It's early December, and the sound piece I'm creating through the Centre for Art Tapes Media Arts Scholarship Program is finally taking shape. I'm creating a soundscape solely using audio gathered and then processed from a single deer-hide frame drum that I built with a mentor on the South Shore last year. The audio processes I'm using are simple, as I don't want to change the sound, but focus in and find sounds that are already there but hidden. From crickets to wind on the tundra to the slow turning of a planet, I'm finding sounds in the drum that reflect the world. And recently I found an ancient-sounding choir!
The process leading up to finally settling on an idea and approach was a difficult and trying one. I've known for many months I wanted to create something using the drum, but considered and tried so many possibilities before the project took hold and I landed on something simple and authentic. Ultimately what informed my project was a simple desire of wanting to understand the drum more, and placing limitations based on my question(s).
Thankfully the rhizome-ic nature of my time so far in this program allowed me to gather many new technical skills, plant seeds for future projects and learn a lot about my creative process and voice. I am so grateful to my mentor Andy, and the rest of the CFAT team, scholars and mentors for their patience and help.
As the sound piece gains traction and begins to inform itself, I now realize I am following the will of this drum, the deer and the landscape from which they both came.