Hello and welcome to another episode of the KNITSONIK podcast!
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This week in the KNITSONIK podcast:
My first ever field recording, created in Ireland, in The Glen of the Downs, Ireland, where I briefly lived on a road protest in 1997. I went back there in 2003 to make recordings, especially of the stream.
This photo of the Glen road protest camp was found here.
I then rant a bit about how important the specific relationship between SOUNDS and PLACE are… and I discuss “From the Sea to the Land Beyond” by Penny Woolcock featuring the music of British Sea Power and released by the BFI. To make my point against gratuitous uses of music in documentaries, I use royalty free eJay clips. The film from the “extras” section which I discuss is “Beside the Seaside” by Marion Grierson, and you can see and hear it here.
What do YOU think about music, historic footage, and documentary styles?
After this foray into sounds, we enter the realms of knitting, and I discuss Riina Tomberg – an Estonian knitwear designer – and her brilliant legwarmers, which I purchased in 2012 and which I love to wear.
These legwarmers are just one of Riina Tomberg’s amazing designs.
I then share words from two of my favourite books – Designs and Pattern from Muhu Island (published by Saara Publishing in Estonia) and Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit. These are the two quotes that I use;
In knitting the calf one had to use increases and decreases. First of all, decreases were needed to give the stocking the right shape. When a maiden happened to be born without juniper-pulling calves, i.e. heavy legs, she had to wrap her calves in fleece, hay or strips of cloth or wear several layers of stocking in order to make her legs look stronger and thus follow the standard of fashion and beauty.
Kadagaväoseartega naene (a woman with juniper-pulling calves) – a woman with strong legs who could pull out a juniper by the roots
– Kabur Anu, Anu Pink, Mai Meriste, Designs and Patterns from Muhu Island, 2011, Saara Publishers
Earlier all the women wrapped their legs thick, at the end of the 19th century this custom was still in force in the eastern parishes of Mulgimaa only, where the stocking were knitted especially wide.
– Melanie Kaarma, Aino Voolmaa, Estonian folk costumes, 1981, Eesti Raamat
There are three prerequisites to taking a walk – that is, to going out into the world to walk for pleasure. One must have free time, a place to go, and a body unhindered by illness or social restraints. Free time has many variables, but most public places at most times have not been as welcoming and as safe for women. Legal measures, social mores subscribed to by both men and women, the threat implicit in sexual harassment, and rape itself have all limited women’s ability to walk where and when they wished. (Women’s clothes and bodily confinements – high heels, tight or fragile shoes, corsets and girdles, very full or narrow skirts, easily damaged fabrics, veils that obscure vision – are part of the social mores that have handicapped women as effectively as laws and fears.)
– Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust, 2001, Verso
I finish up the section on legwarmers with a teeny-tiny segment of Olivia Newton John’s song “Let’s Get Physical” which features a lot of fantastic legwarmers.
To give context on the idea of “The Soundwalk” I quote from R Murray Schafer’s book – “The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and The Tuning of The World“;
The soundwalk is an exploration of the soundscape of a given area using a score as a guide. The score consists of a map, drawing the listener’s attention to unusual sounds and ambiances to be heard along the way. A soundwalk might also contain ear training exercises. For instance, the pitches of different cash registers or the duration of different telephones could be compared… When the soundwalker is instructed to listen to the soundscape, he is audience; when he is asked to participate with it, he becomes composer-performer. In one soundwalk a student asks participants to enter a store and to tap the tops of all tinned goods, thus turning the grocery store into a Caribbean steel band. In another, participants were asked to compare the pitches of drainpipes on a city street; in another, to sing tunes around the different harmonics of neon lights.
R. Murray Schafer, The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World, 1977, Knopf
I end this episode of the KNITSONIK podcast with reflections on my night-time soundwalks around the A4074, documented in this post.