Cows – 13 December

SW 2097, image © MoDA and used with their kind permission

This is the most famous wallpaper in the Sonic Wallpapers project. It was designed by Edward Bawden, and printed using woodblocks. You can see that even with a limited palette he conveys a sense of a rural idyll.

This photo was taken at Wittenham Clumps in Oxfordshire, and just out of earshot of the cows that formed the basis for this recording:

This is another old recording repurposed from my archives for the creation of Sonic Wallpapers. Many other sounds were employed in producing the Sonic Wallpaper piece to accompany SW 2097, but since the cows were such an oft-remarked-upon feature of the design, it seemed utterly necessary to include some. These are noisy ones – perhaps even heiffers – heard during a walk in December 2009.

We followed the sound once we’d heard it somewhere in little Wittenham, all the way out to this barn full out of outraged bovines. It was one of those walks that ended up being a soundhunt, featuring an old map, and me with my recorder wrapped in a woolly hat, so as not to catch too much of the wind in my microphones.

I have one copy of the Sonic Wallpapers book to give to someone who would like to have a domestic listening experience for themselves! The book has all 18 wallpaper designs from the MoDA collection used in this project, and a CD in the back which contains all the sound pieces. There are introductions both by myself and Zoe Hendon who is the curator of MoDA, and notes on what people said, and what sounds were recorded, for each wallpaper included in the project.

Sonic Wallpapers book

Sonic Wallpapers CD

To win a copy of the book, you just need to leave a comment on this post: -> http://thedomesticsoundscape.com/wordpress/?p=4655 about a wallpaper that you remember from your life, and one sound you recall from the room where that wallpaper was. If you cannot think of a wallpaper design and a sound, you could also leave one thought/response you have to this project. On 24th December, I will draw a number at random and post out a copy of the book to the winner!

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