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Hearing Oil

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Over Spring Break, I took a Zoom H4N, a T-mic, a contact mic, a Sony cassette recorder, and a hydrophone to Southern California. I recorded sounds in Huntington Beach and Santa Barbara. I was interested in sounds relating to oil. The sounds could include, but are not limited to: cars, trucks, library music, synthesizers, pumpjacks, plastic frisbees scraping on the ground, the ocean, a chain-link fence surrounding a pumpjack, a gas station, an oral history about the beginning of the environmental movement, etc..

With this initial project I’ve been interested in the juxtaposition of recording technologies. I used a cheap cassette recorder with a HIGH signal-to-noise ratio…and a digital recorder that captures a broader range of the frequency spectrum. I’m aiming to do away with notions of “better” and “worse” and replace those ideas with “different.”

The audio I’m uploading is from South Huntington right by a bunch of bars, the ocean, and a Dairy Queen. It’s a pumpjack: Oil Pumpjack

 


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