one-minute vacation
 
quiet, please

'Quiet, please' is an audio documentary on field recordings and the people who make them. The focus is on artists using field recordings in new ways, building on — and going beyond — their traditional use by of nature recordists, researchers, ethnomusicologists, and electroacoustic composers.

In four hours of interviews and monologs, seventeen artists — acoustic ecologists, field recordists, and sound activists — talk about their work, introduce us to favorite recordings, and share their passion for the sounds the world makes.

The show was broadcast on May 18, 2002, as part of radio station KFJC's special programming in the month of May. The show was curated, edited, and programmed by me and coproduced with Ethan Port (Mobilization Records, F-Space, Savage Republic).

Special thanks to 89.7's Number 6 for engineering and moral support!

And most of all, to everyone who put energy into making this program as rich as it is...

 

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
kolam
urban cycles
other recordings

Why do you record?
Do you remember how you became interested in 'everyday' sound?
What's a favorite recording, and why?

These are the questions I asked people. Here are seventeen answers, in the order in which they were broadcast.

monolog: ven voisey

10.4 MB

Ven Voisey, v.v., is an Oakland, California, based sound-artist who has written this about his work: 'lost in beauty, clarity through observation, listening with no intent, blurry-eyed gaze, filtration of second-hand experience, multi-channel communication void, nasty one-liners and the collision factors.'

You can read more at www.v---v.net and www.throat.org.

interview: dajuin yao

21.9 MB

Dajuin Yao is a sound artist, web artist, radio DJ, and music producer based in Berkeley, California. Dajuin holds a doctoral degree in art history from the University of California, Berkeley, and is the co-founder of the Chinese Computer Music Association. A pioneer in Chinese concrete poetry and web art, Dajuin's artistic interests have always been multi-dimensional. Dajuin's music works focus on cultural listening. In recent years he has worked on the deconstruction of the Chinese language (sound, script, and meaning), software modulation of traditional music and opera, and emotional sound art.

You can read more at www.sinologic.com/yao/ and www.post-concrete.com.

monolog: jeremiah moore

13.4 MB

Jeremiah Moore is a San Francisco, California, based sound designer and sound artist. He writes: 'I find sounds: beautiful ones, good ones, piercing ones, haunting ones, delicate ones, disturbing ones, and I do things with them. I make melodies or I find melodies that are already there.... The point is to [find, extract, create] sonic experiences... The ear is the window to the soul. We understand so much through our ears - and much of it we are unaware of consciously. Here is a powerful medium. And an ethereal one. In my work, I seek to tap into that power. To shape experiences from raw sound. When I'm lucky I pull it off.'

You can read more at www.babyjane.com/timeweb/.

monolog: will mitchell

8.7 MB

Will Mitchell is an independent engineer in the San Francisco Bay area who does field and studio recording. He seeks 'to call attention to the bed of sound that is all around us.... whether in a nature or urban setting: how full, varied, and often loud it is; the sound interactions that one might miss in their day to day travels, yet are there if one listens...'

Will can be contacted at handsonsound@earthlink.net. You might find more here.

interview: andra mccartney

22.1 MB

Dr. Andra McCartney teaches Sound in Media as a professor of Communications Studies at Concordia University in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Of her work she writes 'I make multimedia soundscapes, working with my own location recordings to create websites, CD-ROMs, tape works and performances that are evocative of my experiences of places, and their sonic and sociopolitical resonances. I like to use moving microphones, digital filters and multitrack composition to focus attention on intricate subtleties and sonic undercurrents in everyday life.'

You can read more at andrasound.org.

monolog: brian godfrey

6.7 MB

Brian Godfrey is co-proprieter of the Wild Bird Shop in Cannon Beach, Oregon. About the recording in his monolog, he remarks 'if you bring up the beaverpond recording in a sound editor you will notice that you can actually see the waveform of the regular surf! Another thing I noticed is that some of the birds were synchronized with the waves, and not necessarily with the quiet part of the wave cycles, either. At least one seemed to synchronize with the loudest part of the wave cycle. I'm going to have to look into this more thoroughly...'

You can read more at www.wildbirdshop.com.

monolog: cÚdric peyronnet

6.4 MB

Cédric Peyronnet is a French sound sculptor based in the Limoges area. He has been working under the name of toy.bizarre since 1985. Of his work he writes: 'My actual work is focused on the 'place,' its characteristics, and its sound components… so the goal of all my sound compositions is to explore a place: it could be a chain of mountains, a square meter of grass, a beach, a marshalling yard, an hydroelectric powerstation… Each time the process is the same: recording all the typical sounds of the place (well, for me), then to compose sound pieces only with these sounds, through a sound sculpture process. So we can say that each one of these pieces is the sonic reflection of the place...'

You can read more at www.ingeos.org and www.kaon.org. You can listen to his live, streaming web-mic here.

interview: claude willey

19.4 MB

Claude Willey, an artist living and working in Los Angeles, has a history of working with sound, performance, and other research-oriented art forms. Within the realm of 'audio art' he has been represented by Staalplaat in Amsterdam, Vuz, and Katyn in Germany, and Defective and N.T.S. in the United States. In 2000, as a graduate student conducting field research in SoCal watershed environments at the University of California, Irvine, Willey produced an hour-long sound work titled Hydro-Radio as the heart of Romance of the Hydrograph, a unique document fusing water rights issues, environmental engineering, and sound art. The work was broadcast as part of the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Claude can be contacted at claudewilley@prodigy.net.

monolog: dave mcguire

2.7 MB

Dave McGuire is surrounded by sound at NPR station WBEZ in Chicago, Illinois. Some of his (non-professional) radio pieces can be heard here, where you can also learn about tiny cameras and what movies Yahoo is promoting.He has contributed several recordings to the one-minute vacation page here at quietamerican.org.

Dave can be contacted at daviddmcguire@hotmail.com.

monolog: jonathan coleclough

5.8 MB

'Jonathan Coleclough is a UK sound artist active since 1989. His material comes both from the immediate acoustic environment around him, and from using some of the most basic and elemental of sound-making techniques (the scrape of metal, the sigh of human breath). Many of the sounds that he records are freighted with emotional resonance, or come from specific locations with personal significance.' Of the composition that closes his monolog, he writes 'Gate appeared in 2001 on the compilation An Uncommon Nature released by Anomalous Records of Seattle, USA. The LP also has pieces by Jeph Jerman, Mirror, Agog, Climax Golden Twins, Mike Shannon, Monos, Richard Lerman, and Dave Knott. The LP is available from Anomalous Records (P.O. Box 22195, Seattle, WA 98122-0195, USA).'

You can read more at www.phonograpy.org and www.minya98.freeserve.co.uk/.

interview: jim cummings

18 MB

Jim Cummings runs field-recording resource site and label EarthEar and AcousticEcology.org. In 1995, he published an article on the current state of nature sound recording. In the process he became one of the handful of people anywhere to hear the full range of field recording styles being explored around the world. He came to the excited realization that there was something bigger going on than was readily apparent. He realized that these committed recordists were either seeking to make listening a more active, conscious process or were uncovering the most unusual corners of the sonic universe. With this 'big picture' before him, he committed 'to create a company that would allow a wider audience to hear the works of these creative sound artists...'

You can read more at www.earthear.com and www.acousticecology.org.

monolog: jason reinier

10.6 MB

C Jason Reinier, Executive Director of EarPrint Productions, is an award-winning sound designer, musician, composer, and radio producer. Reinier's Day of Sound, a "day in the life" of sounds around the world, was aired internationally, including on National Public Radios' All Things Considered. Reinier's sound design and performance in The Magic Theater's production of The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite won an outstanding achievement award from The Bay Area Theater Critics Circle in 1997. Reinier and wife Catherine Girardeau produce Earprints on the Air for radio station KPFA, which is currently on hiatus. He has served as Chair of the Nature Sound Society.

You can read more at www.earprint.com.

monolog: matt davignon

8.9 MB

Matt Davignon is an experimental sound artist and improviser based in Oakand, California. For his Tape Recorder project he uses handheld cassette recorders to collect sounds from the San Francisco Bay area. Matt co-curated Field Effects 1, an evening of field-recording based performance art at 964 Natoma in San Francisco, and assistant manages the concert series; and he curates and produces Locations, the Chain Tape Collective's series based on field recordings.

You can hear more on mp3.com at field_recordings (see Tape Recorder) and his home page.

interview: ros bandt

22.2 MB


Dr. Ros Bandt is an internationally acclaimed sound artist, composer, researcher and scholar. Since 1977 she has pioneered interactive sound installations, sound sculptures, created sound playgrounds, spatial music systems and some 40 sound installations worldwide. She has curated many sound performances, exhibitions and events. Her original works are recorded on New Albion Records, Move Records and EMI/ABC. Her book Sound Sculpture is published by Fine Arts Press. She is senior research fellow at the Australian Centre, the University of Melbourne, steering a large analytical study of sound design practice in Australia. Current projects include the Australian Sound Design of Public Acoustic Space. She was a founding member of the World Forum on Acoustic Ecology.

You can read more at www.australian.unimelb.edu.au. For fascinating details, clips, and photos related to Stack, the 6th movement of which is heard during her interview, visit www.digital-music-archives.com, where you will also be able to purchase the book Sound Sculpture.

monolog: thom blum

5.8 MB

Thom Blum has been making 'audio postcards' for years. Thom studied composition at California Institute of the Arts and completed his degree in Computer Applications to Music Synthesis at Ohio State University (1977), where he holds the dubious honor of being the first person to generate sounds with MUSIC-V on the University's DEC PDP-9, PDP-10 and IBM 370. He has been composing electroacoustic music since 1972, and his works have been presented in concerts and festivals and radio broadcasts internationally. Residing in San Francisco since 1978, he is co-founder of the International Computer Music Association and has worked as an engineer for DroidWorks, a researcher and software architect for Yamaha Music Technologies, and a co-founder of Muscle Fish, an audio signal processing and analysis software firm. He recently presented work at the Transparent Tape Music Festival.

Thom can be contacted at thom@musclefish.com.

monolog: robert carlberg

12.8 MB

Robert Carlberg writes, 'Since 1974 I have recorded Musique Concréte, produced recordings for other artists, created soundscapes for film, theatre and musical composition, documented rare environments, provided audio backdrops for trade shows and conventions, and amassed a large library of audio-vérité recordings. My Anode Urban Soundscape Series (AUSS) is a series of CDRs documenting particularly-interesting environments. Unlike other 'natural sound' releases which seek to record environments free of mankind - or through editing, create such an environment artificially - my series dismisses the view that all human activity is 'noise pollution.'We live, most of us, in human society and the natural sounds around all of us include our fellow pink apes. The sonically-rich environments presented here will yield to careful attention, but they also can be placed in the background for reading, sleeping, or simply experiencing the ambience of a different time & place...'

Robert can be contacted at rcarlberg@aol.com.

interview: dale lloyd

18.9 MB

Dale Lloyd is the producer of the phonography.org compilations and other recording projects (DASL - Zen Tread, Lucid, After The Flood, and works under his own name). Dale runs a CDR label called Overheard And Rendered and an offshoot label, and/OAR, which is devoted to field recording and electro-acoustic works utilizing field and source recording. The label's most recent release is of field recordings by Jon Tulchin, one of which is featured at the end of the interview.

You can read more at the and/OAR website and www.phonography.org.

Nota bene:
For space reasons these MP3s were encoded at 128Kbps.
Some example recordings have been slightly edited from their original form for length.
In all cases the original artists retain copyright on all recordings and compositions submitted.
Interviews and miscellany are copyright 2002, Aaron Ximm.