The chance meeting of a goose and a plover on a turntable: Chris Watson’s wildlife sound recordings

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Abstract

Wildlife recordings have an uncertain position within media industries and genres because they can circulate as documentary soundtracks, sound art, or music. In this paper, I explore the cultural life of such recordings through an examination of the work of wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson. After a sketch of his professional career and discussion of the relation between his career trajectory and formal solutions to the spatial and temporal problems of wildlife sound recording, I consider the status of Watson’s work as audio-based eco-criticism, via the record El Tren Fantasma (2011).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-164
Number of pages14
JournalSound Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Volume2
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

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Sound Recording
Wildlife
Trajectory
Sound Art
Music
Documentary
Ecocriticism
Sound
Soundtrack
Media Industry

Cite this

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title = "The chance meeting of a goose and a plover on a turntable: Chris Watson’s wildlife sound recordings",
abstract = "Wildlife recordings have an uncertain position within media industries and genres because they can circulate as documentary soundtracks, sound art, or music. In this paper, I explore the cultural life of such recordings through an examination of the work of wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson. After a sketch of his professional career and discussion of the relation between his career trajectory and formal solutions to the spatial and temporal problems of wildlife sound recording, I consider the status of Watson’s work as audio-based eco-criticism, via the record El Tren Fantasma (2011).",
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AB - Wildlife recordings have an uncertain position within media industries and genres because they can circulate as documentary soundtracks, sound art, or music. In this paper, I explore the cultural life of such recordings through an examination of the work of wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson. After a sketch of his professional career and discussion of the relation between his career trajectory and formal solutions to the spatial and temporal problems of wildlife sound recording, I consider the status of Watson’s work as audio-based eco-criticism, via the record El Tren Fantasma (2011).

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