Road soundtrack by Frédéric Bigot

Sounds gleaned from American highways

Road soundtrack by Frédéric Bigot
Catriona Shaw and Fred Bigot

From Thursday, August 25 2011 to Thursday, October 26, 2011, equipped with a mobile recorder, a computer and a car, Frédéric Bigot crossed the United States on the hunt for unusual noises.

During those nine weeks he recorded hundreds of hours of audio material on roads and in cities. From this raw material he has composed 'Road Soundtrack', a 'bande originale' to a road movie without images.

During his research a weekly aural episode was broadcast via Gaite Lyrique's online magazine. Especially designed for the Chambre Sonore, Frédéric Bigot now invites visitors to become flaneurs in an American soundscape. A few important landmarks, events and characters have been documented in the process, including: A crossing in Manhattan; singing tires for different types of asphalt; a humming fridge and melodic air conditioning; cicadas in Chicago; passing hurricanes; geysers, fumaroles, bison and bikers; the voice of a wrinkled motel patron; spluttering mud volcanoes; silence in the face of immensity; Shoshone Falls and Twin Falls; a flat tyre in Nevada; a town called Jackpot; slot machines, automata and mechanical pianos; the wrong train; Polyphonic tourists chatty conversations and electronic beeps; digital cameras at the edge of the Grand Canyon; rolling balls inside a spray can at the Cadillac Ranch; Jim Magas, master storyteller; under the L-train; neighbourhood chat in Detroit; inside the corridors of the Fisher Building with Adam Miller; the Country Music Hall of Fame Nashville; an electrical connection to the Carter Family Fold; walking through Washington DC; the spectral transformation of ebb and flow at Long Beach Island; the lair of JG Thirlwell; crackling neon and grinding metal doors; Jeremy Novak's background Basement tapes; and finally the encyclopedic folk music compendium of Harry Smith.