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Kit Haigh is a musician, photographer and mixed media artist living in west Northumberland. Currently co-director of Green Croft Arts and drummer in House Of The Black Gardenia, his career has been diverse and lately he has been fascinated with creating music from found sounds rather than musical instruments.
‘Traces’ features photographs of trace fossils found in split sandstone roof tiles at Green Croft, on Hadrian’s Wall. They are the marks made by invertebrates as they foraged in the sand around 300 million years ago – over 30 million years before dinosaurs existed. This was the Carboniferous period, when huge amounts of carbon dioxide were locked away in the swamps that eventually became coal. Framed without context and lit as if discovered underground, the ancient marks layered with more recent weathering resemble aerial photographs, cave paintings or archaeology. The music is created exclusively from the sounds of the stones in the pictures. They were recorded using both conventional and contact mics, then digitally manipulated using sampling and granular synthesis. The resulting sustained sounds are remarkably organ-like, in a rough, sandstoney way. To reflect the trace fossils, the original sounds have been silenced in the mix, leaving only their echoes.
I am interested in the longer history of climate change, the relative impact of humans on the environment and the idea that talk of ‘saving the planet’ is missing the point. Earth does not need saving. Humans in roughly our current form have been here for well under a million years. Our consumption of resources and destruction of habitats will accelerate our own demise and that of numerous other species, but the planet will go on without us, supporting life in general but perhaps not life as we know it. For me, these lasting marks made by humble worms represent that constant and the brief history of humans. They were around long, long before we existed and their descendants will be around long, long after we are gone. If their organic wriggling has left such permanent traces in the rocks, what traces will we leave?
Art, digital, Kit Haigh, Fossil, Sound Art, Hadrians Wall, Hexham, Northumberland, Video Art, Contemporary art., Queen's Hall Digital, art, digital