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.
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...
handpans and the hang
as paredes têm ouvidos
a day, a week, a year
effects concert series annapurna: memories
do you record?
you remember how you became interested in 'everyday' sound?
a favorite recording, and why?
are the questions I asked people. Here are seventeen answers, in the order in
which they were broadcast.
monolog: ven voisey|
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
interview: dajuin yao|
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
You can read more at www.sinologic.com/yao/
monolog: jeremiah moore|
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|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might find more here.
interview: andra mccartney|
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|
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
monolog: cÚdric 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
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
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|
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 email@example.com.
monolog: dave mcguire
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
interview: jim cummings|
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
monolog: jason reinier|
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'
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
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
interview: ros bandt|
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 |
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 email@example.com.
monolog: robert carlberg|
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
interview: dale lloyd |
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.
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.
and miscellany are copyright 2002, Aaron Ximm.