Media artists Steve Norton & N.B.Aldrich capture the relationship of the River Valley’s infrastructure and environment.
Two Rumfords is a soundscape composition juxtaposing two distinct yet important sonic environments available in the River Valley area. The material for both locations was recorded on the same day. The audio recordings themselves consist of single, continuous takes of local ambience as well as multiple simultaneous tracks from various sensors such as hydrophones and contact microphones. Each location in the composition is represented by stereo ambient mics and three different sensors designed to add information that would not necessarily be available to the ear of a listener standing in the space.
One of the environments captured is a natural spring on a local mountain, Mt. Zircon; the other is the bank of the Swift River, which lies under the Main Street bridge that connects the towns of Mexico and Rumford, just upstream from the Nine Dragons paper mill. These places exhibit the distinct, conflicting characteristics that the River Valley is home to: the remote and undeveloped areas of mountains, lakes, and streams (Mt. Zircon) and the singular industrial presence of the mill that dominates the valley and river (the bridge).
The composition takes representative slices of each simultaneous session and fades one into the other over time. The goal is to define and contrast these soundscapes as a way to apprehend the differences they provide the local community. This composition is not intended as a metaphor. It is not a statement about the local history, about economic conditions, or about a particular political or philosophical outlook. It is, however, evocative of all these things as they are embedded in the difference between these two nearby locations.
The Two Rumfords audio was mastered by Duane Shimmel.
Listen to the soundscape “Two Rumfords” by Steve Norton & N.B.Aldrich.