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Below Sea Level

by Simon Scott

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Robert Macfarlane: "It's an amazing sound world, into which you fall (subside)".

fen |fen| n. a low and marshy or frequently flooded area of land: a flooded fen. (the Fens) flat, low-lying areas of eastern England, formerly marshland but largely drained for agriculture since the 17th century.

Below Sea Level follows the creative process of tracing the contours of the landscape to discover the ephemeral acoustic environment. There is very little evidence of previously detailed musical, acoustical or aural studies of the Fens despite music composition and the natural sonic landscape being associated together since the eighteenth century (Vivaldi wrote his composition The Four Seasons in 1723). Books have been written, maps drawn and photographs taken, but never a sonic exploration of areas that reside below mean sea level.

To contextualise this project, the history of the Fens and previous writings on sound ecology will be discussed. In particular, the work of the Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995), R. Murray Schafer (b. 1933) and Bernie Krause (b. 1938) will be considered. The creative process of actively listening, the implications of recording the natural world using technology and the manipulation of natural sounds used for musical composition are also explored.

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released April 17, 2019

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Simon Scott England, UK

Simon Scott is a British composer, mastering engineer and sound artist from The Fens in Cambridgeshire, England.

His work explores creative methodologies of field recording, the process of active listening, the implications of recording the natural world using technology and the manipulation of natural sounds used for musical composition.
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