Gen.XXX.14 by Lorraine Clarke

Lorraine Clarke is a artist whose work is hard to categorise it explores the link between magic, medicine and religion in work that takes its inspiration from areas as diverse as ancient amulets to reproductive cloning.

In 2007 Lorraine was working towards a major exhibition: ‘Nosce Te Ipsum’ to be held at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London. One piece of work in the exhibition was to be a film loop in which a number of objects that Lorraine had created would be brought to life through digital animation by Kate Sullivan. My contribution to this piece of work was in designing a soundscape that would bring out the movement of each of the objects.

Once the animation was complete I spent some time viewing the objects as they cycled through their movements. Some of the movement was so subtle – fine hairs unfolding – that it took quite a few upclose viewings to even notice them.

My initial response was that I had to find ways to guide the viewer towards each object as it moved. The way I approached this was to think of certain classes of sound for each object. I grouped these as damp or wet sounds, crunchier sounds, as well as snappier and  fibrous sounds.

For a few days I experimented in recording sounds in my kitchen of boiling, cutting, twisting, dripping, plus rubbing and eating. Then with a palette of sounds I began applying them to the movements.

As I developed the piece each of the objects did develop a character. I went back and recorded more sounds to accentuate that character. This became a very fluid and organic process I’d notice something in the movement or in the sounds and then go to the kitchen and see how I could add to that. At a certain point I had too much sound and then began to strip them back to give each of the objects space and clarity.

When it was finally placed in the gallery and looped – so closely did the sounds match the objects that even though I new the process involved in recording and mixing them. These most definitely were the sounds that the objects would make if you came across them away from the gallery.

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