Some examples of voice as textural sound
Link to the Page on Psychoacoustics
The COVID lockdown did not shut down the desire to share sound with the world. While the pandemic closed concert and exhibition venues worldwide, undoubtedly damaging many artists financial prospects, it has not kept them from sharing their work. Numerous venues have created platforms for sharing adventurous sound – some of them free, some of them requiring a donation to help the performing artists.
Sometimes you don’t have access to a quality recording device and you want to capture something quickly. Most of us own a recorder that we have with us at all times — a smart phone.
The global Covid pandemic has changed our listening, this is particularly true for those of us living in urban and industrialized areas. What do we hear when the trucks are not rumbling down our street? What do we pay attention to when people are tucked away in their homes and not out on the street in their vehicles? This might mean a heightened awareness of nature, particularly birds, it also might highlight the man-made sounds that were once so prevalent that we simply ignored them — when the trucks are less frequent suddenly we pay attention to them.
Originally from the Navajo Nation, Raven Chacon is a composer of chamber music, a performer of experimental noise music, and an installation artist. He performs regularly as a solo artist as well as with numerous ensembles in the Southwest and beyond. He is also a member of the Indigenous art collective Postcommodity, with who he recently premiered the two-mile-long land art/border intervention, Repellent Fence.
Kevin Beasley engages with the legacy of the American South through an installation that centers on a cotton gin motor from Maplesville, Alabama. In operation from 1940 to 1973, the motor powered the gins that separated cotton seeds from fiber. Here, the New York-based artist uses it to generate sound as if it were a musical instrument, creating space for visual and aural contemplation.
Onyx Ashanti is a Berlin-based artist who fuses electronic, free-jazz, and science fiction, creating live performances with instruments he invented.
An introduction to the surround panner in Adobe Audition
A simple “getting started” video
“Red Bird” (1977) is a 45-minute piece of musique concrète in four movements. Made for the most part of bird sounds, body sounds, and selected mouthed words, it weaves an intricate network of symbols. Completed in 1977, it was made with traditional electro-acoustic techniques.
Soundwalk Collective was given unprecedented access to the halls of the emblematic nightclub Berghain / Panoramabar in Berlin.
A re-incarnation of the legendary Ostgut club, the focal point of Berlin’s techno subculture, the Berghain building is a former East German power plant that is remarkable for its enormous dimensions, 18m high dance floor and minimalist constitution of steel, glass and concrete.
Believe it or not, there’s a long history of plants and sound.
Here’s an article in the great art blog Hyperallergic that talks about the exhibition Sonic Succulents: Plant Sounds and Vibrations by Adrienne Adar at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
An incomplete list of different types of musical instruments. There are many sub categories that could be formed beyond this simple list.
Wildlife recordist Chris Watson begins a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean, celebrating the sounds and songs of marine life and investigating the threat of noise pollution
Two Postcommodity members, along with composer Guillermo Galindo, are partnering with members of a fast-gentrifying Santa Monica neighborhood to produce a sound-based artwork of contested histories.
Oliver Beer’s “Vessel Orchestra” includes 32 objects, ancient to modern, chosen for the sounds hidden within them.
Dr Helen Czerski investigates the extraordinary science behind the everyday sounds we hear and those that we normally cannot hear.
The global engineering firm Arup and BLOXAS Architects collaborated on a soundscape installation to demonstrate what our everyday environment might sound like to a dementia sufferer.
Ultimately, all sound that we perceive is psychoacoustic. As soon as sound passes through the ears, it stops being a physical phenomena and becomes a matter of perception. What we hear is almost by rule different from what is actually sounding, due to the peculiarities and limitations of our hearing. And what we hear can largely differ from what we think we are listening to, due to the many tricks that perception plays on our awareness.
Benjamin Gale is a freelance Sound Editor, Field Recordist and Sound Designer from Bristol, UK currently living in the south of France. He has been developing a series of immersive audio books for children using binaural recordings and SFX to accompany voice acting and illustrations.
Sound artists have experimented with everyday noises for centuries. Now this music is making a comeback.
In her visual and audio work, Jennie C. Jones revels in the affective power of silence and lack, staging encounters with forgotten histories and extra-visual phenomena through the bodies of her viewers.
THE BOUNCY BEEPS of Pac-Man. The percussive build-up in Legend of Zelda. The effusive gibberish of The Sims. The sounds in videogames tell us to speed up, start over, and of course, to keep playing. But how does one set of beeps so effectively tell you you’ve gained power, while another indicates your character has died? And how, exactly, does someone create the sound of the Dark Knight punching the Joker in the face? The answer: Genius sound design.
In honor of May Day, Ultra-red release the PDF of our latest workbook for militant sound inquiry, “Five Protocols for Organized Listening” (5.8MB). The workbook compiles protocols for collective listening developed by multiple teams of investigators from 2009 to 2011 in cities across North America and Europe. “Five Protocols” is also accompanied by links to related sound objects on the School of Echoes Soundcloud page. Please feel free to download and distribute. We only ask that you send us feedback on your experiments with organized listening and militant sound investigation.
Hong-Kai Wang is an artist who works mainly with sound. Her practice includes processes involved in the production and performance of sound as well as their political and social contexts, and, not least, the organisation of listening. In several of her pieces she has employed collective processes, discussions and workshops.
Anna Mlasowsky is a German-born glass artist who works across many media including video, installation, and performance. As the description below for the project “Resonance” attests, her work with sound emerges from her own challenges with hearing perception.
An aural journey from the source of the river, in the high peak area of the Adirondacks, downstream to the Lower Bay and the Atlantic Ocean; Lockwood traces the course of the Hudson through on-site recordings of its flow at 15 separate locations. Annea Lockwood has recorded rivers in many countries to explore the special state of mind and body which the sounds of moving water create when one listens intently to the complex mesh of rhythms and pitches. The listener will find that each stretch of the Hudson has its own sonic texture, formed by the terrain, varying according to the weather, the season and downstream, the human environment whose sounds are intimately woven into the river’s sounds. 71 minutes 33 seconds
The Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson uses music as a key focus of many of his performance and video works. In the work entitled A Lot of Sorrow (2014) for example, he staged a performance at MOMA PS1 in which he invited the American band The National to play their well-known song Sorrow repeatedly for six hours.
Humans come into contact with sound all the time. Our first tactile listening experience is in the womb, feeling our mother’s heartbeat. This kind of physicality continues into our everyday: We feel our own hearts beating, we hear the sound of our footsteps. By its very nature, direct contact with music through its natural vibrations introduces us to an experience we’ve been missing, one that is crucial to our proper understanding of it.
The ground is in motion. GROUND acts as a LOOKING GLASS, as an AMPLIFIER for what we normally can´t perceive – tectonic plates are continously shifting … the permutations of landscapes constitute an infinite process of becoming… geosphere is a complex system that interferes with biosphere but also with anthroposphere, that part of the environment, that is made and modified by humans.
GROUND is moved by immense mechanical forces. The motion can be felt, heard and seen. Rough sounds are mechanically produced through friction between the concrete elements … visitors might experience the loss of their visual reference points, it becomes unclear what is still and what isn´t… there is an afterglow of a moving ground in the visitors physical memory after leaving the installation.
Audible Spaces presents three sound installations that encourage participants to explore the subtleties of listening. Tristan Perich, Zarouhie Abdalian, and [The User] have each created immersive environments using seemingly uniform sounds that dissolve into tonal, tactile, and temporal variations as participants engage with them.
A 40-metre wall with a 1.5-metre gap at each end is built to bisect the gallery. Hidden
inside the wall are a series of microphones connected to a PA system. The entrance side of the gallery is empty. On the other side of the gallery, coming out from the bisecting wall a baseball bat is attached to a steel chain. The audience is invited to strike the wall. Their action is amplified at 120db.
Maryanne Amacher was an experimental sound artist who composed music and created site-specific sound installations. Early in her career she played music on multiple tape machines and mixed them live. She was interested in the experience and perception of sounds in particular spaces.
Podcast episode featuring acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton. Silence is an endangered species, says Gordon Hempton. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth, as he knows it, is a “solar-powered jukebox.” Quiet is a “think tank of the soul.” We take in the world through his ears.
There is no quieter place to record audio on campus (or in most places you might have access to) than the voice over booth at Arnhold Hall. This is an acoustically isolated space that is an excellent location to record vocals, foley, an instrument, a conversation, etc.
In the often derelict but delicate works of Rolf Julius, subtle noise vibrations become palpable, physical things.
Heather Hart’s “The Oracle of Lacuna” creates spaces for communal exploration of little-known regional oral histories.