Exhibition of sounds from natural environments

Earth sounds: Rachel Shearer and her son gathering field recordings for ‘Te Oro o te Ao’

A new sound installation that explores ‘‘the reverberations of the world’’ opens at Queenstown’s Te Atamira on Tuesday.

‘Te Oro o te Ao’ is an eight-channel sound installation by Auckland-based artist and musician Dr Rachel Shearer, which presents digitally-edited field recordings of different natural environments.

Shearer, who has been creating public sound installations for several years, was eager to ‘‘create a world’’ that was ‘‘purely about listening’’ within a gallery space.

Using field recordings she collected from 2013 to 2018, Shearer wanted the work to respond to ideas about whakapapa and a sense of a place, and for her the installation is all about ‘‘listening to the earth … what do you hear’’.

One sequence in the installation contemplates the movement of tectonic plates — Shearer collected ‘‘real sounds’’ from the natural world and then digitally altered them in the studio,‘‘abstracting’’ the audio through ideas about the world.

‘‘Listening is very much tied to being present and listening to your surroundings, so I’ve provided another type of world for people to listen to and these sounds are kind of analogues of nature and its processes,’’ she says.

Shearer will open the exhibition with an artist’s talk this coming Tuesday, at Whakaari, in Te Atamara, starting at 10.30am.

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