Starling Broadcast is a sound recording of electroacoustic music utilising field recordings, improvised digital manipulation and synthesis.
The field recordings, made over three subsequent dusk evenings in late November 2018, capture the sound of starlings roosting beneath the Folkestone Harbour’s 1930s swing bridge. The birds gather together and exchange information, heard through a range of vocalisations as can be seen in the accompanying spectrograms.
The rich and textural bird song is explored through musique concrète and ecoacoustic compositional techniques, including varispeed, delay and spatial effects, filtering and pitch tracking algorithms: where select frequencies are converted into synthesized sound.
Starling Broadcast was exhibited in the disused Folkestone Harbour Signal Box, yards from the roost site, as part of the Profound Sound Festival 2019, with over 500 people visiting the space across two days.
Quarantine is a stop-motion short film by Astrid Goldsmith, about a troupe of Morris-dancing badgers living in the shadow of a borderland quarantine facility. It was commissioned by the BFI and BBC4 as part of their prestigious Animation 2018 talent scheme and screened to a capacity audience at the BFI before being shown on BBC4.
The 13-minute film’s orchestral score is interwoven with elements of traditional folk and world music (which often occur sequentially if not simultaneously), following the exploits of a diverse cast of characters.
El Dorado is a triptych of soundscapes combining original music and field recordings capturing the unique sounds of Folkestone Warren: a designated local nature reserve (LNR) and site of special scientific interest (SSSI).
House of Easement is a sound installation of pastiche Tudor style music specially composed in response to the ‘mock-Tudor’ architecture of the public toilets at Pleydell Gardens, Folkestone.
The composition takes the form of a pavan and galliard: a pair of courtly dances popular during the Tudor period. Traditionally, these tunes would be dedicated to, or named after, a nobleman or other notable person.
Score to the film ‘Polymer’ an animated short sci-fi horror film by Astrid Goldsmith, and commissioned by the 2016 Folkestone SALT Festival, a festival of the sea and environment. Watch the trailer here.