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My art residency in the small town of Nodar, Portugal (pop. 30), April 10-28 2007

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quietAmerican says:

From April 10 to 28, 2007, I was an artist-in-residence at the Nodar Guest Studio in Nodar, Portugal, courtesy of Binaural.

While in Nodar I developed a site-specific installation in response to my experience there, named As Paredes Têm Ouvidos, which translates as "the walls are listening."

The project had two origins:

(1) how struck I was immediately by the use of local stone in all construction -- which quickly acquired a covering of many small flowering plants and ferns; and

(2) how stymied I felt in my attempts to record more than the merely public or external aspects of life in Nodar, as an outsider, especially one who did not speak Portuguese.

On a long hike a week after my arrival I had the idea to fuse these ideas, and (to my delight) turn my "obstacle" into the subject of my work, literally, by making a series of recordings inside the nooks and crannies of the very walls that were frustrating my attempts to fully access Nodar. (I had microphones with me small enough to insert into small holes, cracks, and crannies.)

From the three dozen or so recordings I made in the walls in and around Nodar, I composed five thematic mixes, which were installed back into a wall in Nodar as shown. (I used iPod Shuffles small enough to place in the same kind of holes that I recorded in.)

I am particularly pleased that experiencing the installation transparently presented the idea of listening to the unremarked soundscape occurring within the hollows of the wall.

In these small, unique places (not unlike Nodar), some, but not all, of the sound both inside and outside whatever the wall contains meet and mix, imperfectly.

The soundscape from this installation is available in the 'related projects' section of quietamerican.org; there are also seven excerpted recordings from my time in Nodar posted at quietamerican.org/vacation.html.
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MaureenShaughnessy says:

fantastic project! I found your flickr set through the link at quiet american -- and found that sitethrough a short mention today in Notebookism. I am so glad to have stumbled across your treasure of sounds! Amazing work. Thank you so much for sharing so generously with the rest of us. I am listening right now as I type this comment, to the sounds of the marina -- it is a long recording. I am in awe. It's so fun to listen to in my home office today - we live in land-locked Montana and I miss the ocean so much. thank you again!
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