Post-Planting On-going Research – ENTRY 2
While experimenting and trying to recall sounds for my project I happened upon a strange but relevant toy in the party section of my local Dollarama.
This bear-headed gun emits the call of 5 different animals : a loon, an eagle, a wolf, a mountain lion, and a bear. Just turn the knob to the animal you wish to call out to. But why would anyone want to call the top 3? Very strange…
Since my last entry I have conducted a couple more interviews over the internet geared towards questions around the sensory aspects of planting to help build my soundscape and form ideas of what to look for/use in the audio component of my upcoming project.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Janeil Johnston, who was one of the happy dozen of planters from our camp that met up in Beautiful British Columbia for cherry-picking after planting in worst case Ontario. Her interview can be listened to on this soundcloud playlist, along with the incredible Janel Halenko, my best friend and roommate who I met last year tree planting and who I miss dearly.
During this busy as fuck fall semester I had begun reading a book about tree-planting called “Eating Dirt” by Charlotte Gill, a former tree planter who planted and worked in the industry for seventeen years. I’m not very far in all honesty, I’ve never been much of a reader but this book pulls me back every time I open it. It’s nostalgic for sure, but what’s more is her way of communicating the experience by thoroughly describing the sensory aspects, which is exactly my premise for my upcoming project. Touch, taste, smell, sound, sight, and even just gravity; she effectively inputs a weight that I can feel in my body from the telling of her experience. Of course a lot of successful writers will often use highly descriptive sensory components to emphasize an atmosphere and set the scene, but for planting it’s all the more important because the experience really is full of heightened senses, as is being in nature in general.
I encourage you if you are interested to check out the book an read the first chapter titled “the LAST PLACE on EARTH”.
For now, I leave you with a quote from Eating Dirt about a typical planter’s morning.
“It’s February, and our wheels have barely begun to grind.
We stand around in huddles of three and four with tooth-paste at the corners of our mouths, sleep still encrusted in our eyes.
We stuff our hands down into our pockets and shrug our shoulders up around our ears.
We wear polypropylene and fleece and old pants that flap apart at the seams.
We sport the grown-out remains of our last haircuts and a rampant facial shagginess, since mostly we are men.
We crack dark, miserable jokes.
Oh, run me over. Go get the truck. I’ll just lie down here in this puddle.
If I run over your legs, who will run over mine?”
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