Newcastle University

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Sounds of Walking Chapter 5.5.2 A Very Random Lockdown sound work mp3 file

posted on 2024-02-27, 16:22 authored by Martin Paul EcclesMartin Paul Eccles

In the first Covid pandemic lockdown I decided that I would be walking from and back to my home for around 60 minutes. I walked for 42 days at different times of the day, spread from before dawn to dusk. Very early in this process I realised I was creating my second imaginary island. I recorded each day’s walk in a sound recording and in text. For the poetry I used a poetic form that I had not used before, the mesostic, a modernist/avant-garde poetic form. My use of the form allowed both a comment on my daily walk and a commentary on the emerging social and political events on each of the 42 days. However, driven by regulation and how far I could walk, it was my trace of the walks, that I incrementally drew on a map that drew out a shape. With time it achieved a constancy, a coherence, a becoming of place ... a small island.

This radio work was A Very Random Lockdown: 42 days walking an imaginary island. Working with 42 progressive, sequential 80-second sections of the recordings moving across days one to 42 sections I randomized the order in which they appeared, to produce a ‘re-creation’ that had unsequenced time, a timeless limbo that felt like it matched the random, chaotic zeitgeist of the first lockdown. Each track was accompanied by a spoken word recording in two parts: first a sequential phrase from the text in and one line from the horizontal text lines of the days mesostic.

This work is one of six selected for submission alongside my PhD thesis. Many of the other works discussed in my thesis can be found through my website ( ) or Soundcloud (