Dogs Bark Far Away is a 10:00 sound art work that explores the impact of human-generated noise on nature. It considers that human sounds may overpower natural sounds, but not displace them. The natural sounds remain, if we know how to listen for them. Included in Sounding Nature, a project of Cities and Memories, Oxford, England, to explore how sound needs to form a part of conservation policies.
Object: Sound art
Format: Audio file
Bit Rate: 356kbs
Creator: John F. Barber
Exhibitions / Publications / Broadcasts
The first worldwide, collaborative artistic reflection on our natural environment. 250 artists, from 55 countries, reimagined almost 500 sounds while considering how sound needs to form a part of conservation policies.
Sounding Nature Hits the Headlines
Interviews with Stuart Fowkes, Cities and Memories founder, on BBC Radio, London, England.
Dogs Bark Far Away considers that human sounds may overpower natural sounds, but not displace them. The natural sounds remain, if we know how to listen for them.
Dogs Bark Far Away was created for Sounding Nature, a project of Cities and Memories, a global collaborative field recording and sound art project based in Oxford, England, created and curated by Stuart Fowkes. The theme of this project was to consider the impact of human-generated noise on nature, and how sound should be part of conservation debates and policies.
Sounding Nature has two parts: original field recordings and inspired remixes of those sounds. The challenge was for sound artists to reimagine original field recordings contributed by other sound artists. 250 sound artists, from 55 countries, reimagined nearly 500 field recordings. My work, Dogs Bark Far Away, samples a recording by Noé Mignard of dogs barking in a forest in the Rhone-Alpes region of southern France.
On first listening, Mignard's recording inspired me as a liminal listening experience between two worlds. I wanted to explore the idea of liminal moments and listening further, specifically within a day-in-the-life context. The opening sonic sequence of Dogs Bark Far Away represents sleep and dreams, themselves liminal moments, often unsettling, and including sound. At the moment between waking and dreaming, ascending from the sub-conscious of sleep, dogs are heard barking. I sampled my own soundscapes and field recordings to represent movement throughout one's day, from the relative quiet peace of early morning, through the increased noise associated with work and a busy day, and concluded with coming of evening and the returning prominence of the natural soundscape.
Specifically . . . A river flows through a woodland. Birds call, as do wolves. A rattlesnake is startled in the foreground. Scrub Jays scold from the sides of the sound stage. In the distance, a woodpecker is heard, a soundmark. A moose walks through water, which, splashing, transitions into footsteps in a damp tunnel passage. The impact of anthropogenic sounds almost drowns out the natural sounds, but only temporarily. The sound of the river, now more distant, returns, along with wind in tall grass. A flock of geese pass overhead. Then, at first faintly but slowly becoming more pronounced, sounds of electromagnetic radiation, surrounding us as invisible broadcasts of ambient music. The natural sounds remain, if we know how to listen for them. And when heard, these natural sounds are quite inspiring.
At conclusion, Mignard's field recording is again sampled. Dogs bark far away.