unrecognised interference (SIGNAL Sound Commission)
SIGNAL Sound Commissions 2019
Unrecognised Interference brings the sounds of the Yarra River into the human-orientated cityscape of Melbourne in an attempt to create a sense of understanding and awareness of how our daily actions interact and affect this stretching body of water. The small portion of the Yarra River that runs through central Melbourne, along the Signal Sound Walk, is one small part of the larger river ecosystem, which carries the negative human influence through to the bay area.
This work explores the strong cultural and meditative symbolism of water, commonly that of purity and tranquillity. Digital manipulation transforms the river into a droning, ambient soundscape before revealing the true sounds of the river, showing the incongruous nature of this symbolism with the Yarra's current environmental state. Constructed patterns and pulses prompted by the natural movements of water ultimately reveal the human control that now dominates the river's flow.
From the sound collected from the Yarra itself what can also be heard in the raw recordings are heavy vibrations, from speed boats and construction sites, and interactions with various alien objects; trollies, soft drink cans, and sheets of plastic. The specific space of the riverside walkway where this work is presented creates a dichotomy of idealisations. The benefits humans gain from the Yarra is countered by the ignorance of their own destructive actions. By highlighting the Yarra's narrative of degradation, through the guise of its meditative benefits, will hopefully cause an in depth reflection of our place in this ecosystem.