UK based Dallas Simpson trained as a scientist, but has spent the last ten years involved with recording and performing binaural soundworks. He is a professional sound engineer, a self-taught environmental sound-artist and a pioneer of binaural sound art – sound-scapes recorded exactly as perceived by the human ear with in-ear microphones. The subject of each of his binaural recordings varies from natural surroundings to artificial environments. A concern with environmental conservation underpins much of Simpson’s work – he strives to invigorate our relationship with the environment to help us reconnect spiritually, emotionally and socially.
High quality, binaural recordings have the periphonic potency of a three-dimensional surround-sound experience when replayed on headphones, which Simpson uses to engage the listener in the experience of soundscape directed by Simpson himself. While recording, his movement through a location is pedestrian choreography – he creates a walking compositional arrangement of sounds in three-dimensional space with an unfolding narrative. The nature of the recordings allows Simpson’s experience to be transmitted to the listener with uncanny accuracy.
In addition to creating recorded soundscapes, Dallas Simpson performs live. He has appeared at the London College of Music with composer Chris Thorpe; in York with Linda Merrick; in Glasgow as part of the ‘Drift – Environmental Sound Art / Acoustic Ecology Project; and has performed with Max Eastley and Helmut Lemke at Creswell Craggs. Simpson has written about the performative aspects of his practice in depth in ‘The Art of Binaural Location Performance,’ which appeared in the UK Journal of Free Improvisation: Rubberneck, and was subsequently reproduced on the US website for free improvisation ‘The Improviser’.
Simpson has released several CDs including For Alderney on the and/OAR label in 2004, Sonic Bathing 1 on Farfield Records the same year, and A Meditation For Spring on Autumn Records in 2005. His work The Valley Of Crows appeared on the 2006 compilation Recorded In The Field By… on the German label Gruenrekorder. His pieces were selected for inclusion in sound art compilations curated by Colin Fellows of the John Moores Liverpool University (Hope, Trace and Zero), and two pieces have been released through Time Recording’s EMIT series, Abha (EMIT 2296) and Waterpump (EMIT 1197).
Simpson’s work was included in the ‘Music for Spaces’ composition series on BBC Radio 3, and has been frequently featured on London’s art radio station Resonance 104.4 FM.