Over the past couple of days, I’ve been re-listening to the audio I recorded in Summer, 2018. The plan is to make some sort of durational soundscape of the factory. It’s warm in Galashiels today, and I’m finding it strange sitting here at home, with the sounds of Peter Scott of almost two years ago in my ears. The days I recorded on were very hot, and the feeling of stifling air in many of the spaces in the factory is coming into my space here. I can almost smell it.
I can hear where in the building each recording was made, by the hum of the machinery at the bottom of the chimney, the creak of the stairs that go up to the wood workshop, and the bangs of doors. It’s a strange memory, buried in a harddrive for months, waiting to come alive again. I want to use this sound to make this a journey through the factory, starting with the back entrance by the Howegate. In there are alarm systems, beeping constantly, metal shutters that clash in the wind and the sound of the radio on the floor there’s someone working on. Further into the long ground floor spaces with north light shining in, the seagulls nesting in the vents on the roof make a racket. Their chicks have hatched. They’re very cute, and they’re very loud. The last time I went up there, in November, or maybe December 2019, there were workpeople taking the slates from the roof, the pointy vent things gone, and no seagulls to be seen or heard.
Much of the building runs along Buccleuch Road, part of the A7, which runs from Carlisle to Edinburgh, or Edinburgh to Carlisle. The traffic is steady on a weekday afternoon, people talk in the Hawick dialect as they walk past. There’s a manhole cover that clunks every so often, when a vehicle hits it at the right angle, once for the front wheels, once for the back. The length of the delay between them, and the volume tells me how long and how heavy the vehicle is.
Here are a few snippets, and a picture of some boxes on the top floor of the factory.