Composition | Sound art | Field recording


Campo Próximo, Escola das Gaivotas

Diogo Alvim, Matilde Meireles

Live performance and installation / Research

Old School #38 curated by Susana Pomba

Escola das Gaivotas, Lisbon, Portugal

October 2015

48 mins., 4-channel audio, projected photograph, light

Campo Próximo (2015-ongoing), which we loosely translated to Near Field/ Next Field, is a situated sound work that plays with the perception and construction of places. For each iteration of the project, field recordings (image and audio) are collected in a way that relates the territory with the architecture of the venue, creating a dialogue between place and space. Each performance takes the audience on a journey along each recorded location through different multi-sensorial approaches.

For Campo Próximo, Escola das Gaivotas, we explored and captured different locations surrounding the venue. We started by conceiving a geometrical model to approach the selection of locations. The model consisted of randomly located concentric circles which determined places gradually closer to Escola das Gaivotas. While travelling along these circular lines for a few days, we searched and listened for places with a particular relevant character. The recordings we made were played back in the performance space and converged with the particular acoustics of the performance space following the following process:

1. The sounds are played in the dark. They are also recorded by a microphone placed in the centre of the room.

2. After a time delay the re-recorded sounds start to be superimposed to the original recordings, and the space is dimly lit. This time delay is proportional to the distance of the recorded site.

3. The original recording ends, and the process repeats (similarly to Alvin Lucier's I am Sitting in a Room) until the resonance of the room annuls any resemblance of the original sounds and any reference to the original place, and transports the listener to the present room. At this stage there is a visual superimposition – a projection of a photograph of the room and the performers, is projected over the room and the performers.


Campo Próximo was included in the conference paper presentation Campo Próximo (Matilde Meireles and Diogo Alvim), NCMM Contemporary Music Conference, CESEM – Research Centre for the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music, FCSH-NOVA, Lisbon Portugal, July 2021