Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

19 August 2009

The Elephant and the Submarine

WILL MONTGOMERY IS a south London-based electronic musician with an interest in field recording. His Selvageflame website contains details of his releases and provides links to some of his compositions, which I like and think you ought to hear.

Of particular interest are two projects of his rooted in south London. First, Will’s explorations of the sounds and spaces of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre, one of a kind as shopping centres go. It starts here with a quote from Dickens describing the fierce joy of Londoners looking forward to a public hanging in Southwark. The underlined words link to pop-up pages which play field recordings made in and around the centre: buskers in echoing subways, passing voices, a harsh hissing from the Faraday monument, and an unnerving, cicada-like sound – what could it be? His article extract succinctly explains the background of the project.

Second, a composition made with sounds Will recorded when he gained access to an odd-looking structure housing the underground boiler room for a housing estate. Local people call it the Camberwell Submarine, and the picture below comes courtesy of urban75’s extensive online collection of London photographs:

Camberwell Submarine

The piece is entitled Submarine. Turn the lights down, close your eyes, and listen.