Four Walks at Old Chapel

by Dan Powell

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about

Old Chapel Farm is an adventure in living which aims to bring people closer to the fundamentals of human existence: the creation of food and of shelter. It is a bridge reaching forwards into a newer, more sustainable way of being in a rapidly changing and highly populated world.

As a family we have been visiting this place every year since 2011. In 2017 I decided to produce a piece about Old Chapel Farm as part of my series which focuses on personal experience of a space.

On our trip in 2018 my daughter Bea and I collected objects we found around the site and gathered them together in a straw bale hut suspended over a stream in a wooded valley which the farm’s owners made available for us to use. We recorded small performances with them, brushing, scraping and rubbing them to produce a wide range of intimate sounds. We also made field recordings around the site, including using a piano which had been exposed to the elements for some time.

Back in the studio in Brighton, I arranged the recorded sounds into a new work. I wanted to try and communicate some of the mystery and revelation I’ve experienced on my visits, and the connections I feel with the land and people I encounter when I visit the farm.

Dan Powell was born in Essex and moved to London to study photography at The Polytechnic of Central London. After college he briefly ran a gallery on the southbank, made installations in a variety of group and solo shows and was involved in the OMSK collective putting on arts events across the UK.

He moved to Brighton in 1999. He’s a sound artist who uses field recordings, handmade and proprietary electronics and tuned percussion. The main focus of his work is exploring places which have a particular personal resonance. He has been active in electro-acoustic improvisation in London and Brighton, especially with Gus Garside in The Static Memories, and Chris Parfitt in Nil. Currently he performs as part of Muster with James O’Sullivan.

credits

released May 11, 2021

Recorded at Old Chapel Farm, Wales, 2016-2018 by Dan & Bea Powell. Composed and produced by Dan Powell, Brighton, 2019. Mastering and cover by Miguel Carvalhais with photos by Dan Powell.

Thank you to Fran, Kevin & Merlin Blockley, the Powell, Parker and Henderson families.

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