Sand-Y :: da-Y #04 - da birds

june 05, 2005.

[Here's a satellite picture of the island, made by the Aster satellite on july 26, 2001.

ameland - satelliet

Notice Ameland's proud phallic shape - not unbefitting a former whale-hunting base, I guess - which on such a photograph, for some reason seems to be more evident than it is on a drawn maps. Maybe it's because there's no lettering? :-) ] ...


Upon, around and above the breeding ground for sea gulls, just behind the dike to the south of Hollum - on the south-western side of the island - all day there's thousands of sea gulls crammed close together (a colony, several colonies?), whose crying and piercing shrieks ceaselessly weave into this undulating field of 'noise', which is among the most impressive of 'nature sounds' that I ever witnessed 'live' ... black-headed gulls (larus ridibundus, in Dutch: kokmeeuw), common gulls (larus canus, in Dutch: stormmeeuw) and herring gulls (larus argentatus, in Dutch: zilvermeeuw) ... all shouting together ... birds, birds, birds ... a birds' paradise ...

I walked up there with Peter on thursday, with a couple of battery-powered sound toys: we had decided to try to and join the colony in their 'unplugged sessions'. And so we did, at two different spots, both times setting up behind one of Dit Eiland's large green umbrellas, to protect the microphone from the fierce wind blowing in straight from the sea. Our first session we did on top of the dike, amidst the sheep. The most curious of the herd did dare to join in at several occasions, with a soulful bleat or two. For our second session we got closer to the birds, settling on the stones at the foot of the inner dike, near the small rivulet separating dike and breeding grounds. (Of course one is not allowed to - and should not - enter the breeding grounds themselves: if one did, they wouldn't remain breeding grounds for very long, obviously).

Apart from providing a rather curious sight for sheep and the handful of tourists and bird watchers that came biking by, as improvisations, as sonic battles, though, I'm afraid, our sessions weren't much of a success ... The gulls' dense and ceaseless crying allows for great listening, all by itself; any addition simply seems superfluous. (Listen to the second half of our fifth ZandOog Podcast ...)

breeding ground

Yes, the birds easily outdid our own efforts on crackle boxes, recorder, vocals and casio keyboard ... (maybe some next time we should shriek and shout ! ...) The best, actually, was the third and last of our sessions, in which Peter managed to direct the birds by standing up, and then opening the large green umbrella. Which to the gulls must have seemed like the wings of an enemy, some gigantic bird of prey, opening up. For they immediately quieted down, and flocked into the sky .... only to settle back upon their breeding ground and shout again, as soon as he folded the umbrella ... out .... and up .... and in ... and down .... et cetera ... like a clockwork.

the birds

Sitting there on that dike, overlooking the sea in the fierce wind blowing in, while watching these thousands of birds, and hearing the terrifying sound they manage to produce together, it is difficult not to be reminded of Alfred Hitchcock's classic from the early 1960's ... "The Birds" ... which, moreover, indeed is a very interesting sound work. Try to hear/see it (again), if you can. Apart from a short passage where Melanie plays a simple tune on the piano, some minutes of a capella singing by the school kids in class heard from outside of the school by Melanie (who is smoking a cigarette and then sees the birds gathering in the playground, ready to attack), and a whiff of music escaping from the car radio towards the end of the film, when Mitch is tuning into the news, there is no music at all used anywhere in it. The heart of the sound track consists in, of course, the sounds of birds (the flapping of wings, their crying ...) which is a mixture of recorded bird sounds and electronic 'imitations & distortions' of these (the electronic sound production and composition for the film were done by Remi Gassmann and Oskar Sala).
In 1982 Elisabeth Weis published her "The Silent Scream", an interesting monograph on the use and importance of sound in Hitchcock's work. "[... T]here are aural cross-references of all sorts," she writes in the chapter dedicated to 'The Birds'. "[T]he birds sound like machines because of the electronic origins of their sounds, the human beings sound like birds (especially when the children shriek during attacks), and [sometimes] the machines sound like birds or people." [p. 145]
Birds, birds, birds ...

Hitch 'n' Sala

[ added june 9th, 2005 : Michael Peters sent me a short quicktime movie, in which Oskar Sala (1910-2002) tells about his work on the sound-track for "The Birds", using his amazing Mixtur-Trautonium (see picture) ... It was Remi Gassmann that pointed out the instrument's potential to Hitchcock. "Dear Mr. Hitchcock," he writes in a letter dated april 18, 1962. "The recent matter I asked to have brought to your attention [ ... ] concerns a new and, in many respects, very startling development in the creation and application of sound for film sound-tracks. [...] For the first time, we have at our disposal, through electronic generation, what has aptly been called "the totality of the acoustical." Familiar sounds - from common noise to music and esoteric effects - as well as an almost limitless supply of completely unfamiliar sounds, can now be electronically produced, controlled, and utilized for film purposes. The result is much like a new dimension in film productions [...]" ]

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[ Next related SB-entry: Sand-Y, le Placard :: Earlier related SB entry: "Crew cut" ]

Read about the ookoi and Raudio and Stduio on the SoundBlog:
(2022, april 25) - Awesome Foursomes (viii) - No. 664
(2022, march 31) - Awesome Foursomes (vii) - No. 138
(2022, february 20) - Awesome Foursomes (vi) - No. 419
(2021, november 01) - Awesome Foursomes (v) - No. 954
(2021, august 20) - Awesome Foursomes (iv) - No. 793
(2021, july 18) - Awesome Foursomes (iii) - No. 562
(2021, july 09) - Awesome Foursomes (ii)- No. 284
(2021, june 21) - Awesome Foursomes (i) - No. 019
(2021, may 31) - d.ookoi writes b.ookoi (i)
(2020, january 26) - STDUIO Arti: aLife @Hal-fIve
(2020, january 25) - STDUIO Arti: The LⒶst Weekend
(2019, march 03) - ookoi 2.0: the remake of a spect[r]al b[r]and
(2017, april 12) - 1024
(2015, march 07) - The men once in green are now writing a book!
(2014, may 09) - You are NOT Hier!
(2013, july 03) - How to keep devils away
(2013, may 06) - Next Numbr!
(2012, june 24) - Ninja Fruit Plus Instruments
(2012, may 06) - Y.3 = Yltra !
(2012, may 06) - Our final gig / Ons laatste optreden
(2010, may 23) - 'Raise the trumpet, sound the drum'
(2010, april 02) - [Second Life and WudyWudy]
(2010, january 05) - ookoi: onderood
(2009, november 17) - Soli Deo Gloria !
(2009, october 10) - Project Icarus OST
(2009, august 24) - ookoi ShakeNRoll
(2009, july 18) - Pure . Reactive . Music . Hack Day
(2009, april 07) - "Blood and Bottom" (Raudi0GaGa)
(2009, february 21) - Insular arithmetic (ookoi toont)
(2009, january 31) - A glimpse of Heesbeen
(2009, january 15) - Rien à voir
(2008, october 02) - The right to be slow
(2008, june 06) - Raudio Graffiti: almost live !
(2008, february 24) - The Great Washing
(2007, december 04) - I'm an island
(2007, november 20) - Live Beyond the Paradiso, Amsterdam
(2007, september 04) - leve ookoi! (3)
(2007, august 22) - leve ookoi! (2)
(2007, august 12) - leve ookoi! (1)
(2007, april 12) - Back to Berling [Raudio 11/15]
(2007, march 24) - Vicky, Killers and Avatars
(2007, february 15) - Every presentation is a premiere
(2007, january 25) - 1024 Waarden, by ookoi
(2007, january 19) - Preparations for a Second Life
(2006, november 05) - Cellarlar Heroes
(2006, october 20) - Funky shit
(2006, august 14) - placard : la générale
(2006, july 07) - de-'tails of lite house keeping'
(2006, may 06) - jam karet?
(2006, april 04) - 100+ new (r)audio philes ... [3] [Raudio 07]
(2006, march 20) - raudio @cosman's
(2006, march 12) - 100+ new (r)audio philes ... [2] [Raudio 07]
(2006, march 03) - 100+ new (r)audio philes ... [1] [Raudio 07]
(2005, october 12) - Raudio #06 [Raudio 06]
(2005, september 25) - 0 OK, 0:1, life on ze road
(2005, july 31) - Outside - Inside Paradiso
(2005, june 18) - Sand-Y da-Y #5-7 [Raudio 05]
(2005, june 05) - Sand-Y :: da-Y #04 - da birds
(2005, may 26-24) - Sand-Y :: da-Y #03, #02, #01 - Crew cut ; "The truth is out here" ; ::
(2005, may 14) - 9 Beet Stretch [Raudio Special]
(2005, march 31) - Raudio #04 :: "GespRek 1982-2005" [Raudio 04]
(2005, february 10) - raudio #3 (drie/three) [Raudio 03]
(2004, december 08) - pure sound [Raudio 02]
(2004, november 24) - other, and good news! [Raudio 01]
(2004, october 10) - raudio launched
(2004, september 24) - made in ameland
(2004, june 09) - boyzz buzz # listen!global corpus
(2004, may 20-31) - >∞-îl_o_tré

Read some of the ookoi's papers [pdf]:
(2014) - Localized Sounds, Sounding Locations.
Presented at the International Symposium "Locative Media and Sound Art", Kortrijk (be)
(2007) - ookoi - Uptime Publishing Demonstration. (With Jay Needham.)

Read about the ookoi in Gonzo (Circus) [Dutch]:
Gonzo #88, september/october 2008 - Zelfcomponerende Klankstukken

ookoi - The works:
(2015—now) :: writing b.ookoi: pick a number!
(2017) Weekly, 10'24" :: ookoi dooki podcast
(2014) HIER - iPhone app, 4 track album of localized Future Popp
(2013) Y ¬ Y.1024 (HTML5 web app)
(2013) Wandelzand - iPhone app, soundwalk for the Dutch isle of Ameland
(2012) Palm Top Theatre V2
(2010) WudyWudy, machina movie, filmed in Second Life by Evo Szuyuan (trailer)
(2009) ookoi_@_E@rport, Amsterdam - channel 19 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2009) ShakeNRoll, Project Icarus OST - scenes for the RJDJ reactive music iPhone platform
(2009) iRingg®, iPhone ringtones
(2009) 2525 (video)
(2008) L'Ecoute - public space screen video
(2008) Jam Karet I & Jam Karet IV - pocket movies
(2007) Live beyond the Paradiso (USB-stick data-dump)
(2007) Leve ookoi! - channel 16 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2007) 1024 (DVD)
(2007) 1024 Waarden - flash animation
(2006) "Roam Stroam" - channel 12 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2006) Tijdrekken - flash animation
(2005) Sand-Y (Zandoog) - channel 7 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2004) Muziektafel-Tafelmuziek (CD)
(1980) Signs and Symptoms

stationed soother

june 03, 2005.

Gare du Nord soother

This afternoon I fished a soother from the track of line five of the Parisian metro, at the Gare du Nord; on the Place d'Italie bound platform; with my 'fishing rod' ... "Good thinking, you bringing along your rod!" I hear you wink ... or you might suspect that by now this guy has reached the point where, having nothing better to do, he actually goes out hunting for lost soothers? ... Oh, maybe he does, maybe he doesn't ... Fact is: he knew that soother would be there. And as he was passing through the Gare du Nord station on his afternoon's 'business', well, sure that he took his rod!

I had seen it lying before, there on that track. On the early evening of thursday may 19th, just a little over two weeks ago.

That thursday two weeks ago I had to pass through the Gare du Nord, because at the station of Cergy-Préfecture, just minutes before six, someone threw himself before the train bound for Paris Saint Lazare. Young guy, I was told. Carried a walking stick. He and his stick jumped in front of the train entering the station.
-- "En raison d'un accident grave de voyageur le trafic est interrompu sur la ligne A entre ..." -- That's how such 'incidents' are announced through the parisian subway speaker system ...
Seconds after this happened, at Cergy-Perfecture, I came down the escalator from the station hall, and stepped onto the platform. I remember feeling that it was oddly quiet there. And noticed the train not having entered the station fully. Most of it was in, but not all. And there were these passengers' heads, and hands holding bags, hands holding news papers, impatiently peeping out of coach doors and glancing along the platform ... "I suddenly heard this horrible, cracking, sound ... Never heard something like it before in my life," a woman told me. "Someone else on the platform was screaming; along with the high loud shrieking of the trains' brakes. Then it became very quiet. Nothing but a humming in my ears ... which just went on and on and on ... there was nothing but this low humming sound ... and it seemed to last forever."
Also an elderly gentleman carrying a green shopping bag hurriedly whispered several things in my direction, shaking his head. I nodded mine, though I did not understand a word of what he was saying. Someone jotted down the cell phone number of a lady on a piece of paper, who kept pointing at the void between platform and train. Then an SNCF agent appeared, slowly walking down - taking his time & slightly pimp gaiting - towards the end of the platform. Several of the train's coaches were still inside the tunnel. The man carried an enormous flashlight. He was swinging that torch of his, clicking it on and off every now and then. A passenger led him towards a certain spot, where he then entered the train ... After a minute or so he re-appeared, stuck his head out of the other end of the coach. He seemed pretty excited now, big-eyed, adrenalynic, and pointed his light downwards and shouting. "Oui, je l'ai trouvé! Il est là...!" For me at the time it was only then that I realised what all the fuzz was about ...

Suddenly policemen came running, the fire brigade, and all of us being urged back up the escalators ... one can only guess how they all together went about down there after the platform had been cleared ... following procedures ...
But there were no more trains for Paris. Obviously. So we got a bus taking us to the station of Pontoise. That's where I got a train to the Gare du Nord; which in turn made me spot the soother on the track of line 5. Of course I did not jump on the track to pick it up. But while getting onto line 5, I did think about going back for it with my rod later that same evening. I didn't, though, go back to pick up the soother that night. In view of the event I almost witnessed, it just felt too weird, to go and pick something, anything off a metro track ... [When I changed trains at Bastille, I noticed on the information screens that the trains from Cergy were up and running again: "RER A - Incident terminé à 19h25," it read ... now think about this ... it's how long it takes ... ]

Next day I had to catch my train to Amsterdam, on to Ameland ... and I just might have forgotten all about it ... were it not that there actually was this 'pang' of guilt, this sense of having neglected a duty ...

But then today I fulfilled it. Feels good!

[Say there's a train passing on the average every 4 minutes; between 6h00 and 1h00, that makes, say, 300 trains a day; 15 days ... summing up to four thousand and five hundred metro trains that passed over that soother between the time I spotted it, and the time I picked it up ... all that time - and how long between that and the time it originally landed there? - it did not move an inch ... like an urban fucking landmark it was ;.#@ ! @#.;;; -- ,.#; ... stationed there ... shouldn't I start planting them soothers, rather than pick them up ... !?]

[ Earlier related SB entries: 9x9 :: Phound Stufphs ]

« | »

Read all about Found Tapes, Foundtaping and Audio Cassettes (K7s) on the SoundBlog:

(2022, january 11) - 'The Art of K7', vol. 1
(2021, september 11) - The Art of K7 :: Sudokaising [ii] Time Folds
(2020, march 21) - The Art of K7 :: Sudokaising [i]
(2019, november 17) - Foundtapers & Foundtaping in Porto
(2019, februay 08) - CCNL :: Cassette Culture in Linz, Austria [ii] The aesthetics of erasure
(2019, januay 18) - CCNL :: Cassette Culture in Linz, Austria [i] Oral history
(2015, november 22) - Situasonnisme: the City Sonic Festival
(2014, june 19) - Lecture de Cassette
(2013, october 25) - The Art of K7 (prelude) [sketch/book, 1]
(2013, march 23) - "Ma première cassette était vierge..." Mourning & celebrating 50 years of compact cassette
(2012, july 26) - UnOfficial Release
(2010, november 28) - Foundtaping, Maps & Shadows at the Basel Shift Festival (i.)
(2009, november 15) - prof. dr. Cassette
(2009, november 08) - A found tapes meta-map
(2009, october 22) - Founded Tapapes
(2009, september 20) - Found Lost Sound
(2009, july 26) - "You, a bed, the sea ..." [ 1. Athens, sept. 28th 1994 ]
(2009, may 23) - It feels like summer in the city [KT2009, i]
(2009, february 19) - Time and the weather - "? Footage or Fetish" @ Käämer 12, Brussels (ii)
(2009, january 30) - A Tingel Tangle Tape Machine - "? Footage or Fetish" @ Käämer 12, Brussels (i)
(2009, january 15) - Kassettenkopf
(2008, december 08) - un-Tuned City (foundtaping in Neukölln)
(2008, september 14) - Psycho/Geo/Conflux in Brooklyn, NY __i.
(2008, august 31) - " Le chasseur " (foundtaping in brussels_ii)
(2008, june 18) - "Sing Laping, Sing !" (foundtaping in brussels_ i)
(2008, january 06) - Mo' Better Mo-Tapemosphere, 2. Restmuell
(2007, june 16) - Mo' Better Mo-Tapemosphere, 1. "chase away all my fear"
(2007, march 07) - Back to Berlin 2. Found Tapes
(2006, september 28) - jenny likes poets
(2006, september 06) - the sound of almost-no-more words
(2006, june 13) - fotex #49-51
(2006, june 04) - Sonofakunsttoer
(2006, april 17-25) - 'sudoku-solution' in 'de nor'
(2006, january 19) - ride, buggy, ride ... !
(2006, january 13) - axiologie for dummies
(2005, november 06) - found in maastricht
(2005, august 28) - tête-de-tettine / tête-de-cassette
(2005, august 23) - tape busters and coordinates
(2005, july 02) - Conquering America ...
(2005, june 03) - stationed soother
(2005, april 21) - Low-fi : the new Readymades
(2005, march 24) - d_Revolution #1 ...
(2005, february 07) - found tapes for spies
(2005, january 28) - "parfois l'amour tourne à l'obsession ..."
(2004, november 06) - à la tranquilité
(2004, july 20) - instructions in arabic
(2004, may 08) - phound stufphs
(2003, august 04) - new acquisitions #7, #8
(2003, may 04) - r2r
(2003, april 24) - splice and tape
(2003, april 15) - new acquisitions #5,#6
(2003, january 09) - finders keepers
(2002, november 24) - exhibit #4
(2002, november 08) - what fascinates me
(2002, november 07) - more on found tape montage
(2002, september 14) - detour
(2002, september 09) - 2 down, 3 to go
(2002, september 06) - magnetic migration

Read about Found Tapes in Gonzo (Circus) [Dutch]:

Gonzo #163, mei/juni 2021 - Lang Leve Lou Ottens
Gonzo #137, januari/februari 2017 - Het Kaf en het Koren


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