"Composing's one thing, performing's another, listening's a third. What can they have to do with one another?" - John Cage

 

Sound is received and reflected by the other and also by the space itself, and because of its spatial durational form and affecting attributes, sound is a method of drawing. Sound impacts the character and interpretation of place as it travels through place.

 

I invited participants to Driftsing in East London's Bunhill Fields, commonly known as The resolution graveyard. This sight was a burial ground since at least the 5th century, and later became the place where nonconformist were laid to rest. William Blake and Daniel Defoe's head stones stand next to each other, while at the far end of the same isle a carved statue of John Bunyon lies on top of his tomb. These three seminal writers are the fathers of English Phycogeography. Blake, Defoe and Bunyon's metaphysical and physical wanderings of the English landscape and society laid the foundations upon which later observers scribed the human condition in relation to the environment - and built a history of exploration, wandering and nonconforming.

 

On March the 1st 2009, the rain did not fall and the birds sang so insistently that I suspected one small robin had discovered his own Bunhill Fields 'sweet spot'. Perched at the end of a leafless branch, the bird directed its song in such a way that all the buildings around the field expanded and echoed the bright little tune into a great powerful alarm. Over twenty people took part in the 'resolution Driftsong'. Driftsinging references theories concerning the origins of speech, through imitation and response to animal and natural sounds, repeated, echoed, mimicked sound moving through place. It is impacted by place and also affects those inhabiting that place. Participants walked through place sounding in response to each other and place.