Merchant City July 22
July 22 2011, 1:50 AM
Took myself on a listening walk yesterday to get a sense of the sonic geography of Merchant City. Although there won't be a set route for Soundings and sounds can't be guaranteed to be in the same place at the same or different time another day, streets and spaces do have specific and varied acoustic qualities and I'd like the Soundings participants to experience the richness of this and tap into the timbre of Merchant City. Saltmarket alternates between stillness and flow (traffic and people) depending on the traffic lights at Glasgow Cross, other frequent passers by go back and forth greeting or cursing depending on their state of mind – as ever Glasgow is a friendly place and I had lots of unexpected converstions along my route, Trongate is fiercely busy with buses throbbing and pwssss-ch -ing a Gull colony dominates the roof of T.J.Hughes and the empty site across the street wheeling and Keaarring north to south – I wonder if they've had to alter the frequency of their calls to rise over noise pollution, like other urban birdlife, or if their calls were already suited to this level of volume..I'll post some field recordings soon. On the North side of Merchant City I drifted up and across catching the sounds of air con and other extractors, expensive car wheels rumbling across stone sets, ever present Gulls, the buses and clammer of Trongate filtered by buildings and lack of activity except the occasional cough or comment bursting from a pub door. I ended in Tontine Lane where the high buildings form a courtyard that contains it owns sounds and funnels in some from elsewhere. Met Paul one of the Sounder Guides in the evening to share a bit about our practices and interest in making this kind of work with the public in public spaces and give him an overview of what to expect. Looking forward to meeting some of the other guides this morning and doing a workshop/test run with them to re-discover the places I visited yesterday and re-invent them with our voices.