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  • Matthew Shenton

A starting point

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Landscape and the fragmentary and fallible nature of memory are the central motifs of my sound work. I draw immense inspiration from both exploring the hypnotic rhythms where the rural and industrial meet, and from how communities remember and mark the social history of their land.

A project can be sparked by discovering the place name of a location that no longer exists, and that seemingly few people can remember (such as Polleshead on riverrun) or by choosing a selection of archaic terms from Edward Moor’s Suffolk Words and Phrases; Or an Attempt to Collect the Lingual Localisms of that County from 1823 as starting points (such as for my Hume and Fourey-Leet releases).

More difficult to explain is why the fluidity of village memory fires my creativity. Why does an online discussion about the ‘correct’ spelling of a local field name (as either Firebronze, Firebrand or Fire Brond) make me want to explore what that place sounds like inside my head?

As I have only lived in the area for seven years I don't think that it's nostalgia, or even any kind of hauntology/liminal experience. I think the closest I can come to an explanation would be that I enjoy the illusion that history is slippery, not fixed and just out of reach. And that this is then reflected in my compositional choices.

My next project will challenge me to explore how memory is preserved and presented in a different and much more visual way. I hope that blogging about it here will help me build a better vocabulary and understanding of my sound work.


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