Listening Down the Line


This track is the audio part of my installation Listening Down the Line. It is based on the LP record of the same name released by Sundance Productions in New Zealand in the early 60s. The original recording serves to document a number of historic New Zealand steam trains, in what would have been the last years of their service.

My installation took place in a motorway underpass, a concrete pedestrian walkway, as part of the exhibition We Won’t Stab You, organised by Waimarie Dashper and Rachel Short.

I wanted to create a feeling of the history of this claustrophobic, some would say, intimidating space. The purpose of the walkway, connected to one of the old streets of Auckland, is to provide access separate from the busy elevated roadway above.

I positioned one speaker of each stereo channel at each end of the 50m long tunnel, and layered the sounds of the trains so as to blend into the existing vehicle-heavy ambience – some mechanical ghosts from the past.