[Hannah White + Stephen Shiell]
Hir means ‘long’ in an old language, part of the word ‘menhir’, meaning ‘long stone’. Sounding the word also invites us to hear and be here.
This audio-visual piece feels its way through a long time, a longing and an old listening, and onwards into an uncertain future and the strange hope of a visitation, through field recordings, voice, text and film captured on the coast of Cornwall.
In the sound piece giants speak from in the stones and in the earth, all substance and undergrowth, voices pushing through terrain and entangled roots. Through thick fog a warning sounds, calling us to listen, realize and repent.
Sounds were recorded along and between the clifftops of the Cornish coast, from the air, down wires in the wind, under the water in conversation with currents, flows and seals, and from the cosmic static around two ‘listening’ stations: GCHQ Bude, government intelligence outpost, and Goonhilly Earth Space station, commercial cosmic communication center.
The film presents an otherworldly encounter we had while visiting the ‘Dry Tree’ menhir, a bronze age standing stone embedded in the gorse and heather of the nature reserve next door to the Goonhilly Earth Space station. Whilst being with, field recording and filming the stone, something was in the air, something we didn’t see or hear in real time. An unidentifiable aerial phenomena, that made no sound and flew too fast for the human eye to see, was revealed later by the camera’s slow motion technology. The audio is the VLF recording made at the time.