world makes its own music, but we rarely listen with naive ears.
American is the manipulation of sounds I hear and record.
project began as I grappled with what it meant to be a tourist in another culture.
It continues as I grapple with what it means to be a tourist in my own.
opportunity, the thrill, and the risk of travel is being present to the world.
My goal with Quiet American is to sketch in sound the experience of being in an
work on this site is not a replacement for travel. But if you are willing to listen,
you may be transported.
am opinionated and verbose. To those who suffer
for these things I offer this: what I hear when I am quiet.
listen right away, visit discography, field
recordings, or one-minute vacations. You will
need a free mp3
of this site is rewarded.
Please use headphones.
made my first work from field recordings in the fall of 1998.
While traveling in Vietnam, I recorded musicians,
trains, moving water, crickets, monks, markets, metalwork, tired animals, and
drunken tourists. The
earliest work on this site is the result of my discovery of ways of working with
that sound as sole medium.
it became clear that it was important for me to apply the techniques I was learning
to the sounds that define my home, the San Francisco
Bay area. In 1999 I recorded during a trip to Fiji.
I made much work with material gathered during my nine-month honeymoon in Asia,
in 2000-2001. During the trip I recorded in Thailand, Laos,
(Myanmar), Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Tibet, China,
and Japan. Recordings from those places will be eventually added to the site.
I hope to find time to also share more recordings from the US, from from my 2004 trip to Cuba, and my visits in 2006 and 2007
to Mexico, Portugal, and Spain, Italy in 2008, the Netherlands in 2009, and Kenya (and Spain again) in 2010.
Over the years, my work as Quiet
American has been played on numerous radio programs and streaming internet stations.
I have been interviewed by numerous public radio stations, erasingclouds,
Weekly, and reviewed in print by The
Wire and online by ampersand
etcetera, the Vital
Weekly, and Delusions
popular one-minute vacations
project was featured on WNYC's The
Next Big Thing and is regularly cited in blogs and portals. Recordings from
that project were featured in Montreal's Canadian
Center for Architecture's year-long exhibition Sense
of the City in 2006.
collaboration with my wife, Annapurna: Memories
in Sound, was awarded the Director's Choice Honorable Mention at the 2002
Third Coast International
Audio Festival. The concert series I curated and hosted from 2001-2005, Field
Effects, was awarded a Best
of San Francisco award from the SF Weekly and a Best
of the Bay award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian. My recordings have been
used in a variety of other projects, including albums by Shuttle358
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American is an ongoing project. I will be working on it into the foreseeable future.
are many hours of material available on this site. I add new content regularly
as my other commitments, such as parenthood and gainful employment, allow.
available for commissions and to teach or speak
about my work.
am interested in press, airplay, and any contact from labels interested in my
work; write me for demos or information.
I used to seek to release material on 'real' labels. That no longer seems relevant, or desirable, but if you run one, and believe you can further my career, by all means, let me know.
Increasingly, my interests (and work) as an artist and as a sound artist result in outcomes other than composed work.
But I remain committed to sound and listening. Current projects include the co-curation of a year of sound-art programming at Swarm in Oakland, in collaboration with artist Jeffrey Eisenberg and gallerist Svea Lin Soll, and co-chairing of Bay Area Sound Ecology with sound designer Jeremiah Moore.
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American remains a labor of love trying to become a life. At present I am unable to
support myself solely through this and other art.
mp3s on the site are given to you as a gift under the terms of a Creative
Commons license (with the important exception
of the one-minute vacation submissions, for which I do not have rights). Most
of the original artwork is available here if you wish to burn and package your
own CD. I've revised most of the artwork since, however; write me if you would
like the most recent packaging.
My work does sound better on CD; with this in mind I have in the past distributed
hundreds of CDRs at no charge. Unfortunately,
my current situation prevents me from continuing this practice.
As of the birth of my first daughter, CDRs became $108 plus shipping (there is an order form on the contact page). The eyebrow-raising price reflects the current value of my time—take solace in that you will receive a hand-made object, not something mass-produced. (You could also support my work through a PayPal donation, or the purchase of a day of my life or a quiPod.)
a fan of barter.
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