Unit 13 Observation Task

This task involved undertaking primary research by going out into Canterbury and recording sounds from different areas and noting how they made me feel. I did this because I wanted to explore how specific areas produce sounds that evoke different feelings and emotions and also develop my understanding of how different locations that are close together can produce different sounds as for my Final Major Project I want to do something that will create different feelings for the audience. I planned to collect the sounds from the high street and the Dane John Gardens. I also recorded sounds from some other areas to be able to get clearer sounds of cars driving past. I recorded my research using a zoom to record in the areas I wanted and also made notes of some sounds that I could hear.

The first part of this task was planning out what I wanted to do and how it will help me. I did this by answering three questions; what do I plan to observe? How will this help me? What methods will I use to document my observation?

After I had done this I went into the Dane John Gardens and recorded sounds in different areas of the gardens. I first went up to the mound and recorded the sounds of traffic going past from up there and also the wind. I then recorded sounds by the fountain and an area with trees and leaves to allow me to record the sounds produced in different areas of the gardens. The sounds from this area made me feel calm because it was quiet and I could hear nature as it wasn’t very busy.

I then walked through the high street and recorded sounds from there because this is the main area that people who are not from Canterbury will associate with Canterbury. The main recordings I got from this area were stall owners yelling to try and get customers but I also got people passing by talking and a busker playing music. I also got the sound of a fire engine driving past without its siren on. The sounds from the high street made me feel very anxious and alert because there was a lot going on and it was all very loud and frantic.

After the high street I went to the cathedral and while I was there I noted down what I could hear through the recording on the zoom and then noted down what I could hear without the zoom on to see if that had any effect. With the zoom on I was able to hear much more and in clearer detail than without the zoom. For example without the zoom I was able to very faintly hear peoples conversations if they were far away but with the zoom I could hear what they said much clearer and was able to pick out that they were speaking French. I was also able to hear seagulls more clearly when I had the zoom. In this area there was a much calmer feel as it was quiet and a lot of people were just sitting down having lunch.

Then I went to the Marlowe theater and was able to record the river flowing past as well as birds. I also recorded some people talking. This area was also calm as there were not many people and I was able to hear nature.

By doing this task I have learnt more about environments and the effect sounds can have on the mood of these environments, and also how different areas of environments could have contrasting moods based on the sounds. I think I could have gone to a wider variety of areas to get more recordings from areas that are loud and see what effect they have and also found some areas that are very different.

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