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Mark Vernon – Sonograph Sound Effects Series Volume 2: Public and Domestic Plumbing and Sanitation

Mark Vernon presents the second volume of his Sonograph Sound Effects Series – the follow up to the unexpectedly popular ‘Sounds of the Modern Hospital’ LP. This time the focus is on sounds of plumbing and sanitation: drainpipes, plugholes, leaks, squeaky taps and cisterns.

Vernon has recorded many of the sounds from unusual perspectives, in extreme close-up scenarios, using contact mics or small binaural microphones to get into tiny inaccessible spaces. There is also a particular focus on plumbing on-board vehicles and vessels in motion. The intention here is to reveal the marvellous within the most mundane and every day of sounds.

The record masquerades as a collection of generic archetypal sounds whilst in actuality it revels in the specific and unique – some of the most idiosyncratic and characterful instances of such sounds. No two gurgles are alike.

As an avid collector of sound effects records these obsolete discs have gradually taken on new meaning for Vernon as unintended audio time capsules. As their use value has decreased their value as historical audio documents has grown. To produce a sound effects LP in the age of digital audio libraries is an anachronistic gesture intended to elevate what purports to be a generic collection of recordings intended for functional use to the level of an artwork.

The album is in part a homage to classic ranges of sound effects albums such as the BBC Sound Effects Library - even down to the utilitarian design and functional descriptions of the sounds (a key aspect of this release). Such generic collections of sounds were intended to fulfil the needs of professional and amateur broadcasters, filmmakers and theatre producers. However, through careful selection and sequencing it is also intended that this record works as a linear sound composition.

>>> Utilitarian unsounds for undisclosed purposes <<<

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All Recordings made by Mark Vernon
Sleeve Design and Artwork by Marc Baines

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Calling Cards Publishing, 2021

Mark Vernon

Mark Vernon is a sound and radio artist whose practice is focused upon concepts of audio archaeology, magnetic memory and nostalgia. Operating on the fringes of sound art, music and broadcasting, his works main concerns are with field recording, the manipulation of environmental sounds and the power of the disembodied voice. A rich collection of domestic tape recordings; audio letters, dictated notes, answer-phone messages and other lost voices often find their way into his bewitching soundworlds. A keen advocate of radio as an art form, he also co-runs and curates Glasgow’s art radio station, Radiophrenia. His solo and collaborative music projects have been published through labels including Kye, Staalplaat, Flaming Pines, Ultra Eczema, Entr’acte, 3Leaves, Misanthropic Agenda and Canti Magnetici.

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