Sound artist and musician Graham Dowdall immersed himself in the landscape around the Inspiring Views sites. He spent time walking, talking to people, recording sounds and gazing out at the views. He took his research into the studio to create a sound track for each of the five sites which can be enjoyed whilst sitting on the sculptural benches.
“I’ve tried to create sound pictures for each hill, to represent and to reflect each landscape sonically. Each site has it’s own unique sound world and special atmosphere which I captured with field recordings. On top of this I’ve drawn attention to some particular sonic events – specific birds, cyclists, thunder, rain etc. and engaged myself with the environment by e.g. drumming on a bench, shaking pine cones, snapping twigs, stroking tree bark. To this basis of recorded sounds I have added minimal “musical” parts to reflect the different nature of the hills and my visits. I hope my sound pieces will be a positive addition to the enjoyment of these places for visitors and hope they will encourage people to listen as well as look at these Inspiring Views.” – Graham Dowdall
Graham Dowdall is a musician/sound artist/composer; solo as Gagarin and in acclaimed bands Roshi featuring Pars Radio and Pere Ubu. His solo work is instrumental electronica with influences ranging from contemporary classical to techno. He incorporates field recording as a fundamental building block to create soundscapes often informed by interfaces between the natural and constructed worlds.
Graham was commissioned to create a soundtrack inspired by the view and location at Gibbet Hill, Hindhead, Surrey. The piece includes field recordings from the site and was created to enjoy whilst sitting on the ‘Xylem’ bench by sculptor Walter Bailey.
His recent album Aoticp received widespread press acclaim and radio play including on Radio3 Late Junction.
He teaches Music Workshop Skills at Goldsmiths College and is active as a deliverer, trainer and consultant on community music projects.