Central to my interest in composing, soundscape and sound design is the creation of all-immersive atmosphere that gets to the very core of the subject that is being displayed. Music, my main love, can be inadequate at conveying information as it is so reliant on the audience being fully tuned into what the creator is saying. This leads to a partitioning of the audience into a group that understands, a group that doesn’t understand and a group that draws it’s own conclusions. In my opinion, this leads to elitism and snobbery as the ‘understanders’ and ‘think-they-understanders’ want to bolster their egos by letting the world know how clever they are because they can understand the vague messages. Music, so often touted as the voice of the people, then becomes a voice of people in a select crowd of accepted personalities, ironically mirroring the elitist groups of business people and cultural directors that are providing the force against which these ‘artists’ usually want to rebel.
Of course, music still is my main love and the intricacies that can be created and used to work with as well as against emotion have the potential for extreme beauty. However, as mentioned, music is not always the best way to convey ideas, and this is where a branch of my interest comes to light.
I wanted to create some work that is all-inclusive and able to communicate an experience without it being only understood by musicians, music fans, or artists, etc, etc. I wanted to create an experience or atmosphere that anybody could take part in but would still communicate a specific message. This all-inclusive ideology goes hand-in-hand with the notion of community, and coupled with the fondness I have of my local area I saw an idea forming. Also, I’ve always had a need to promote diversity and not let the unconventional be dominated by mainstream notions.
This is where the idea for Secret Soundtrack came from. Secret Soundtrack is a hidden experience that you can immerse yourself in and be a part of at any time that suits you. Also, no single performance is ever the same although it’s basic thread will always be present no matter when you experience it. Secret Soundtrack isn’t music, but it is the creation of an atmosphere or show that you are a part of. It creates rhythm, melody and progression similar to what you might expect from music but it challenges your perception of the use of sound in atmosphere and it makes you focus on your surroundings whilst allowing you to get lost in a fantasy world. The aim of the project is to bring attention to a specific area and to allow an audience to get acquainted with a culture. Familiarity is a precursor to fondness, which then leads to more positive word-of-mouth. This should develop more positive attention, which should increase affluence on an area’s own terms. The dull British suburban high street hasn’t been able to achieve this and you can see this just be wondering around them and seeing the domination of big business. This has made so many high streets all look the same. In my opinion, this is both boring and stifling to innovation and on a more sinister note people will be less familiar with the concept of diversity and therefore naturally suspicious and negative towards it.
Secret Soundtrack is almost finished and I aim to bring it to Deptford, south-east London this summer. I am currently drumming up interest from local business so they may be a part of this project. It doesn’t cost anything to take part, so if you represent a business along Deptford High Street and you like this idea please do get in touch for more information. For everyone else, I’ll divulge more specific information as the project progresses…