some breath taking views… some that I have only discovered through my meandering today.

I did walk all the way to the top of the Dale to take a look at the middle peak quarry.  It is a surreal and beautiful place, but a long way for listeners to walk and a lot of audio time for me to fill!  When visitors come across a location such as this for the first time, I think it is important to experience it with all your senses and not via a sound walk.

The Don’t Shoot the Messenger sound walk, will now take listeners up the Dale (not all the way to the top!) and down Green Hill, so strong legs and sensible shoes are a must for these majorly steep hills.

The bottom of Green hill - its steeper than it looks!

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