Imprints from the Rheidol Valley – Wales, March 2018

Above:Oak Leaves encrusted in Mine Discharge

My plan was to search for and collect sound and sculptural traces of both the mining and natural formation of the landscape over its history. I focused around the adit of an old lead/cadmium mine, its extensive waste tips and water filtration systems and the river into which they flow below.
Can you listen to a sites history? Is its past sonically evident it its? What are the physical traces of its formation? The residues of actions? How can you inhabit and absorb its surfaces, its skins?


Vivid Ochre Mud. Preserved Lake, a frozen sunken moment,
Feet locked.
Toxic sludge. Mesmerising ooze. Don’t touch. Silent. Killer.
Slow running, on a different time. Holding our past and future in its present.

Image: Copper sheet being etched by the acid mine water


Images above and below: Copper imprints of the rocks from the entrance to the mine adit and at the base of its tip beside the river



A short preview of a field recording where the waste tips meet the river.
Here I scanned the surfaces of the rocks and water listening for how the hollows and textures of the rock filtered the surrounding sounds and trying to follow the lines and motions the water had taken to carve them.

Scanning the rocks surface, I’m scraping my guts along here.
Water’s not gentle. It prickles, gouges, carves and dissolves.
I’m listening for those traces inside the cavities, along the smoothed surfaces.
Loose flakes peeling from moisture, mud becoming mud again. I’m listening. How long have you been becoming? Becoming and becoming and
Scraping the surface I’m trying to get closer, moving with you, beside you. I rest in the cavities, listening chambers holding and shaping surrounding sound.
I’m getting closer. You’re getting under my skin. ‘In meating meeting einfleischen.’ 
I don’t know it yet but doing this means I will carry you back with me, wherever I go. My arms and body hold those lines, those cavities. They are part of me now. Now I dream of them, re tracing. I transfer from your surface to mine – no difference. We are together now.


Above and Below: Pewter pours in the Rheidol river


Field Recordings from the frozen river. Ice sheets scrape against one another and the rocky sides.