Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Britain Audio Part 3: Dogs, Cats, and Memories

The final installment of the 1985 audio tour of Great Britain begins with birdwatchers in London’s Hyde Park. Then I ask the perennial question, which is better, dogs or cats?

  Britain 1985, Part 3: Dogs, Cats, and Memories by James Gurney

The sound clip runs about 15 minutes and includes a hammered dulcimer, an early interactive video console in Cardiff, vintage sounds of an ‘80s game arcade, an interview with Krishna devotees, recollections from ladies remembering their childhoods in York, and a sampling of classic American accents.

The pencil sketch shows the Caernarfon harbor in Wales, where at low tide the boats rest on double keels.

Don't forget to vote in the dog and cat poll at left.
Direct link to Soundcloud file


Tyler J said...

I hate to be the grammar Nazi, but shouldn't the poll question be "Which are better, dogs or cats?" Perhaps a reader with a deeper understanding of the rules of English might be able to correct me, but I think since the choices are listed in the plural the verb should agree.

Also, the audio journey has been great. It's interesting that so many visually-oriented people often take such an interest in the auditory aspect of life, such as music, sound effects and vocal impressions.

James Gurney said...

Tyler, thanks for pointing that out. I puzzled over it a second--"Which" sounds singular, but "dogs" sound plural. "Dogs is better" sounds funny. Is there a grammarian in the house? Anyway, I'm not able change the poll once it's started, which are a pain in the arse.

Yes, something about sound's ability to conjure images makes us all love the sound world. I appreciate the links on yesterday's post for old radio on the web.

Marvin Lorenz said...

Wow, great sketch sir!

jake gumbleton said...

This has nothing to do with this post... I just wanted to say thankyou for writing your Colour and Light book, I finished it a few days ago and it was, without doubt, one of the most interesting art books I have yet read. Well Done!
I also wanted to say how much I enjoyed your En Plein Air studies included in the book, they are wonderful.

Super Villain said...

i love how the bird listening turns into a sudden interview with stangers on which make better pets dogs or cats, haha! hilarious

i will have to remember this next time me and my girl go on vaction, we must remember to get the sounds of the waves on the beach, and go up to stangers and ask which is better hotdogs or hamburgers, haha!

DPetersen said...

I really enjoyed the audio tour. There is a quality to your voice and the way you interact with people that reminds me of the quality Jim Henson's natural speaking voice had...filled with a calm wonder.

Also my wife Juia commented that she could not believe you left your camera at home for the trip. She is a photographer and while she found the recordings interesting, she said "bring the recorder and the camera!"

Steve said...

OK, you asked for it. On p. 80 of Line by Line, my well-thumbed, quick referee for grammatical questions, we find this guidance on noun/verb agreement for the word "which":

"Whether a relative pronoun -- usually 'who,' 'which,' or 'that' -- is singular or plural depends on the number of the word it stands for, and that word is always the noun or pronoun the relative clause modifies."

Pain in the arse though it may be, the poll should have been cast -- as Tyler thought -- "Which are better, dogs or cats?"

In regard to the audiotapes, being British voices and oddly random, they remind me of the sound collages John Lennon was fond of embedding into songs from Dr. Pepper's L.H.C.B. onward.

Christian Schlierkamp said...

really fascinating: I just found out through that recent blackbird incident on New Year's Eve in Arkansas that our european blackbirds are different birds then the Northamerican red winged blackbird. Our blackbirds here are related to thrushes etc, while the American birds are related to Orioles. - wow! I didn't know that.

I thought the whole series was really fascinating, especially yesterday's episode: hearing the voice and having a bit of the atmosphere there adds so much to the drawing. Just imagine a whole sketchbook in the style of netherland painter Rien Poortvliet accompanied by a loose hearplay with original soundfiles - or a dinotopia fantasy. I once saw some pop up books with sound effects. Here's an example from five mile books:
I would say a field that is not sufficiently explored yet.
It would be a nice idea for an Art by Comittee: give us a sound snippet and we have to imagine what that sound might be! :-D

Roberto said...

@Tyer. My Wife (a technical editor) agrees with you (and the Line) that 'which' is correct. She also informs me that 'visually-oriented' does not require a hyphen since an adverb ending in 'ly' implies the hyphen. (gosh!)! ('The Chicago Manual of Style.' p.301, entry 7.87)

I would have said: 'Whicher beastier, dogges or katz?'

Its pretty obvious I rarely run my posts past my better-half. -RQ

Steve said...

Dr. Pepper's? Make that Sgt. Pepper's. If only Roberto's wife could have proofed before I posted.

Super Villain said...

haha, dr peppers, very funny!

the clash also did some adding of music over recorded dialog, very cool stuff.