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by David de la Haye

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Microcosm 07:03


The EP 'Seventhwave' emerged from the watery soundscapes of Durlston (Dorset, UK) during an artist residency.

These original compositions began as field recordings made above, and beneath, the waters surrounding Durlston Country Park on the Jurassic Coast of South West England. Tune into the sublime sounds of secluded coves, tiny rock pools, and the aquatic rhythms of the community pond, each expanded into delicate electroacoustic, sometimes glitchy, territories.

Thanks to Suzie Cross and Harry Ovington who made the long journey down from the North East well worth it!


The entrance to Durlston Castle is lined by stone slabs that demarcate a journey through time. Beginning with the first ecosystems, emerging one billion years ago, we move through the Ordovician Period when plants first emerged to the later Jurassic era which this stretch of coastline is most famed for. The current era of the Anthropocene is yet to be engraved in these stones, but is etched indelibly into the landscape all over the globe.

Recording audio that is beyond human reveals that each of these periods has a ‘sound’, from the stridulating noises of tiny invertebrates to the bubbling rhythms of aquatic plants. But the question invited for this exhibition takes us back even farther, asking: “What sound does a stone make?”

Geological time is perceived as very gradual with changes taking place over almost unimaginable durations. But when those same stones are quarried, and are transformed into something like a house or harbour wall, this all changes; they become framed in human-time.

This change in perspective inspires these works. One piece offers the chance to listen as though our ears are underwater, where sound travels at a different rate. Rhythms may pulse continuously for hours, a ritualistic performance conducted by plants. Extended periods of quietude are interjected by sudden pops and squeaks as sediment shifts. Another work explores the notion that, like the quarried stone, these recorded sounds must now begin an inevitable journey into structural decay. Grains of sound are digitally expanded to offer a glimpse into microcosms of sonic complexity.

Unearthed from my short time exploring Durlston, these field recordings have memories and stories deep within their frequencies. Made during the long weekend of the Queen’s jubilee there are tell-tale signs of celebration, sounding distant and hollow to my microphones which listen to quieter voices deep within the woodland.

Here is a chance to give the landscape a voice, and listen to lessons it may have to tell.


released September 22, 2022

David de la Haye


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David de la Haye Durham, UK

David is an underwater sound recordist, composer, researcher, and music technician.

When not listening to his pond he plays bass for internationally renowned Folk groups 'Monster Ceilidh Band' and 'Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies'.

He lives in Durham and is a PhD candidate at Newcastle University.
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