Spending this week in Venice, FL, at The Herron House. Built by architect Victor A. Lundy (FAIA) in 1957 for the Herron family, the house was restored to its original grandeur by its current owners, Ursula Kohl and Peter Bartos, in 2008. It’s a masterstroke of mid-century American imagination, and a timeless time capsule that will always feel like the future.
Most of the house is open-plan (only the bedrooms and offices have doors), all the rooms, save one, have at least two glass walls, and there are two spectacular rooms within the envelope of the roof line that have floor-to-ceiling screens as their 4th walls separating them from the outside. The result is a house that breathes with its occupants (lizards included), creating an inside-out and outside-in soundscape that leaves you in a true suspension of time and space.
This piece was recorded inside the house during night and day rainstorms (Rooms A and C, respectively), as well as a clear morning (Room B). Most of the time, the house provides a serene silence, which I wanted to capture for the C-section, but the iPad mic is not conducive to recording nuanced calmness, so this piece captures none of the house’s tranquility. Rest assured, however, this has been a relaxing week, replete with luck to have graced its environs.
Went minimal to the max for this. Only mics I have down here are an iPad and iPhone, and only DAW is a GarageBand program I never learned to use with any proficiency. The project instructions said “don’t add any other effects or sonic material,” so here’s three rooms, with zero(0) processing, in loose arrangement as a song. Each room’s stereo tracks are two tracks recorded close in time, panned left and right. I’d call it unfinished, but I’m on vacation, slipped into another life, so I lost where I started.
GarageBand audio recorder –> iCloud –> GarageBand 10.2.0 for OS X Sierra.
Rear sun room. This room is one of the two rooms with a screen-wall, and also has a massive screen skylight that allows rain inside. The tick-tocking sound (a short sample of which is looped as the Room A tone) is rain hitting the metal arm and vinyl-covered padding of a vintage outdoor rocking chair sitting under the screen skylight.
Front sun room, secondary entertainment and dining area. Like Room A, this room also has a floor-to-ceiling screen wall, which in this room’s case faces the driveway and gives vegetation obscured views of the street. This room has an opaque glass skylight, however, so remains protected during bad weather (aside from whatever might pass through the screen wall in windier conditions). The recording was taken on a calm morning while drinking coffee at the table in the room, and the local birds were out in full force in the palm trees and plants that shield the house.
Kitchen informal dining area. Floor-to-celing glass-enclosed on 3 sides. Looks out on the pool and outdoor seating area. The downspouts from the roof are tucked away on either side of the exterior of this room. As a result, during rainstorms, sitting at the table results in a stereo clattering of water rushing down from the roof to the underground drain. The glass is true to 1957 vintage and single paned, so there isn’t much in the way of sound absorption. The effect lends the sensation of standing behind a waterfall in a dry cave.
Check out my Flickr for some detailed interior and exterior shots of the house.
More on this 283rd weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Rooms Within Rooms: Make an instrumental song built from the sounds of different rooms” — at:
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