Kingdom of light / Fixed duration

Royaume de lumière / Kingdom of light and La durée poignardée / Fixed duration are two soundscapes. The title of each plays on a painting by the Belgian painter René Magritte. Both were composed by Matthew Houston of field recordings taken by me during summer 2018. The recordings were taken within a 30-mile radius of my house in East Flanders, Belgium, in locations I accessed on foot, by bicycle, and by train. The albums offer two radiant and overlapping sonic pictures of a place that exists in part only as memory.

As I took the recordings, I wanted to be sure not to obscure the presence of my body or incidental characteristics of the landscape (wind, movement of material across the microphone). This served as a reminder taking a recording like this is an embodied process (as is listening), one that happens in a place, as a person.

I made the recordings on my mobile phone for the same reason as I work with discarded materials in some of my other projects: it is accessible, straightforward, relatively democratically available, always to hand, and, once I have it, free to use.

Royaume de lumière was installed with my composite painting Royaume de lumière x 144 as part of the exhibition Voyager: Migrational Narratives (January 30 – March 6 2020) at Emery Community Arts Center in Farmington, ME (US). Matthew Houston programmed a Raspberry Pi to play the soundscape at intervals throughout the exhibition.

You can access the recordings, released via Rough Draft Records, here. The album images were designed by me from photographs taken en situ.