Symphony for the speechless

Aurelia Duplouich May 2020
Sound Collage Duration: 3 min 41 seconds

The idea of making a soundtrack came from being in lockdown in a farm in the French Alps, isolated from any other human beings apart from my own family and two farmers. Like many, I experienced this time as a moment of introspection and because everything around me was about nature, the cycle of life and death became very present.

I started teaching myself how to mix tracks for my vocal harmony group, so my new routine included lots of time spent practising vocal parts, mixing them with others and basically producing music rather than making it.
I began recording sounds of my life here: my kids playing with newborn lambs and shepherds dogs, or walking in the fields, but I have also given them lines to read. They decided it was more fun to act them out. The incredible variety of sounds in an isolated rural place I hope were giving an idea of how beautiful and unspoilt it all was here.

In the same time, we were witnessing death all the time, not just the death toll that was painfully enunciated at the evening news, but also right here, a couple of meters away, a dog dying of old age, chicken eaten by the foxes one night, a baby lamb slaughtered by the shepherds dog because he wouldn’t feed….and more tragically, many pine trees dying of viruses, a direct consequence of recurring droughts and rise in temperature.

The idea of a collage was inspired by Robert Rauschenberg and his view that anything could be used, not just what is aesthetically pleasing. I have, in the same way, left mistakes, spontaneous laughs or curses, background noises and done a very basic editing.

I’d love to continue developing this piece back into a proper 4 parts symphony type composition, and collaborate with a performer/mime or signing-artist to develop a full installation of it. AD

Composition /Voice: Aurelia Duplouich
Piano: Ricardo Gosalbo Guenot
Readings: Evie Raford, Teo Raford, Noah Raford

Image: Aurelia Duploouich – Mapping research
Aurelia - Mapping Research