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Utopia D1: an atheist fleeing persecution?

Utopia section D1
Utopia section D1

Religion in Utopia – Daniel Williams, Frome, UK

“I always wanted the piece to have a loose narrative structure and the fact that a seaward journey is required to reach the church; seemed like a good jumping off point. One assumes that the settlements seen across the bay are the colonies of Utopians resettled on the mainland due to over-population on the island.

With this in mind I figured the character in my piece might be making the journey to find solace at a place of worship other than those on Utopia. That perhaps these Utopian colonies have evolved their religious practice through isolation. Or maybe the character is an atheist, fleeing persecution on Utopia, who decides upon one last attempt to absolve his sins before his escape?

Either way I had set out in my mind the sequence from ship to church (as it were) and the kind of sounds necessary to get me there. I spent the second half of August in Scotland and so all the recorded sections were done there; the boat sounds coming from a moored rowing boat on a small Loch south of Newtonmore. All the other sounds come from my library of my own field recordings or from

The boat impact sounds involved some pitching down and multi-tracking whereas everything else (bar the ending) is simply layered with various fades and real time changes of EQ. With regards the ending. I wanted firstly, the sensation that our traveller hadn’t found what he was looking for. And secondly, for it to mirror the beginning.

I distorted the sounds of the Mass using an audio buffer/Granulator with the wet signal automated upwards and the dry downwards. The resulting wash of noise I hope represents the travellers inner turmoil over his faith. the fade back to the sea then representing his continuing journey (literally and spiritually).
Ultimately it’s the tension between the divine and the human in More’s work that led me to this piece. At times he seems at odds with him self over the validity of the church (or at least those in it); though he never questions the need for it. And at times one is left wondering if the book is a satire on the Europe of the day or on the very notion of an ideal society.

Then of course there is the ultimate dichotomy at the heart of any Utopia, in that no two persons idea of such will necessarily be the same.”


Portuguese Sanctuaries – Jose Sonsofera, Portugal

“Sounds from: Rocha da Mina, Alandroal – prehistoric sanctuary with stairs that lead to nowhere.

Santuário de Nossa Senhora de Aires, Viana do Alentejo – Portuguese baroque sanctuary.

Ruas Floridas Redondo 2015

I imagined how the place sounds on a summer Sunday morning.”