Land Fill

The yodel might be considered an early form of sonification, as a purported function of the idiosyncratic style of singing was as a distance sonar in the Swiss Alps. From the top of a mountain range, the time a sound took to return from the surrounding hills gave herdsman an indication of their location, and enabled them to communicate with other shepherds. Landfill plays with this idea by linking the time signature of the treated yodelling with the frame-by-frame changes in an animated morphing topography, resembling a satellite time-lapse view of a landscape whose peaks, valleys and ridges are in a constant state of flux. This approach avoids literalism as there are no specific individual points of correspondence, but rather the linkage is more arbitrary, with music and image bouncing off each other in a loose asynchronous mesh. This approach removes the need to counter causality or literalism, as the two media maintain their independence. This has echoes of Pudovkin’s (1929) writings when he argues for “the development of the image and the sound strip each along a separate rhythmic course…not…tied to one another by naturalistic imitation but connected as the result of the interplay of action”.

Screened at: London Animation Festival, London, UK (2008), Memorial Art Gallery, Hastings, UK (2009)