SOUNDS FROM The Countryside, a sound postcard by the Galway artist Anne Marie Deacy, will be released tomorrow - Friday May 22 - in a limited edition which can be played at 45rpm.
One side is laid out like a regular postcard with space for a message, address, and stamp. The other side, which also features an image, is a fonoscope which has a 90 second recording of what used to be a daily occurrence: the ringing of the local church bells and the sound of a nearby rookery.
Sound postcards, invented in 1903, incorporate a vinyl-style recording onto a traditional postcard. Anne Marie wanted to explore this process, having memories of flexi discs coming with music magazines in her youth and the joy of putting a needle on a record.
When Anne Marie first started to explore this idea, it was a response to changes in her rural environment. With more than 160 post offices closed in the last couple of years, and a possible 200 this year, as well as some regional bus routes being discontinued, there are "increasingly fewer locations and occasions where people can meet," says the artist.
"The disappearance of these social hubs that have been a lifeline, is isolating for so many people and is, in effect, another type of lockdown that was being enforced long before the pandemic," she says. "Exploring other ways of connecting was the reason behind this publication."
This project is supported by the Galway County Arts Office. Anne Marie is currently Artist In Residence by distance for Interface Inagh and is making field recordings with Sandra King of The Irish Fibre Crafters, Ardrahan. For more information see www.annemariedeacy.com