one-minute vacation
field effects concert series

Between December 2001 and February 2005 I hosted a concert series in San Francisco premised on presenting found sound and field recording-based sound art in as comfortable an environment as possible.

The series, Field Effects, featured work from sound and media artists from the West Coast, other parts of the United States, and beyond.

Field Effects was awarded a a Best of San Francisco award in 2003 from the SF Weekly, and a Best of the Bay award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian in 2004.

The series is now concluded and the name retired, as I lost the warehouse home where concerts were held to the forces of accumulated capital.


marincello unsoundwalk
rodeo soundial
handpans and the hang
as paredes têm ouvidos
flostam resonance #1
a day, a week, a year

field effects concert series
annapurna: memories in sound
quiet, please
serendipity machines
urban cycles
other recordings

Christopher Willits and Scott Pagano

Field Effects was hosted in my home, a brick-and-timber warehouse in the South of Market district of San Francisco, now lost to the forces of accumulated capital. The audience was encouraged to sprawl and relax on futons, pillows, and beanbags, and to bring blankets and pillows.

The intent was to free the mind for deep listening.

The series averaged a show every six weeks, typically on Friday nights. Doors opened at 8 p.m.; we asked a sliding scale donation, $6-10, but no one was turned away.

My curatorial efforts are currently on hold until I find a new venue to host events at. Write me if you would like to be on the announcement mailing list (very low traffic) so as to hear when the next series starts up.


Jim Haynes (left), Kenneth Atchley (right)

The series strived to offer the listener as comfortable an environment as possible. It sought to be a unique home for quiet, subtle, or lovely sound art that is best appreciated in such an environment. I hoped to broaden the audience for experimental soundwork by presenting challenging work in a welcoming environment.

I tried to provide the best possible sound for the space, often using full-range PA speaker systems underwritten by DJ Vordo or Mobilization Records in conjunction with multiple pairs of room speakers to fill the room with sound: not loud, but everywhere. I also used four-channel systems with the assistance of Bay Area sound artist Sean Rooney.

These principals evolved in a dialog between Bay Area sound artist and curator Matt Davignon and myself. We presented the first Field Effects as a one-night event, but community response was so encouraging that we decided to keep the series going.


Cheryl Leonard and players (left), Glenn Bach (right)

Following is an archive of promotional materials for the Field Effects series and related concerts I have curated.

As time allows, I hope to post photos and excerpts from recordings I and others have made of the shows.

field effectsDecember 14, 2001Loren Chasse
Tape Recorder
Quiet American
Keith Evans
Carl Diehl
Richard Holland
noun soundJanuary 18 , 2002Infrasound 8
Dajuin Yao
civyiu kkliu
field effects 2March 15, 2002Josh Russell
Kenric McDowell
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
field effects 3: tape musicApril 19, 2002Steve Roden
Leticia Castaneda
Matt Davignon
Quiet American
Field Effects 4May 31, 2002Albert Ortega & Mitchell Brown
Dajuin Yao
Kaveh Soofi

Field Effects 5: Depth of Field

(small review)

July 19, 2002Ryan Junell
Keith Evans
Gregory Cowley
SK Reimers, Seth Warren & Dave D.
Field Effects 6: Far AfieldAugust 10, 2002Audiofile Collective
Jessika Kenney
Thom Blum
Outsides: Old Instruments, New TricksSeptember 19, 2002Matthias Ziegler
Zoe & Jhno
Field Effects 7: Japan-US RelationsOctober 11, 2002Tog
Sunao Inami
Bill Thompson (installation)
Field Effects 8: Concrete Origins December 13, 2002Eso Steel
Joe Colley
Jon Schainker
Milton Cross

Lovely is the New Loud

(Willits & Pagano)

January 31, 2003Tom Heasley
Christopher Willits & Scott Pagano
Kristin Miltner & James Livingston
Elliot Lessing (interactive installation)
Field Effects 9: the Rest of the WestFebruary 28, 2003Climax Golden Twins
Marcos Fernandes
Marcelo Radulovich

Field Effects 10: Four Corners

(review) (Atchley pictures) (Moore MP3, 15MB)

March 28, 2003GX Jupitter-Larsen
Kenneth Atchley
Stephen Ruiz (Zygote)
Jeremiah Moore
Field Effects 11 May 24, 2003Thuja
Glenn Bach
Jim Haynes
Field Effects 12: Strung Up, Thrown OutJune 20, 2003Cheryl Leonard
Jon Brumit
Field Effects 14August 1, 2003Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson
Lance Grabmiller
Field Effects 15: Field Trips October 10, 2003Sean Rooney
Jesse Hammons
Steve Polta
Field Effects 16November 7, 2003John Bischoff and Tim Perkis
Josh Russell
Joe Balestreri
Field Effects 17December 5, 2003j.frede
Cliff Caruthers
Field Effects 18: One, Two, Three, FourJanuary 23, 2004Carl Stone
Michael Northam
9 Beet Stretch
my radio spot on event: original 15MB; as aired 13MB
April 23-24, 2004Leif Inge
Field Effects 19: Tape Take TwoJune 25, 2004Maggi Payne
Ellen Band
Jen Boyd
Phillip Bimstein
Field Effects 20September 17, 2004Bernhard Gal
Thomas Dimuzio
Northwest Passage Night One
part of a festival curated by Tom Welsh
November 3, 2004Maja Ratke
Arve Henriksen
Field Effects 21January 28, 2005Yuko Nexus6
Mariko Tajiri
Scott Arford
special encore: Zoë Keating
Field Effects 22February 18, 2005Cheryl Leonard
Albert Ortega

Deepest gratitude to the volunteers who made the series possible, particularly Matt Davignon, who co-founded the series. Matt curated and co-hosted the first concert, and without him I would could not have presented many of the shows that have followed.

Matt's now curating experimental sound shows at San Francisco's venerable Luggage Store.

I should mention that the inspiration for me for Field Effects was a night of quiet sound art I'd participated in, Quiet Night, Holy Noise, organized with Kathy Kennedy, Jim Haynes, and Loren Chasse at the Lab in September, 2000. I consider the evening my prototype; among other things, audience members were encouraged to bring pillows and blankets.