Two weeks ago, I suspended my paid employment managing concerts in London, packed up my flat in London, turned on the engine and began a journey.
I had been given a 3 month appointment as the 26th Artist in Residence on the Bridge Guard residency programme, with a start date of April 2013. Bridge Guard is designed to support artists and musicians, who work on projects which place emphasis on uniting, connecting, and bridging communities.
The residence is located in Štúrovo, Slovakia and allows artists to work in complete freedom, drawing inspiration from the landmark of the Maria Valeria bridge which connects the two towns of Štúrovo and Esztergom, as well as the two countries of Hungary and Slovakia.
Having obsessions with cars, driving and sound, it seamed like the natural equation to bring all these things together and create a sound work to document a journey to the residency. My story involves my trusty 1996 Mazda, a sound recorder, far too many service stations and the pursuit of final destination.
I recorded everything on my way, the weather, machines, conversations, nature. The project is a recording of a journey across a map from a place I knew very well, to a place I had visited many times on google maps, in an attempt to create an audio soundtrack between my starting point and my destination.
There is something really important about driving, it gives a sense of distance and an understanding of the scale of the world which isn’t achievable through most other forms of transport. For me, it was also a way to understand borders and crossings, the points where languages change, where rules and requirements differ, and how all of this says a little bit more about how we understand our own environments and lives.
The culmination of this audio diary will be a soundtrack which will be delivered as a gift to the Bridge Guard Residency as the first of my projects whilst on duty. This is the 3rd Drive-in sound project I have completed since 2011, the first dedicated to my arrival at CAMAC Centre for Arts and Technology in france, resulting in a number of performances given from the back of my car and the publication of a series of CDs intended for car radio. Details of my other projects are here at http://www.estherainsworth.com.
Thank you for joining me on the journey.