Site-specific audio walk at Daylesford Farm, Gloucestershire, England
MP3 player and headphones, 8 tracks of variable duration
Grounded, Leaping was commissioned and made during a residency for the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World in England, for the 2015 United Nations International Year of Soils.
For the residency, I was sited at Daylesford Organic Farm, in Gloucestershire, England. I began by familiarizing myself with Daylesford and surrounds by touring the farm, meeting staff and locals, and by walking the farm trails and nearby footpaths. I then interviewed Daylesford staff and local community members about their experiences with and relationships to soil. After selecting portions and editing the audio tracks, I constructed an overall audio story that loosely follows the human life cycle (the first voice is a child’s, the last is an elderly man’s), and which provides a type of portrait of Daylesford. I mapped a trail through the farm’s Market Garden that corresponds with the content of the stories told. The result is a site-specific audio walk at Daylesford, as well as a gallery audio installation.
I chose to respond to the notion of ‘terroir’, a sense of place based on the soil, by drawing from what people working at the farm or living nearby already know and feel about the soil. While walking around the farm, listeners of Grounded, Leaping must piece together what they are hearing with what they are seeing, feeling, and smelling, and also with what they must imagine.