Composition | Sound art | Field recording


Moving Still: 1910 Avenida Atlântica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Matilde Meireles


Immersive installation

Platform Arts Belfast, Northern Ireland

November 2015

17 mins. 42 secs., 4-channels audio, 2x HD video, colour, computer, chairs

Moving Still: 1910 Avenida Atlântica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2013-2015) is a sequential, first-person narrative that communicates an environment over the course of one day by means of recording.

In Moving Still is an attentive observation of a specific place from sunrise to sunset on the 11th July 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. The location is unfolded through an extended phonography of the acoustic, the visual and the social sphere. The connected set of recordings—assembled and presented as a composed environment—suggests, rather than represents, a reality.

Before sunrise, a tripod was set in front of the window of my friend’s living room, on the 10th floor of an apartment building in Copacabana on Avenida Atlântica. Outside the window are backyard buildings, an immense wooded area and, in the distance, the statue of Christ the Redeemer. A still camera was placed on a tripod, which documented movements in the landscape and the transitions of sunlight from day to night. A sound recorder was placed in front of the still camera to capture the ever-changing sounds in the environment. Lastly, contextual information was written onto a notebook. The notes included descriptions of the landscape and the kind of details that neither sound nor images recordings could capture. The recording process begun before 6.30am and ended roughly ten hours after at the sunset.

Moving Still: 1910 Avenida Atlântica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was presented in the exhibition The Present Instant alongside The Landscape Confronts the Camera by Richard O’Sullivan. The exhibition was co-curated by both artists.


Moving Still was included in Matilde's journal article Extended Phonography: Experiencing place through sound, a multi-sensorial approach published on Organised Sound, Cambridge University Press.

Abstract: In this article I propose the use of extended phonography as an integrated practice which offers the opportunity to overcome the fragmentation of the senses inherent in field recording. I outline how listening across practices empowers both recordist and audience to experience a richer engagement with the recorded environment. Furthermore, I introduce new forms of articulating the experience of place and its relationship to sound, by highlighting the conceptual framework of two of my contrasting works, the site/context-specific projects Moving Still: 1910 Avenida Atlântica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and X Marks the Spot. These works, both artistic and discursive, are a direct outcome of my practice of extended phonography. Through them, I attempt to address the need for a vocabulary that mirrors the new aesthetics arising in sound art and further expand the practice of field recording.