Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Dancing and Dogs

Here's one of my favourite embroidery patterns from the Museum of the Romanian Peasant. A group of dancers and dogs. My favourite embroideries are the most graphic and the simplest, using repeating iconography with either red or red and black thread on a natural cotton or linen.

Here's a link for more information on traditional romanian dances, including chain dances as depicted on this embroidery.

Dogs are a constant feature of Bucharest, and at night alongside the sound of cars, a major sound of the city. Packs of dogs hanging out together on street corners, disused parts of land, behind garden gates, outside fast food chicken joints waiting for a scrap of food, wandering the streets alone, and risking their life as they wander across or sit in Bucharest's roads. A living reminder of the results of Ceaucescu destroying much of the city, evicting residents and thus setting their pet dogs and now their descendants free to roam the streets.

One day, one particular dog joined us for a stroll across the city, before disappearing under a gate, easily avoiding the high security surrounding the Parliament building. During the week we've sampled many of the dogs' barking for use in future recordings and compositions. They seemed only too pleased to help out.

An obvious soundscape of Bucharest, but too significant a one to ignore.

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