So as it turns out, I got so wrapped up in finishing the dissertation that I didn’t share with you all the final result of the Maria’s Song Soundscape. Check it out here:
Maria’s Song, for those who haven’t read my previous posts, follows the story of a pupil of the Wilberforce Memorial School for the Blind called Maria Wilson. She was a pupil in the rough period of the previous soundscape ‘A Walk to King’s Manor in c.1850s.
Using the spirit of Maria Wilson as a narrator, I aimed to tell the story of one of the many public exams held by the school. The purpose of these exams was both to educate the general public as to the skills that many of the blind pupils possessed and to raise funds for the school to try and make the school more accessible.
I loved making this soundscape and I really felt at one with Maria. The more research I did about her life, the more passionate I became about trying to make the soundscape respectful and representative of her.
She was a fabulous lady who was famous for performing in the local music halls in the North Yorkshire area. She was a noted soprano and often performed with some of her friends and fellow alumni of the Wilberforce Memorial School for the Blind. She apparently was very fashion focused and had a love of bright bows on her outfits despite not being able to see them herself. She sounds like she was a lady full of life and talent.
As always, let me know what you think about this soundscape. I am so excited to put this out into the world!
Need help visualising the journey you are taking on ‘A Walk to King’s Manor’ soundscape? Then wonder no more. The map below gives rough time stamps to give you an idea where you are in the soundscape in relation to the map. Why not take another listen?
So, after months of work and refining, I can finally let you all hear the first soundscape that I’ve been working on. It’s called imaginatively ‘A Walk to King’s Manor’. This soundscape is made up of ambient sounds to take you back to a day at King’s Manor, York, UK in the 1850s.
In the 1850s, for those new to the project, the King’s Manor was inhabited by the Wilberforce Memorial School for the Blind. This school aimed to teach the kids not only basic lessons such as maths and English, but also ways of supporting themselves from basket making to playing a variety of musical instruments.
I hope to put all this across as you take a virtual, audio journey to the King’s Manor building. So, without further ado, take a listen on the player below:
Music is a very important tool for setting the tone of a piece. It changes how the audience views a piece, how it makes them feel and how they feel the characters are meant to feel in a scene.
You only have to look at this famous clip of Star Wars without music to see how important music is to a scene:
Do you feel how awkward that is? Well, it’s no different when you’re putting together a soundscape. Particularly ones that centre a lot around music.
So, I realise somewhat belatedly that I haven’t fully introduced you all to the subject of my soundscape (though it was mentioned briefly in the first post of the series). Without further ado, I’ll give you a brief history of the Wilberforce Memorial School for the Blind.
Photographs showing sections of the front part of King’s Manor
It seems odd that when I’m creating something that will primarily use sound that photographs would be such an important source of information. But it truly is. For example, take a look at this photo from the 1880s:
Photograph looking down Bootham Street in C.1880
One of the most interesting ways of finding things about the area is to consult the historic maps. I’ve been consulting this interactive map from 1852. Comparing maps is like a historic spot-the-difference. So, without further ado, this is what I’ve discovered so far….
Researching the 1850s and thus the Victorian era has been eye opening for me so far. Everything I thought I knew from general knowledge and a good BBC drama has disappeared in front of my eyes. So here’s a comprehensive rundown of:
‘Did it exist in 1850? Round 1’: Transportation
Where have I been hiding?
Hi all, sorry it’s been such a long time since the last post! They really don’t exaggerate when they say that a Master’s course takes the majority of your waking hours! But, I’m back with a new series of posts, this time focused on my new dissertation. The topic: Presenting information about the Wilberforce Memorial School for the Blind (that was based at King’s Manor), in the format of a soundscape.
This video, perhaps a little long, is an interesting chat to a couple of developers of the company ARTIFACT based in York. This video presents some interesting views about the differences between AR and VR. But also at the rate at which this kind of technology is improving.
I feel this kind of video, and indeed company, shows the rate at which this kind of technology is improving and the thought processes needed in order to maintain relevance in this field.
Let me know what you think. As always, I’ll look forward to hearing your input.