As a Midwest native, I’m accustomed to passing abandoned farms and farmhouses nearly every day. However, aside from noting their beauty in the fleeting moment in which these farms are within eyesight, I’ve rarely—if ever—given them a second thought. Here, in the form of a video narrative, I’ve attempted to pay tribute to the decay of these delicate, lonely structures.
While gathering footage around my home in rural Wisconsin for this video, I paused at each shooting location to record audio samples. For instance, I captured the noise a rusty hook makes as it rattles against the side of a barn. I knocked one fist against a half rotted door. I held my phone up to the sky to record the buzzing of cicadas in a nearby tree. After returning home, I composed and recorded a song, titled “Prairie Lullaby,” incorporating these compiled noises.
As you can see in the last few seconds of the video, I used GarageBand to cut and splice my collected sounds to create beats that replicate drums. Subsequently, I added a couple of instrumental tracks over top in which I play simple melodies on the piano and the organ. A handful of sounds (specifically, the woodpecker noises and the wind whistling through grass) come from Freesound, a collaborative sound database. I’ve included the audio as a separate file in case the voiceover of the video is distracts from these subtler elements.
As the National Barn Alliance professes, “A barn is more than wood and nails.” I hope you come to share a similar impression after watching my video.