Traces: Sound Recordings of Uranium City


My project Traces focusses on Uranium City in Northern Saskatchewan. The quiet isolation of this remote area belies the degree to which it is acharged site, inextricably linked to the American nuclear weapons program. This project listens carefully to invisible traces of the site’s history, reduced to radioactive decay measurable in the rapid clicks of a Geiger counter. Site-specific recordings explore the physical materiality and affective qualities of place, heard in the slow creaking and crumbling of empty buildings exposed to the elements for decades. Archival newsreel and vintage documentary audio will further contextualize the field recordings within this location’s history. Layering these believable acoustic spaces with obviously mediated sounds destabilizes that context to create a hauntological sound experience that is simultaneously familiar and uncanny, where the listener is paradoxically present and absent. Traces builds on my investigations of reclamation and audio collage processes to craft an imaginary Lost Canadiana, distorted by the vagaries of memory and decayed media.

Artist Tod Emel

Hear an excerpt here:

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