Category: Story and narrative

Top Secret by Rimini Protokoll

A locative audio work that explores the idea of surveillance within the context of the museum.
What do states keep secret? What secrets do other states attempt to uncover with their intelligence services? How is this information passed on, compiled, evaluated? When can state secrets become valuable currency? The value of every piece of information changes at the very moment it is shared with someone else: when does it become worthless?…Continue Reading Top Secret by Rimini Protokoll

Samson Young – Nocturne

a sound performance, conceived around and in reaction to a series of night bombing videos that the artist has collected on youtube, which are edited into a video that is stripped away of all sounds. These footages originate from a variety of sources including news reports, archival footages, and video captured and uploaded by amateurs. Throughout the performance, the performer watches this silent video on a monitor, and attempts to accurately restore its soundtrack of explosions, gunshots and debris, by playing a live foley set using a series of regular household objects. …Continue Reading Samson Young – Nocturne

Pandemic Projects – Quarantine related sound work

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….Continue Reading Pandemic Projects – Quarantine related sound work

Raven Chacon

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….Continue Reading Raven Chacon

Trevor Wishart – Red Bird: A Political Prisoner’s Dream

 “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. …Continue Reading Trevor Wishart – Red Bird: A Political Prisoner’s Dream

Annea Lockwood – Sound Map of the Hudson River

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…Continue Reading Annea Lockwood – Sound Map of the Hudson River

Janet Cardiff – Her Long Black Hair

Her Long Black Hair is a 35-minute journey that begins at Central Park South and transforms an everyday stroll in the park into an absorbing psychological and physical experience. Cardiff takes each listener on a winding journey through Central Park’s 19th-century pathways, retracing the footsteps of an enigmatic dark-haired woman….Continue Reading Janet Cardiff – Her Long Black Hair

Joe Frank

from NPR Two pieces by legendary producer Joe Frank: Rent-a-Family and Fragments for Mixed Voices. These originally aired on his show Work In Progress, which aired on KCRW from 1986 to 1992. You can learn more about Joe Frank on his website, joefrank.com Two pieces by legendary producer Joe Frank: Rent-a-Family and Fragments for Mixed…Continue Reading Joe Frank

Luc Ferrari – Presque Rien avec Filles

The conceit behind the 1989 edition of Luc Ferrrari’ “Presque Rien Avec Filles” is that a concealed composer/photographer records some girls having a picnic. If that sounds potentially passive and prurient, it ends up being neither. The opening nature sounds are soon elbowed aside by isolated words and exhalations, which are in turn blasted by bursts of a very late ’80s-sounding drum machine. …Continue Reading Luc Ferrari – Presque Rien avec Filles

Chris Watson – El Tren Fantasma – El Divisadero

Using archive and field recordings, Chris Watson recreates a passenger ride across the country on a line that no longer exists. It’s been more than a decade since the last service operated by the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (FNM). Watson spent a month on board one of the trains as a sound recordist working with a film crew documenting a BBC TV series on Great Railways Journeys. The atmospheres captured with sensitive microphones in the country reveal the environment at its most open, intimate and natural setting. An additional post-production of looping train samples, turns this mere field recording into a mesmerizing trip. This is more than just a sound portrait lifted off a television show. Watson composes a cinematic narrative bringing the listener (and the observer) into a setting unattainable alone. …Continue Reading Chris Watson – El Tren Fantasma – El Divisadero

So you want to talk about squid?

Here’s a good example of the way that language can be manipulated to tweak intelligibility and meaning. All About Squid By Gregory Whitehead William S. Burroughs suggests that language often behaves like a virus as it passes from mouth to mouth, gathering microbes along the way: microbes provoking strange mutations that may express themselves through the most…Continue Reading So you want to talk about squid?

Joan LaBarbara – Voice is the Original Instrument

From Joan LaBarbara: One of my earliest pieces, “Hear What I Feel”, was a self-exploratory, sensory-deprivation experimental work, designed to help me discover new sounds, delve into psychological aspects, as well as communicate with the audience on a pre-verbal level of awareness. After spending an hour in isolation with my eyes taped shut and not…Continue Reading Joan LaBarbara – Voice is the Original Instrument

The Field Recordist – Film

Lawrence Barker has finished his audiovisual autobiography, The Field Recordist. This film is a personal reflection of my own passion for audio field recording over the past 45 years. All film audio is from recorded narrative and original captured field recordings and does not contain fabricated or synthesized audio, or non-field recorded music. Any layered audio tracks will be individually recognised, such…Continue Reading The Field Recordist – Film

Susan Hiller – Witness 2000

Witness 2000. Each speaker in the installation Witness 2000 transmits a voice telling a story. A wide variety of languages represent testimonies from all over the world. The witnesses describe the experience of an encounter with UFOs or creatures from other spheres. A range of similarities emerges in the descriptions and in the type of…Continue Reading Susan Hiller – Witness 2000

Hrafn: Conversations with Odin – Chris Watson and Iain Pate

Hrafn: Conversations with Odin is a sound installation that presents the remarkable and seldom-heard phenomenon of ravens gathering to roost. Set in Kielder Water & Forest Park in Northumberland, the audience will be led at twilight on a short walk into the deepest part of the forest. Along the way their guides share ancient raven…Continue Reading Hrafn: Conversations with Odin – Chris Watson and Iain Pate

Roald Dahl

I tried to stay absolutely still for as long as possible, to see if I could hear anything at all. I listened and listened. I held my breath and listened again. I had a queer feeling that the whole wood was listening with me, the trees and the bushes, the little animals hiding in the…Continue Reading Roald Dahl

Vladan Radovanović – Voice From The Loudspeaker

Serbian composer, visual artist and theoretician Vladan Radovanović (b. Belgrade, 1932), is a Yugoslavian electronic music pioneer who established former Yugoslavia’s first electroacoustic music studio, the Radio Belgrade Electronic Studio in 1972 – see English bio here. During the 1970s, Radovanović turned to sound poetry and readings of conceptual texts a la Lawrence Weiner. He…Continue Reading Vladan Radovanović – Voice From The Loudspeaker

Justin Bennett – Drowned – from “The Well”

The Well is constructed from sounds recorded in Istanbul: voices, machines, footsteps, tunnels, but also bronze cymbals and electric guitars. But it is not purely phonographic, it’s a personal journey through layers of narrative, memory, sounds and music – an attempt to uncover the secret well that lies deep under the city….Continue Reading Justin Bennett – Drowned – from “The Well”

William Burroughs, “The Silver Smoke of Dreams”

William Burroughs, “The Cut Up Method” The cut-up technique is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. Most commonly, cut-ups are used to offer a non-linear alternative to traditional reading and writing.[citation needed] The concept can be traced to at least the Dadaists of…Continue Reading William Burroughs, “The Silver Smoke of Dreams”

Blow Out – Brian DePalma. Recording and Listening. (2 vids)

John Travolta, Sound Recordist. From Blow Out by Brian DePalma Blow Out is a 1981 thriller film, written and directed by Brian De Palma. The film stars John Travolta as Jack Terry, a movie sound effects technician from Philadelphia who, while recording sounds for a low-budget horror film, serendipitously captures audio evidence of an assassination…Continue Reading Blow Out – Brian DePalma. Recording and Listening. (2 vids)

Luc Ferrari – Presque Rien N°1 ou Le Lever Du Jour Au Bord La Mer

Decades after the fact, French composer Luc Ferrari recalled that the first time he played “Presque Rien” for his colleagues at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, their faces turned to stone. Such dismay is often the fate of any art that takes its medium to a wholly logical yet previously unacceptable conclusion, let alone art that changes the game. This 21-minute piece, which was first heard in 1970, did both, and the work of contemporary artists as disparate as Chris Watson and Vanessa Rossetto owe it a hefty debt….Continue Reading Luc Ferrari – Presque Rien N°1 ou Le Lever Du Jour Au Bord La Mer

Pamela Z – Geek Speak

The origins of Geekspeak lie in a 1995 artist residency Pamela Z participated in at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center. She became fascinated by the language and voices of some of the researchers she met there. At times it seemed as if practically no English was being spoken. info here: http://www.yale.edu/yalemus/325a/content/exercises/listening/PamelaZ_GeekSpeak.htm…Continue Reading Pamela Z – Geek Speak

Hildegard Westerkamp – A Walk Through The City (1981)

A Walk Through The City (1981) for solo tape with poetry and reading by Norbert Ruebsaat Length: 16:05 A Walk through the City is an urban environmental composition based on Norbert Ruebsaat’s poem of the same name (see below). It takes the listener into a specific urban location – Vancouver B.C.’s Skid Row area –…Continue Reading Hildegard Westerkamp – A Walk Through The City (1981)

Helen Thorington — 9-11 scapes

9.11.01 Scapes was composed to accompany a series of collaged images created by Jo-Anne Green the day New York’s World Trade Center was attacked. Green’s palette consisted of NASA images of earth and photographs of diatoms and ground Zero. Each Scape consists of multiple layers. Thorington used the layers’ titles, and the texts that accompanied the NASA images to weave her multilayered narrative for the Notes; and much as Green used found ‘pigments’, Thorington used found sounds to create the soundscore for the series. 9:11:01 Scapes was the winner of an Honorable Recognition, Prix Bohemia Radio Festival, Czechoslovakia, 2003; and the Winner, Aether Festival, KUNM-FM, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2003….Continue Reading Helen Thorington — 9-11 scapes

Anders Dahl – Habitat

Anders Dahl: habitat (excerpt) Hear the real sounds of artificial nature; sometimes even more natural than nature itself. Anders Dahl have spent 4 years creating this piece of birds and insects and other animals; using only speakers, toys and other mechanical devices. Very inspiring and a very rewarding excursion. Enjoy the field trip, and don´t…Continue Reading Anders Dahl – Habitat