Kathy Hinde

19 April, 2019

Listening to the wind at the silenced rock

SURA MEDURA Residency, Spring 2019 – Blog post :

When I arrived in Sri Lanka, I was drawn to the colourful boats at the harbour. I met a fisherman called Pala who invited me to listen to a rock with an echo. We tapped the rock in many places, but couldn’t find the echo. The weather here is very dynamic. The sea is lively, and the harbour is often windy.

I made some instruments that make sound with the wind. A harp made from palm branches and amplified fishing line. Stretched elastic that oscillates in the wind. Bamboo poles with slots that the wind plays like gentle flutes.

When testing my instruments at the harbour, I met a family of fishermen, Lakindu, Malidu, Kalindu and Seerat. Intrigued, they and listened to the wind play the harp created from fishing line.

We went to the rock Pala showed me.  Lakindu told me that the rock used to echo, but not since the Tsunami.  It used to be hollow with an expansive echo, but the huge shifts in sand, rock and other material during the Tsunami filled it up and silenced the echo.

I returned to the silenced rock with Lakindu, Malidu, Dulaj and Tharanga to listen to the wind play the Aeolian instruments I made. Sonifying the weather at the rock that had been silenced by the weather.

We filmed what happened.

Camera by Anne Milne, 
Second camera, sound and editing by Kathy Hinde.
Thanks to Pala for inviting me to listen to the rock 
Thanks to Lakindu, Malidu, Dulaj and Tharanga for playing in the wind, and their family and friends for helping.

Below is a photo of the aeolian instruments used in the film