1. Ned Morris
Hey, I’m Ned (he/him). I’m 20 years old and currently on an exchange year studying at UC Berkeley. The 5 sound recordings below were all produced over the course of the fall of 2023 in Joel’s class - Sonic Geographies.
Exploring space through the medium of sound has been a really cool opportunity. It’s taught me that fieldwork can be an immersive & creative process, opposed to a mundane necessity for producing geographic papers. Kudos to Joel and April for changing my perspective and making this class possible.
Bushy Dell Creek Soundwalk
The first of my compositions this semester, this piece utilises extended crossfades to transport the listener from the tranquility of suburban Piedmont down to the shorelines of Lake Merritt. Considering the geographical proximity of Piedmont and Lake Merritt the degree of sonic contrast between the two areas is startling. I hope that this contrast comes across in the soundwalk - which generally moves from a selection of softer to harsher sounds as we approach Lake Merritt.
Pinole Creek Soundwalk
Throughout the course of the semester, I attempted to experiment with differnet ways of recording and composing my soundwalk pieces. Drawing off contemporary Geographic scholarship to envisage a ‘landscape’ as a space which we are actively encountering and engaging with, I decided to forefront the idea of ‘encounter’ during my soundwalk in Pinole. Through actively generating sounds (most prominently during the purcussion of the drain), I participated in actively changed the sonic landscape, thereby demonstrating that recording sound doesn’t have to be a passive process of capturing what is already present.
Clement St. Soundwalk
This soundwalk details San Francisco’s Clement Steet which runs from Arguello Blvd. all the way down to Sutro Heights. The section of the street which we walked along was host to multiple East Asian shops, eateries and supermarket. The composition uses a lot of hard cuts to transition between short recordings that I made on the walk. Hopefully this conveys a sense of collage to the listener.
Lobos Creek Soundwalk
Perhaps one of the more experimental of my soundwalks, this recording incorporates passages of text written by Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck during the 20th Century. The exerpts from Steinbeck and Kerouac are narrated by Siri, creating an uneasy overtone which alludes to San Francisco’s decline as a hub of arts and culture and subsequent rise as a tech city. Long stretches of ambient sound recorded in San Francisco’s Presidio give the listener time to reflect on the forces that continue to change the city.
San Lorenzo Creek Soundwalk
This composition is defined by a series of intimate conversations that Maya and I had with locals in the Hayward area. Hayward is a unique area within the Bay as it still retains something of a hyper-localised, small town, working class idenity. People were considerably more eager to engage in conversation than at other locations, and had plenty of insight about the ways in which the area had changed. The primacy of interviews to this composition gives it a documentational feel.