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one-minute vacations: year four

What follows are the fourth year's worth of one-minute vacations.

If you like what you hear, I encourage you to purchase a copy of the compilation CD that collects these recordings: all profit from the sale of the CD (about 85% of the cost) goes to charity.

Sales of these compilations netted $275 for charity in 2006; this was donated to the World Wildlife Fund (as an extension of our annual gift).

Deepest gratitude to the year's contributors, who shared their recordings with us, and who agreed to donate the profits of their work to charity.


'When we don't touch, it's as if I were putting my fingers
in my ears. Then I hear the sound that dwells in the
space within the heart: like a river, like a bell, like a
chariot wheel, like the croak of a frog, like the rain,
like the word spoken in a cozy corner.'
(Robert Calasso)
january 9, 2006 1.4 MB Today's vacation comes to us courtesy of contributor Michael John Noble, who writes, 'Sounds at my apartment window in Jeonju, South Korea. There are markets directly below me, and at this particular moment a preacher is spreading the gospel via a megaphone-laden truck passing by. As he drives away you can here a clothing vendor preaching for his part the virtue of his cheap pants. The minor puctuation of a scooter and a little girl round out the scenario nicely... Recording taken on December 31 with Soundman OKMII KS microphones and an iRiver h140 running [third-party open-source] Rockbox firmware.'
january 2, 2006 1.5 MB And ring in the new: a second week of bells. As today's vacation contributor Flavien Gillie writes, 'I made this recording in the summer in Provence (in the south of France) in a village called Reillane. Recorded with a Sharp minidisc and a Sony microphone: simple fieldrecording equipment.'
december 26, 2005 1.4 MB Ring out the old year: Simon Eigeldinger of Austria describes this week's vacation, 'A recording of church bells from Domaso, Como Province, Italy. My (bad) equipment was a Sanyo ICR-B 180 NX recorder with its built-in microphone. I had to increase the volume of the recording because I was a long way away from this church and the built-in microphone is not the perfect-est! :-)'
december 19, 2005 950 KB A second week of song: of today's vacation contributor Bradley Iverson-Long writes, 'This was recorded during the Celebration of the Angels concert in Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. The group on stage in a children's choir; you can hear a lot of the crowd as sadly I wasn't that close to the stage. Most people were there to see Sakis Rouvas, a pop singer, but I think the combination of the crowd mulling and the high voices singing "Little Drummer Boy" in Greek encapsulates the Christmas spirit.'
december 12, 2005 1.4 MB 'Driving through the highlands of Michoacan in central Mexico, I heard the soft sound of a band in a distant field, and I asked my driver to help me find the source. A few minutes and a steep ride down a dirt road later, we joined a procession of two hundred people going to a wealthy bus driver’s house for St. Jude's festival. When we arrived the friendly owner invited us with a big smile into the courtyard, where local women (at least the ones who were not cooking!) gathered on one side of the house singing a prayer, while men and the village band assembled on the other side. My recording documents the call-and-response between the singers and band that went on for over an hour. For me the charm of this music is in the off-key way the makeshift band started its performance — and that as the day went they jelled, so that by the prayer session's end, they sounded well-practiced. Recorded with an Edirol R1 and a cheap set of binaural microphones from Microphone Madness.' So writes today's contributor, Siamack Sioshansi.
december 5, 2005 1.6 MB For today's vacation we thank contributor Kirke Godfrey, who writes, 'Sitting at a local cafe on the Rue Montiguile in the 2eme arrondissement of Paris on October 5, 2005. It's my first morning after the flight in from Sydney. The street is paved and partially blocked to traffic, so its really nice to sit there and simply watch the world (and gorgeous women) walk by. I don' speak enough French to understand the conversation at the table next to me; I hope it wasn't too personal! Recorded on a Sony TVR30 DV camera.'
november 28, 2005 1.4 MB Winter is here, and with it: 'Sled-dog sounds from the 2005 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, an annual race from Duluth, Minnesota, to near the Canadian border and back. It's cold and crisp under clear blue skies at a beautiful pine-shrouded checkpoint where many sled dogs and mushers are catching a few hours' rest. One by one, the teams gather their strength for yet another leg in this grueling 390-mile marathon. The dogs are specifically bred and trained for this, so getting ready to run fires them up even when they're tired. I'm positioned about fifty yards down the trail from the place where the teams leave this remote checkpoint. The dogs bark excitedly until the moment they start down the trail... Recorded early in 2005 on a Sony TCD-D7 DAT recorder with a pair of Shure WL-183 microphones in an experimental head-like array.' The words of today's contributor, accomplished field recordist Curt Olson.
november 21, 2005 1.2 MB For today's vacation we thank contributor Travis Nobles, who writes, 'This was recorded September 17th at the 2005 Ocean Air Show in Virginia Beach, Virginia, right before the Blue Angels [military aircraft] demonstration. You can hear the crowd's reactions to the show so far and the "wooshing" of the Blue Angels' engines as they taxi to the runway; part way through the MC's voice comes over the PA system. My recording equipment was the internal mic on my iRiver compact flash MP3 player, all I had in the moment.' [As we Americans gather for Thanksgiving this Thursday, I feel myself stirred anew by those immortal words from Team America: "America! F--k yeah!" -Aaron]
november 14, 2005 1.4 MB Today's contributor, the enviably multitalented Rick Moody, tells us, 'This recording is of the jetty on the harbor near my little country house (where I write). I made it for a friend's "Exquisite Corpse" game last summer. The location is Silver Eel Pond, Fishers Island, NY; the voices are the African-American guys who come over to the island by ferry boat to fish on weekends.' [My birthday is this week, so this is my present! -Aaron]
november 7, 2005 1.4 MB 'It was January 2005, during the Russian Orthodox Christmas, which we celebrate on the 6th and 7th every year. We have a place in Moscow called Kolomenskoe, it's a little nature reserve plus museum of architecture in the open air. That day there was a bell-ringer there dressed in old clothes: he looked like a monk really. Three rows of many different size bells he played on; it was a great sight and I think the sounds are amazing. I think they are worth your listening.' I think so too. For today's lovely vacation we thank contributor Elena M, who recorded this with her Samsung X600 phone. Elena adds that the sounds at the end are fireworks.
october 31, 2005 715 KB Today's vacation comes to us from Laura Vitale, who writes, 'When I recorded this I was in Nanegal, a tiny village in the cloud forests northwest of Quito, Ecuador. There was a party in town that night and while walking home I could hear the band playing with the birds and the night bugs. Everything in the air felt festive... Recorded with an AKG cardiod mic and a Marantz PMD660 compact flash recorder.'
october 24, 2005 950 KB 'Three in the morning in Bloomington, Indiana. The rain is pouring down onto my roof as I lay still in my bed. I can't ask for better sleeping conditions! Wait, I really want to record this before turning in for the night... but by the time I get out of bed, gather my equipment, and stumble onto the porch, the rain had ceased and all I have left to record is the fallen water running through my gutters. Recorded with a Sony MD (MZ-NH700) and Panasonic 61 Series Miniature Stereo Binaural Mics.' With that, today's contributor, Zak Rosen, who I had the pleasure of meeting in person this weekend, bids us goodnight.
october 17, 2005 1.4 MB I learned my own love of field recording in Vietnam almost exactkly seven years ago, so it's with special pleasure that I share Tim Cabassi's contribution today. About his recording Tim writes, 'This was recorded on a recent trip to Hoi An in Vietnam. I was riding my bicycle along one of the main streets of the town and heard a street vendor. Not sure what he was selling or advertising. If you listen closely you can hear the freewheel of the bike; and also near the end the attempts of a cyclo driver trying to drum up some business. Why he would choose someone already on a bicycle you would have to ask him! Recorded using a Sharp MD831 and an Audio Technica AT822 stereo microphone.'
october 10, 2005 1.4 MB Autumn is in the air, so how about a new coat? You can get one in today's vacation, which comes to us courtesy of Waco Moore, who writes, 'August 6, 2004, on the sidewalk in SoHo: it is sunset and a whole family of hustlers has rolled a couple of garment racks of coats out onto the sidewalk on the corner of Broadway and Price or Spring (I can't remember now). They are barking in true carnival/street vandor fashion and people are swarming and taking the bait — it is a classic New York moment. Enjoy! Recorded with a Sony ECM-MS907 mic and an iRiver IHP-120 MP3 player.'
october 3, 2005 1.4 MB Contributor Scott Langstaff writes of today's vacation, 'This recording was made in May, 2005, during my holiday to St Kilda in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Sitting on the ground near the summit of Ruival on Hirta, it captures the sounds of the birds, the indistinct voices of other members of my walking group, the wind, and the noise of the sea below. It was recorded with a Sharp MT80 MD recorder and Soundman OKM II binaural mics.'
september 26, 2005 1.4 MB For today's vacation we thank Ambrose Pottie who writes, 'I recorded this from my dining room table in Tepoztlan, Mexico, in March of 2003; the soundscape includes a banda playing outside at a barrio fiesta probably a mile away, as well as a solo female singer who is probably amplified and situated half a mile away herself — there was a Buddhist retreat center in the area and the woman is probably related to that. There are also a couple of loud firecracker explosions which occur regularly in Tepoztlan — every fiesta features them prominantly and as there is usually a fiesta in at least one of the many barrios every day, the fireworks are more or less constant! Geographically, Tepoztlan is situated in a canyon with craggy cliffs on all sides, so any sound is uniquly amplified...'
september 19, 2005 1.6 MB Film photographer Arnaud Lemorillon writes of today's vacation, 'Last night, the 14th of July, it was Bastille Day in France, so there were fireworks in Paris. I made this recording at the end of the fireworks in the Champs de Mars, behind the Eiffel Tower; I hope the quality is not too bad; I just bought a Nagra V recorder and a couple of Schoeps MS microphones to make stereo recording three months ago since I'm interested by sound and field recording...'
september 12, 2005 1.4 MB Of today's vacation contributor Greenmachine writes, 'I recorded this piece in Bavaria, Germany, directly after the performance of a symphonic orchestra in a huge old church. People were sharing their opinions all around — it created an interesting ambient noise, which I couldn't resist recording. Imagine yourself a part of this crowd for a minute... Recorded with miniature omnidirectional stereo microphones mounted to glasses and a Sony Hi-MD machine.'
september 5, 2005 1.4 MB Labor Day in the US, and like many I celebrated it without a hint of labor. So for today's vacation, the sounds of revelry, for which we thank Kurt Tidmore, who writes, 'A regular Sunday evening sesson in traditional local pub on the north bank of the River Lee, in Cork, Ireland, where I live. The pub's called Siné, which in Irish means "there you have it" or "that's all there is." The musicians are mostly amateurs who gather here every weekend to drink and play together; the crowd is lively and the beer flows freely and the music can sometimes go on for five or six hours.'
august 29, 2005 1.4 MB Today's vacation like the ANWR recording earlier this month features wildlife. It was contributed by gear-blessed Greg Weddig, who writes, 'This recording was made at a Brant's Cormorant "blind" in the abandoned Model Industry building on the west side of the Alcatraz. I made it the evening San Francisco's KFOG radio station presented their Kaboom fireworks. As the shells started bursting in air, Western Gulls were silhouetted against the sky fleeing from their nesting area on the east side of Alcatraz at the Parade ground. Strangely the many nesting pairs of cormorants just below the mics seemed more upset at the fleeing seagulls than the fireworks themselves. After the final shots rang out the cormorants continued their grunting, gracking, and growling, as if nothing had happened. Recorded with a Schoeps MK-21 ORTF pair, via a Grace Lunatec V3, into a MDP500 MD recorder.'
august 22, 2005 700 KB For today's vacation we thank incoming Grinnell College (Iowa) student Chris Farstad who writes of his contribution, 'This is a recording of the organ inside St. Paul's Cathedral in London. It was visiting the city for the first time with my high school in October of 2004 and I was lucky to capture this unique sound environment during an organist's practice session; a fitting sound event for the space. Made on a Sharp 1-bit portable MD recorder with Sony binaural microphones. Enjoy!'
august 15, 2005 1.5 MB Today's vacation excerpts a twenty-five minute soundscape made by Nature Recordists mailing list moderator Martyn Stewart, who wrote of his recording, 'I was in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in June and I recorded these magnificent ambient sounds there. Millions of songbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds inhabit the tundra and costal plains; the ANWR is a vital breeding ground for many of our birds and is in danger of being destroyed: Congress opens this month and maybe in September they will vote to drill in the area. I intend to go to the various rallies that will be held in Washington DC on the 20th of September; I made this recording to make people aware of the beauty of this place. Please oppose drilling in the Refuge and lobby your congressional rep; I believe ANWR is not just for us but for our children and our children's children.' [Just so. -Aaron]
august 8, 2005 1.2 MB For once, how about a really virtual destination for a virtual vacation? Of today's recording, contributor fluffy Pennyfeather writes, 'These are some virtual wind chimes — that is, they don't physically exist. In Second Life (an MMO-like virtual environment), someone built physically-modeled wind chimes which behave like real-life ones, responding to the wind (also modeled with a simple weather simulation) and to other objects and players passing through them. Although the recording is technically artificial in nature, I did record it with my trusty Kenwood MD recorder (which I use for other field recordings); and it blurs the line between the natural and the artificial, as the sound you here was generated by random processes similar to those of nature... just not in the physical world. I realize this may not fit into the One-Minute Vacation project, but I feel that it's an interesting thought experiment nonetheless.' [Interesting enough to share today, while I'm on an electronica bender... and the date cries out for it! -Aaron]
august 1, 2005 1.4 MB Today's vacation comes to us from Andreas Jonsson, who writes, 'I recorded this in a city centre slot machine and games arcade here in Glasgow, Scotland, in September, 2004. I happened to be walking past it recording sounds in the street and got drawn in by the sheer cacophony of bleeps, chirps and noise a place like this produces. The rather robotic calling out of bingo numbers only adds to the sterility and overload of such a place. Amusingly, with repeated listening the chaos becomes suprisingly similar in places to some contemporary electronica! Moments after this recording, a security guard forced me to leave the premises, as I apparently needed permission from the manager to record there. The relative quietness outside seemed deafening. Recorded with a Sony ECM-MS907 microphone and a Sony minidisc recorder.'
july 25, 2005 1.4 MB Today's contributor, composer-with-sound Joseph Young, takes us into 'a thunderstorm in northern Italy captured on a recent family holiday. The environment around Lake Como is surprisingly lush and green given that temperatures are regularly up in the mid 30's [that's upper-90's for you ametrical Americans -Ed.] during the summer months. The greenery is comes from the heavy thunderstorms that occur on a regular (weekly?) basis. I recorded this one from the window of our flat in a small town called Lambrugo, when the storm was at its height, using Soundman OKM binaural microphones and a Sony MZ-N707 minidisc recorder.'
july 18, 2005 1.7 MB Contributor Ari Noguchi writes of today's vacation, 'I caught this moment at a temple in Nara, a very old city in Japan, two years ago. It was very early morning, sunny but very chilly; the temple and environment were just about to wake up for the long day. I was trying to record the sounds of birds, but through the microphone I heard an old lady striking a bell and chanting in front of an offertory box. I could tell that she had been coming every morning for a long time and that this activity was a part of her life... While I was recording kids came to the temple on a school field trip, and a man who works for temple also tried to clean up the street with a broom; but the lady never stopped chanting. It was a very intense moment.'
july 11, 2005 525 KB For today's vacation we thank Angela Femia, who writes: 'I caught this using my Fuji digital camera while travelling in France in September, 2003. We had just arrived in Reims and found a lovely place to eat outside in the main square. As we were enjoying our first real "French" experience a large group of young people walked together through the area singing and shouting at one another; they sounded like they were having a fun kind of argument, trying to out-sing and out-shout each other with their song... what a lovely way to argue! (Unfortunately I have no idea what they are saying!)'
july 4, 2005 2.2 MB Today's vacation, a bit of Americana for the American Independence Day, comes to us from contributor Jerry Berrier, who writes, 'As my wife and my guide dog and I approached the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle in a late morning in April, 2005, I could hear the sound of a lone singer and his guitar. My wife told me later that he also had a harmonica in a holder on his neck and a tambourine placed where he could tap it with his foot. He could still be heard once we entered the store, in spite of the high noise level from customers, workers arranging and selling seafood, and what sounded like a fork lift. I had been told in advance that workers throw fairly large fish back and forth between them to entertain visitors; at the very end of this recording you can hear their banter as they toss a fresh specimen back and forth! Recorded with a Sony MZ-R70 MD recorder and a small Sony ECM-DS70P clip-on plug-in powered stereo microphone.'
june 27, 2005 1.4 MB Today's vacation comes to us courtesy of Chris Owens, who writes: 'I recorded this on a Saturday afternoon in April just outside the local Town Hall in Reading, UK; as you will hear the recording was started just before three in the afternoon (British Summer Time for the purists out there). The focus of this piece, and the intention of my being there with a recorder, was the chimes of the town clock; it is getting increasingly rare to hear chimes like this as many have been silenced to avoid causing a nuisance. A couple of minutes before this snippet a large lorry thundered by the Town Hall — in my opinion that's a more serious annoyance!'
june 20, 2005 1.4 MB Summertime, and the living is easy this week courtesy of contributor Robert Dodson, who writes, 'I recorded this in Fairfield, Connecticut. I was sitting on my front porch after dinner. You can hear a plane overhead, a car go by, some very peaceful birds, and my son practicing his saxophone. This is one of my first recordings on my new Edirol R1 compact flash recorder, using the built-in mics. Enjoy.'
june 13, 2005 1.3 MB Multi-modal Swedish artist Wolgang Peter Menzel sets the scene for today's vacation: 'You are running in the streets — looking around and listening to the traffic, staring at people, you wonder where you are, all your senses are touched by new things, smells and impressions of a complete "differentness" compared to what you are used to; it overwhelms your person, this slowly getting into this condition of phenomenological basic behaviour. That is what happened to me there, at a street corner in the Chinese part of the former Portuguese colony Macau, at least — even the traffic light sound became something else. Recorded as usual with my Sharp MD recorder and a Sony stereo mic.'
june 6, 2005 1.2 MB Today's vacation comes to us courtesy of Kevin T. Allen, who writes, 'The recording was done in downtown Calcutta in July 2004. I was looking for a film library in the center of town and got terribly lost. I passed a row of government buildings where I saw hundreds of people queued up outside; on the street were makeshift carts and stands, where people dictated to men using manual typewriters for their official paperwork. The sound of the manual typewriters tapping away outside in the context of the bustling city sidewalk struck me as beautifully surreal and Kafkaesque, so I pulled the mic out of my bag so only the tip showed and walked down the street. It was a real acoustic treat, especially on such a frustrating day! Recorded with a minidisc recorder and a top of the bottom of the line microphone.'
may 30, 2005 1.4 MB This past Saturday some friends I met on a tour of Tibet were married in Vermont; I had the honor of composing their processional using sounds I recorded on that trip. Today I share one of the recordings I used: nuns chanting with one-handed self-beating drums at the annual single-day unveiling of a building-sized thanka down a cliff side in Gyantse, Tibet. For Kate and Zack, luminous travelers, who so patiently waited for me to record this and many other things... Recorded with Sonic Studios DSM-6/EH microphones and a Sony MD recorder. [Aaron]
may 23, 2005 960 KB Of today's vacation, second-time contributing phonographer Mark Ragsdale writes, 'This recording was made on an outcropping of rock at Haeundae Beach in Busan, Korea, right outside the Westin Chosun Hotel. The recording was made on a moonlit night as I lay prone on a rock with my head in a giant crevasse, trying to capture the gurgling of the sea plunging rhythmically. Recorded with Sonic Studios DSM-6S/EH mics with WHB headband windscreen, running into MD.' [The same gear I used to record most everything on this site! -Aaron]
may 16, 2005 1.4 MB 'This track captures a war protest parade when it reached its end point at the Boston Commons on March 20th, 2005. The police helicopter hovering overhead set a tone of tension as the protesters were surrounded by police motor cops, paddywagons, and anti-riot police armed with clubs. A drum circle formed right next to the bench where I had been sitting and recording, and the sounds of drums, didgeridoos, and chants began to drown out the sounds of the helicopter... Recorded on a Sony MZ-R700 minidisc recorder with homemade binaural microphones.' So writes today's contributor, Boston-area experimental DJ, sound artist, phonographer, and theremin player Fred Yarm.
may 9, 2005 1.2 MB Today's vacation (or rather, a vacation from a vacation, now our vacation...) comes to us from traveler Damon Nomad, who explains, 'This is a recording we made on our honeymoon: these are night sounds outside our window in the mountain village of Anogia, Greece. You can hear the bells of sheep and goats on the slopes below the village, as well as other sounds. Strangely enough, the lady at the car rental place in Iraklion vainly tried to talk us out of going there, asking, "why you want to go there? It is not much... just a traditional village." It ended up being just what we needed, a peaceful escape from the more touristy sections of Greece we'd already visited: a vacation from our vacation. Recorded on Sony MZ-R37 MD recorder with a Sony ECM MS907 microphone.'
may 2, 2005 1.4 MB Nata Lukas writes of today's vacation, 'During the summer of 1997 my good friend James Adrian Stewart came to visit, so we did some camping on the Puget Sound. To entertain our selves Jim played his bag pipes and I played with my camcorder. In this moment recorded at Deception Pass, Jim was around a corner practicing his chops and I snuck up on him; I really dig how the sound of the waves gives way to his improvised chops! Recorded with my Sony CCD-TR3000 video camera (great zoom mics!). By the way, I ended up using this recording as part of an installation I did a couple years ago called If Only I Had a Seaworthy Vessel.'
april 25, 2005 970 KB Of today's vacation, Argentine sound artist Anla Coutis writes, 'I was walking this afternoon in a street of Buenos Aires downtown and I heard some great birds; fortunately I had my minidisc with me and I decided to record them. So here is one minute of Buenos Aires Street Birds in Action, I hope you'll enjoy them! Recorded with an Aiwa AM-F5 MD recorder with an Aiwa stereo microphone.'
april 18, 2005 595 KB Field recordist Rod Stasick writes of his contribution, 'I have an owl friend who lives in a magnolia tree just outside my studio here in Dallas, Texas. Owls have been in the neighborhood for the past few years and during various stretches of time will make their presence known. At close to the same time each day my friend calls to another owl nearby; if you listen closely, you can hear the other owl responding... This minute was recorded on March 3, 2005 at about 4:30 p.m., with an iAudio M3 digital audio recorder that I use for field recordings.'
april 11, 2005 1.4 MB Contributor Marco Landín writes of today's vacation, 'I recorded this when I passed by a children's playground in a kindergarten in a back street in Cancun, Mexico. The kids, all Spanish-speaking and approximately 5 years of age, were playing on a big contraption toy with swings and slides and monkeybars. What truly captivated me was the unrestrained voices, the pitches of which differ greatly from children in Angloamerica; there is a very stacatto nature to the language, especially from the girls in the playground. Recorded using the built-in mic on my Apple iBook G3.'
april 4, 2005 1.4 MB Of today's vacation, contributor Takahiro Kawaguchi writes, 'This minute was recorded in a Japanese temple at the moment 2004 became 2005 and was rung in with a gong: a happy New Year Japanese sound. The specific location was Shitennouji Temple, in Osaka, which you can learn more about here. My recording system is a Sony TCD-D8 DAT recorder and a Sony condenser mic. I hope you enjoy listening!' [Time of transition for time in transition: here in California we lost an hour to Daylight Savings this weekend! -Aaron]
march 28, 2005 1.4 MB 'Here's a vacation, from my vacation: a recording I made last year while skiing here in Australia, as I went up the mountain on a chairlift. The mic was resting directly on the metal of the chair to capture the deep thrumming that I could hear when I pressed my ear to the chair. Occasionally other skiers can be heard in the background. Made on a Sony MZR-909 with an ECM-MS907 mic, at Thredbo, in the aptly named Snowy Mountains.' Fall arrives in the south, but with this recording from Ben Dixon we in the northern hemisphere bid farewell to winter.
march 21, 2005 1.4 MB Biking to work today under silver clouds and through a heavy cool rain, I looked forward to posting today's vacation, which comes from enigmatic sound artist Ben Owen, who comments, 'One of the few moments that is taken to pause in the day is the onset of rain. It is when I stand by the back door of my apartment [in New York City] looking out over the yards and obstructed sky to watch and listen.'
march 14, 2005 1.4 MB Repeat contributor John Tenney writes of this week's vacation, 'Saturday night at the Lucky Ju Ju in Alameda, California. Two dozen-plus vintage pinball machines — bright lights flashing, flippers whacking the balls madly, spinners spinning — and every one of them set to free play! Make a reasonable donation on entry and you can play as long as you want to — talk about bringing out the inner kid! Plus there's a good jukebox, though the 70's and 80's songs are decades younger than most of the machines. The place is a labor of love taken on by an obsessed collector looking to share his mania; alot of folks are more than willing. Recorded July 17, 2004, with a Sony MZR-50 MD recorded and RadioShack's late lamented 33-3028 stereo mics.'
march 7, 2005 1.4 MB Of today's vacation, contributor Anders Östberg writes, 'A demonstration of steam engines in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Here on an islet the Faktoriet motor museum is situated: a museum of industry and the history of technology, including the first fire engine used in Sweden. On the first Sunday of every month (except in December and January) the air gets hot and humid when the steam engine demonstrations are running! Recorded to compact flash on February 6, 2005, with an Edirol R-1 24-bit WAV/MP3 recorder, using the internal stereo mic.'
february 28, 2005 950 KB 'Recorded in Yerevan, Armenia, the night of November 13, 2003, with a video camera, in the well-kept standard-issue apartment of Rafik and Gohar, an elderly couple I stayed with for five days. Although they spoke no English, they welcomed occasional international visitors as a way to supplement their meager pensions. During this short clip from the eve of my departure from the country, they entertain my basic Russian phrases, all the while encouraging me to pick up bits of Armenian — a language of which they are fiercely proud and protective.' For this week's vacation, we thank contributor Peter Thiede.
february 21, 2005 1.1 MB Today's vacation comes from Tim Cabassi, who writes: 'This particular snippet was recorded in January, 2004, from my third floor balcony in Momodani, an innercity suburb of Osaka, Japan. I am from Australia but I am currently living and working here with my girlfriend. Thanks to Justin Brown for clarifying that the sound is from a hot sweet potato (o-imo) van; o-imo and other vendors (such as yakitori, skewered grilled chicken usually sold in restaurants) randomly roam the streets around 10 p.m., which is the time most drunken salarymen are stumbling home and most in need of a quick bite... Recorded on a Sharp MD831 with an Audio Technica AT822 stereo microphone. Hope you like it.'
february 14, 2005 1.4 MB I'm in New York this week, so how about a bit of local love for Valentine's, as recorded by today's contributor, Robert Van Heuman: 'The A Train in New York City, around Christmas 2004. I usually find it very hard to make recordings in subways as the low frequencies tend to distort the recording. This time, I experimented with the "Low Sensitivity" setting on the microphone input of my minidisc recorder and a really low recording volume. And it worked: I like the rhytmic quality of the announcer, the fact that he mentions Jersey City (where I used to live), the baby and the sounds of little childrens toys a Chinese women is demonstrating while walking through the carriage... Recorded with a Sony NH900 HiMD recorder (in uncompressed mode) with OKM II binaural in-ear microphones.' [Regular listeners will know that binaural means, use those headphones! -aaron]
february 7, 2005 1.4 MB Of today's vacation, contributor Lonesomehank from Montreal, Quebec, writes: 'Recorded February 2nd, 2002, in Barcelona on a Sharp MT877 MD with Core Sound binaural mics....... around 8:30 at night...... heard the drone far off and came across four old men in some sort of burnt-out social centre....... watched them play through a little window...... they were drunk and lost in the sound of it all....... heartbreaking / beautiful......... was recorded outside from the street ...... didn't want to intrude...... the right channel craps out in a beautiful way when I walk off...... crappy mini-plug connector.......'
january 31, 2005 1.6 MB 'Recorded in 2002: Banger racing season in Smeatharp in the county of Somerset, England, as gutted old saloon cars painted in lively colours roar round an oval dirt track, attempting to knock each other out of the race. Exhilarating stuff but the only means of recording it I have on hand is my mobile phone: so I send myself a race as an answering machine message.' For today's banger contribution we thank quick-thinkig Darren Giddings of
january 24, 2005 1.7 MB Today's vacation comes from sound artist Bill Thompson, who originally shared with the phonography mailing list on Yahoo! groups with these comments: 'Thought you'd like to hear this: it's a recording of 'hogmanay,' what the Scotish call New Year's. It's a bigger deal then any other holiday here, bigger then Christmas; that day everything closed at 4 p.m. and has been closed all weekend. The recording is of the boats out on the North Sea blowing their horns at midnight. Each horn is a different pitch and each boat is at a slightly different distance and location from the Aberdeen shore, where I was huddled in the drizzle trying not to move. I drove all the way back from Manchester (seven hours) just for that 5 minutes :) — and about 10 minutes into the recording I realized that I had just experienced the turning ot the new year alone, huddled by a rock in the rain. Ahhh, the romantic life of an artist... :)' The vacation is an excerpt from a five-minute MP3 can hear here; if you like this, you might also like the vacation posted last year for September 22 archived here...
january 17, 2005 1.4 MB 'Recorded late summer 2001 up north in Quebec, at St-Michel des Saints: north enough, we saw aurorae borealis that summer! This is part of my first recordings, using an MZ-R90 [MD recorder] from Sony and binaural mics from sound professionals. It was maybe four or five in the morning, we had to kill that fire because the summer was really dry, dangerous for forest fires.. So this is it, water in fire, fire on logs, earth and life...' For this elemental recording, which ushers in the fourth year of the one-minute vacations project, we thank field recordist and sound artist Nicolas Kuzyk, who Montreal residents might know from his soundscape radio program Biophone.

There are more: archives of the first, second, third, and fifth year; recent vacations are here.
You can also purchase compilations on CD; all profits go to charity!

One-minute vacation podcast beta (RSS2.0 with enclosures) podcast, write me if you have comments.