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Underground textures at Regent’s Park

The picturesque Regent’s Park tube station is today’s destination, next to one of London’s most famous green spaces. Here we get the lift from the platforms up to the top, exit the station and hear an accordion busker entertaining passers-by.

City version:

Flora Henderson writes of her reinterpretation:

“The varied textures and pitches of the sounds in the recording immediately resonated.

“I wanted to explore these textures and pitches with acoustic instruments, so I took an electro-acoustic approach to this work.

“My approach has been informed by research that I have done on timbre and the Japanese shakuhachi flute, and the way in which contemporary composers have used the wide timbral compass of this instrument.

“I made basic analog recordings of the shakuhachi and cello (both instruments are played by me), then combined and manipulated the recordings in Logic Pro 9 in concert with the Regent’s Park recording to develop this Cities and Memory composition.”

Memory version by Flora Henderson:

Next up, a reimagined sound created entirely on iPad by Ashley Elsdon:

“I wanted to make a piece that captured a series of ideas I had about both the station itself and also about travelling on the tube in general.

“Firstly I wanted the piece to be obviously about the experience of the station, so it opens with the announcer and a train pulling out of the station itself.

“The first part of the rhythm is made entirely from sounds from the station, its lifts and the trains. As the piece develops a second rhythm appears and slowly takes over.

“The rhythm is again made up of slices from sounds from the station but is generated from a stochastic sample slicer using a markov chain to both determine which slices are played and the manipulation of each slice. I wanted to introduce this level of randomness because of the often random nature of travelling on the tube.

“Lastly as the piece fades there is a strange noise element that persists until the end.

“This is the only part which wasn’t taken from the original recording. It is a sonification of a historical photograph outside the station.

“I wanted to add this element and end with it to remind us that the station has a great history which is always there.”

“In terms of how the piece was made, I created the entire piece on an iPad mini. I started it on the platform at Regent’s Park Station, and finished it there too.”

In its making I used the following apps:

  • AudioShare
  • BeatMaker 2
  • MultiTrack DAW
  • AUFX: Space
  • AlitSpace
  • AudioReverb
  • Dedalus FX
  • Virtual ANS
  • Final Touch

Memory version by Ashley Elsdon: