London (UK), 07/06/2014, evening
2021/04, Presque Tout
Presque Tout (a clever play on Luc Ferrari’s ‘Presque Rien’) is a netlabel which aims ‘to collect an archive of sonic landscapes from all around the world.’ The conditions for each release are simple: record the sound from any window; no editing, only a minimal amount of mixing. For my submission to this series, I sent a recording made in 2014, along with the following description:
I recorded this from the second storey flat I shared with my partner in London from 2014–2018, which sat just behind the tracks of Canonbury overground rail station. The heat of the day had given way to a late evening sky pregnant with an approaching rainstorm, dark and colouring the world with a deep indigo hue. I sat and listened from a living room window, flung as wide as it would open. Gathering winds danced with the towering oak tree in our tiny garden. Children played on the station platform. Sirens, airplanes. And drifting over from an unseen flat, the unhurried crooning of old music. The humidity was almost ready to break.
Despite being recorded in poor quality on an old iPhone, long before field recording became the focus of my work in sound, this is one of the most poignant and treasured recordings in my collection. It is presented here as an excerpt of the original, the duration set by the interval between two departing trains.