Above our heads

by Lizzie Pogson

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Every year just after Christmas near my home in central Victoria, corellas flock in large numbers. Their raucous presence anticipates the move into the second half of summer, and simultaneously brings back memories of the previous summer: weather events, people, places and feelings. I remember feeling uncertainty about the impending winter after having only just settled into summer life. The corellas' sound symbolises this feeling; like summer itself, their sonic presence disappears as quickly as it arrives.

Dusk brings more than growing darkness. Sound and life spills from the trees as diurnal and nocturnal birds trade greetings. Their songs and the subsequent reflections on the surroundings act as a guide not so much for navigation but for my own placement within the terrain. A willy-wagtail’s call is eerily shrill on a still moonlit night. A seemingly lonely owl hoots with somber, mechanical regularity. In the stillness that comes with night there is an increasing awareness of both the texture, the melody, and the rhythm of the natural world.

I check in with my young friends who throw their bird words at me. Their voices provide a counterpoint; another point of interpretation of the world above our heads.

These field recordings are memories, and are composed as I remember them: not chronologically but woven together just like birds gather, disperse and twist in a flock - a murmuration. It is a construction of a new world based on sonic memories that is familiar but disorientating, providing a parallel between the manufactured and the natural.

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released January 18, 2015

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Lizzie Pogson Australia

Lizzie Pogson’s practice involves the collection and abstraction of field recordings. By juxtaposing natural and synthetic sound material in different combinations recorded natural spaces act as environments for the inclusion of synthetic sounds and vice versa. Having trained as a classical violinist, many of Lizzie’s works are overtly musical. ... more

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