34 Tuckwell Rd Ghost Structure

room 7 ECHOES


During my daily afternoon commute, I took particular note of the fact that the bus route always passed by an empty lot on Tuckwell Road, near where I would get off. This piqued my interest, sparking an internal series of questions.

Why is the lot empty? Was there ever a house here? If so, what was it like?

A quick internet search gave me the general details. 34 Tuckwell Road. There was once a house here, up until its demolition around 2008, and from then on the lot had been sold to various real estate agencies. Beyond that, however, information was scarce.

The more I looked into the mystery of this block of land, the more the inspiration grew for this program. I was eager to imagine the story this lot told; what memories it held, the lives it had facilitated, and the kind of people who had once called it home.

Eventually I had reached my limit - I needed to create some portrayal of this story. This Echoes walk is exactly that. I created a ‘ghost structure’ of sound - my interpretation of the noises that may have once emanated from the house that once stood at 34 Tuckwell Road. I wanted this walk to convey the memories that this house held, through the sonic footprint of an imaginary family who may have once lived here. These sounds represent this family’s highs, their lows, and the everyday mundane that has long since faced erasure.

This walk takes the form of a home layout, travelling through various rooms within the ghost structure, allowing for a sonic glimpse into the past, while a nostalgic and retrospective soundtrack consisting of sombre guitar chords and gentle synth pads washes through the background. I composed and recorded the backing track to set the tone of the walk - with heavy reverb and delay to create this sense of looking back in time, reflecting on the emotions of the land’s former residents.

The walk begins in the imaginary front yard, where would have once stood a driveway. We hear the sounds of members of the family as they enter their car, and start the engine, with muffled interjections from their favourite radio station. The elements of this Echo all came from sound recordings of my car with a Shure SM57. I placed the microphone on a stand as I started my engine and let it idle, before switching it off. This was layered with tracks of the doors opening and closing, as well as a recording of the radio taken from outside the car (which ran through a low pass filter to create a muffled sound).

The roar of the diesel engine fades as we approach the front door, and we are met with the sound of heavy, exhausted footsteps, nearing the front verandah. We observe as we hear the first of the lows; the sounds of somebody entering the house after a long and tiring day. The jangle of their keys, the clacking of the latch, and their weary sigh as their belongings thud to the ground. These elements were all recorded with a handheld Rode reporter mic, as I wanted a dynamic mic to capture the loud peaks of the door latch.

Contrastingly, as we head further into the house, we experience the joy of the whole family cheering on their favourite football team, as they crowd around the TV in their living room. These recordings were taken with a Sennheiser shotgun mic, as I wanted to capture the general noise and atmosphere of the room rather than an isolated directional sound.

As we walk past the living room we approach the dining room, where the parents of the family engage in cheery conversation, while they clean up and organise shopping and cutlery. This was composed of a single track taken with an SM57.

Following a sharp right turn from the dining room, we enter the kitchen, where we experience a layered atmosphere of kitchen noises, while a member of the family sneaks around, presumably preparing a midnight snack. This was potentially the most complex zone to create, as it required the most creative manipulation. The sound is backed by the hum of the fridge, we take a journey around various appliances in the kitchen. In order to make the sound more audibly distinguishable, I arranged several glass bottles next to each other on the fridge’s door shelf, which rattle when the fridge is opened. Additionally, the microwave sounds consist of two tracks, which were recorded simultaneously with two microphones; one capturing the beeps and door sounds, while the other captured its low hum.

Beyond the kitchen we pass the door of a teenager’s bedroom, as he sits inside it practising the guitar. The blaring volume of the amp warrants an irritated response from the teenager’s mother, as she repeatedly shouts at him to turn it down. The guitar sounds were recorded with an SM57 sitting about two metres away from the amp’s speaker, and the audio was once again processed with a low pass filter, in order to mimic the sound of an amp behind a closed door. I captured my own mother’s irritated shouting with the same microphone, along with the door knocking. These elements were panned to opposite sides of the stereo field in order to create a greater sense of spatial immersion.

Listen carefully for all the details for full immersion, best walked at around 1.5km/h, enjoy!



The Echoes






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