The sounds inside a cash machine
South Gate Street, Bath – two parallel recordings showing the real and hidden sound worlds on any high street in the UK. On the surface, shoppers milling around and a busker at the end of the street.
But underneath that, there are the sounds from the inside of a cash machine, its whirrings and electrical sounds.
Here, I used an induction coil pickup microphone on a cash machine on South Gate Street while using it to withdraw some cash, and recorded the sounds caused by the electrical activity within. The coil pickup mic works by picking up on the internal sounds of electrical or electronic devices, amplifying the electromagnetic activity to audible levels.
I then layered several instances of these cash machine sounds and applied some effects to give them an even more otherworldy character.
On top of that, certain sections of the original field recording are emphasised in the memory version to coincide with the original piece, as in the rolling of a suitcase’s wheels or the final section of the busker’s song – the piece was conceived to be listened to at the same time as the field recording to illustrate the hidden sounds going on beneath any high street.
Installation mix (best listened to on headphones):