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Tim Gray: Foot Fall Soundscape

A soundscape created by Tim Gray for the Arcata Creamery District (August 2013)

Artist Statement
This soundscape was created to accompany a stroll around the Creamery District. Our day-to-day existence is filled with a wide variety of sounds. The world is quite a noise filled place. So much so that most of us screen out much of this sound (to maintain one’s sanity). It is designed to envelop you, the listener, into another aural world, an alternative universe in sound. I have designed this primarily for headphone/earbud use with the portable devices that are ubiquitous in the human culture, cell phones, iPods and other mp3 players, freely downloadable here.  The listener can use their computer to download the pieces, then place them on their smartphone or other mp3 player for full portability or from your data enabled smartphone you can stream the pieces one at a time from this webpage by simply selecting each piece.

The soundscape consists of eight pieces a little over 5 minutes each. They are designed to be experienced in a variety of ways. One can visit the location that inspired each piece, pause and soak it in, or simply stroll about and listen to the pieces in whatever order the listener chooses. The listener can also experiment with volume. One can either turn the volume up to be fully enveloped into the soundscape or find a quieter volume to blend the soundscape with the “real” world.

You may wish to go directly to Tim Gray’s Foot Fall Page.

Audio Files

01 Foot Fall

This piece was created to reflect the act of walking around the creamery district.  The listener is encouraged to match their walking pace to the footsteps in the soundscape and take a random stroll throughout the district.  How much of the Creamery District is covered of course, depends upon the listener’s size and stride.

02 Emptiness

Inspired by the empty lot along 8th Street next to the Tomas Jewelry building.  It is a meditation on the past present and future of this location, wondering what this place looked like a hundred years ago, reflecting on the space as it exists, and to ponder it’s inevitable future of pavement and construction materials.

03 Night by the Trees

At the corner of 8th and N Streets there is a small wooded area on the Northwest corner.  This was partially inspired by Malia Penhall’s knitted sculptures that adorns the trees.

04 Trains

The train tracks along N street have a sound memory for anyone who has lived in the area long enough to remember train activity in Humboldt County until they ceased to be around 1985.  I always enjoyed the “large” sounds of the trains and related machinery during that time.

05 The Playhouse

A very stylized representation of Playhouse and its contribution to the culture of our area.  It is as if all the sounds that emanate from The Playhouse are mixed together at once.  The result is a bit chaotic at times.

06 Birds

In researching for this soundscape, I spent some time with a small hand-held digital recorder, wandering around the Creamery District.  In doing so, I discovered a couple of places where birdsong was in abundance.  This soundscape is a mixture of the recorded birdsong, manipulated by slowing the recording down at various levels and even reversing the sound and mixing the results together.

07 Kinetic Lab – Gregg Moore

This is an homage to both of these distantly related phenomena.  The Kinetic Sculpture Race (one of its nerve centers is the Kinetic Lab in the Creamery District) is such a large part of our culture as well as the music that Gregg Moore (who also makes his home within the Creamery District) causes to happen in our area.

08 The Creamery

This soundscape was created while meditating on an old photo of the Creamery Building from long ago.  I have to remind myself that cream was produced here long before I moved to the area.