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Portland Bill Lighthouse-soundsketches Labculture residency

Updated: Oct 10, 2018

As part of an ongoing project sponsored by Labculture’s SALT RESIDENCY , this sound work was recorded at Portland Bill Lighthouse – established in 1716 and still operative as a waymark for vessels navigating ‘the Portland Race’ into Weymouth and

Portland. The present lantern,

43 meters above high water, with a range of 25 nautical miles and an intensity of 635 000 candela, has a 1 kw lamp MBI with an unusual 4 panel, catadioptric fixed lens optic.

This sketch contains recordings taken internally spiralling upwards with the stairway through the cavernous drum of the building, echoing with unsourced residues of sound, to the viewing platform and the lantern rotating on bearings adjusting to wind and weight.

The changing architecture of the spaces is articulated by voices: broadcast commentaries on the past contrasting with the immediate breath of the present, in a spiralling choreography of distance and closeness. Children’s voices and factual information lead the listener into a hypnagogic experience of a concrete and functional space.

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