Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blind Listening

I have participated in blind listening walks in the past. The last time I walked, about 8 years ago, I was pregnant with my first child. The walk took place in Chelsea, on the far west side of Manhattan. It was terrifying. It was really, really difficult to trust my partner and let one foot follow the other. I wanted to just stand still, or curl up in a ball for safety. I certainly didn't want to be blindfolded!

My Bennington walk, on the other hand, was an extraordinary treat! We started outside in the bitter cold and wind. At first I was reluctant, having left my coat inside, but my guide led me thoughtfully across different ground surfaces, around corners, in and out of light and shadow, all of which I could sense with my other, non-visual senses. The repeating pattern of gamelan music emanating from a ground floor classroom was an orienting motif that came in and out of my awareness as we walked. When we came inside the building, we sat for a few moments in the library. I felt so warm and comforted by the quite whispers and small sounds of that enclosed space.

At the close of the walk I felt calm, enlivened, and happy. It had been a 10 minute break - a short stretch of time where I was able to be led by someone, to be in someone else's care, relying on my senses (rather then my intellect) to know and experience the world. As the parent of an infant, I am constantly on the lookout - listening for cries, looking for signs of illness or danger, supervising in every way possible. So to be the 'baby' for a few minutes, just moving in the flow of sensory experience, was really pleasurable!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Blind Sound Walk

For me, the blindfolded sound walk was a surprisingly enlightening experience. I didn't expect that removing my sight would be so frightening. I was unnerved by my dependence on my partner to guide me and my overall insecurity. At first it felt as if I was being overcome by sounds. When blindfolded, my hearing became more impartial. It seems that sometimes the eyes decide what we hear, or at least how we process sounds. My heightened sense of hearing was obviously compensating for my lack of vision, but my mind did not know how to process the influx of auditory information, at first, without sight.

For a while I would turn my head instinctually in the direction of a sound, to attempt to register its source visually. This was obviously pointless, but my sensory reactions were much quicker then my rational thinking. With time, though, this evolved into my forgetting sight and melting into the sound environment. The most distinct and interesting perceptual phenomenon I observed was how my heightened sense of hearing was directly correlated with a heightened sense of touch. It was as if in order to compensate for my lack of vision, I needed to make a sensory association with sound in another way. I found myself listening to the texture of different objects. I knew when I approached steps because there was a hollower wooden sound produced by the denser sound of the floor or carpet. When I walked outside, the first sound I heard was the wind- which of course was accompanied by my feeling the chill. This experience made me think about what sounds we usually associate with sight vs. touch or perhaps even taste. Can we ever listen without another sensory association?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blind Walk

My senses dominated by feelings of spatial uncertainty, my perception and engagement with the acoustic elements of space was discomfiting, producing a potent sense of disequilibria. I experienced the disconcerting sensation that everything I was not in direct contact with didn't exist, and the muffling of sounds behind doors and from other floors in the building made it difficult to use sound to orient myself in the space. The difficulty of spatial attribution profoundly impacted my experience, and I felt as thought sounds could've come from behind the 3" thick door a foot to my left, or emanated from some distant source. Coming from all sides, sound suggested an infinite, indefinite expanse of space, rather than confirming the reassuring presence of the fourfold and upper and lower planes. Ironically, it was my knowledge that there were walls, floors, and ceilings that produced tension when there was no spatial or physical confirmation of their presence. This absence, along with the formlessness and difficulty in sourcing sound, undermined my knowledge of the space.

It was outside, with no floor to give way or walls to disappear, that I felt at ease with the surroundings.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

V A P A Meditation

Several nights ago, I was in the architecture studio, having found myself in the familiar situation of an all-nighter. The space has a twenty-foot ceiling, and skylights interspersed at regular intervals. At night, VAPA has a subtle hum; the building is almost empty, the activity of the daytime has ceased, and the building has an underlying whirr from the heating system. At points, all that can be heard is the quiet scratch of pencil on paper, the patient erasing, the rustle of trace. 
On this particular night, however, the space was anything but quiet. Overhead, the snow had been accumulating steadily for several hours, and the wind had built in intensity. Now, the room resounded with the roar of the wind, as gusts rocked the building. The acoustics of the space and the slight muffle of the elements created the impression that I stood below-decks in a ship being tossed by the elements. More remarkable than the sound of the wind meeting the building, however, was the sound of the snow. As gusts came, the snow, loose and dry-sounding, skittered over the roof. The flurry of snow would rise in a crescendo as it moved overhead, then dissipate as the wind carried it away. The legato of the wind and the rush of the snow gave the impression of surf crashing against the shore, as successive waves broke overhead.

It’s a strange sensation to have something both protect you and yet amplify the very source that threatens. This relationship between the built and the elements serves to heighten the power of both, and raising your awareness and respect for both. Often, architecture is said to insulate its inhabitants from nature, and by this separation removing us from its gifts and importance. The power of this experience arose from the simultaneous experience of both sides of a supposed dichotomy, and through that experiencing a connection between both. Here, the room tone came from an outside actor on the space, yet brought to life the potential of the room.


listen to only the sounds inside the room

listen to only the sounds outside the room

listen to the room.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Real Vocorder Shebang

David Tudor interviewed about working premade and homemade electronics , devising aleatoric pieces, performance practices, and his work with the Merce Cunningham dance company.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Celeste Boursier and "One Word"

Posting this on behalf of Jake Saunders...


This installation by Celeste Boursier always fascinated me.  Not just because I love guitar sounds, but the random and breathing element of the piece is exciting. The sounds produced by the birds take on a truly organic and in the moment atmosphere.  This piece is another example of someone using a room as an instrument.  Much like the piece that Harlan and I are envisioning in which we turn a practice room into an instrument, this piece attempts to turn another space into a musical form of expression.  In Boursier's piece the birds become a music making variable which completely alter the space and it's function.  Harlan and I will be using rehearsing musicians as our external variable to add to the space's apparent function.  

I performed Pauline's simple piece from Sonic Meditations entitled "One Word":

Choose a word.  Listen to it mentally.  Slowly and gradually begin to voice this word by allowing each tiny part of it to sound extremely prolonged.  Repeat for a long time.

The piece's simplicity is what made performing it a unique experience.  I found it interesting that I was urged to synchronize my breathing with the word, as well as the habit to silently mouth the word.  As time went on the word began to sound different, and hold a different meaning.  My perception of the word changed in that I recognized the word more as a sound, an object, a simple blip in space rather than a symbol that holds an external meaning.  It reminded me of a poet's ability to change the shape of a word and the meaning it holds by putting it in a different context.  Something else I thought about after I performed the piece was that I am rarely every prompted to focus on the thoughts in my head so closely.  It seems as though that voice in my head can never be silenced as long as I'm awake, but when I narrowed my mental attention down to a single syllable my body became relaxed and I was able to come out of the experience with a feeling of calm serenity.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

For Annea Lockwood and Alison Knowles

Keep the next sound you hear
in mind
for at least the next half hour.



bird call. fast, short, and shrill. 
repeated 2x.


When I first read this meditation, it struck me as very simple and yet quite challenging. I was sitting in my room, with my window open. Once I began listening, the first sound I heard was a gentle rustling of my blanket I was wrapped around, followed by an unclear pattering sound from down the hall. Neither of these sounds stood out to me in a way that made it easy to remember them. So I tried, but other sounds kept getting in the way. 

Soon enough there was a loud, clear, and distinct bird call that must have come from right outside my window. The call was then repeated two times, after approximately three seconds of silence. This was very easy to keep inside of my head. My first tactic was to keep repeating the sound, exactly as I heard it, inside of my head. It required intense focus, and seemed too forced. This "sound" in my mind was no longer the sound as I heard it, but rather an imitation projected through my distinct head voice. Perhaps it is similar to reading, in that the voice you hear inside of your head it your own.

I then reevaluated the intentions of the piece. Keeping a sound "in mind" doesn't necessarily mean to "replay continuously" in my head. I felt foolish for assuming that. "In mind" means simply remembering the sound, allowing it to influence my thoughts, actions, and other perceptions (including listening) in whatever capacity. I allowed myself to drift into a listening meditation, allowing the now indistinct initial sound to mingle with the sound environment. I soon began noticing that the furnace, as it turned on, made a similar, but more drawn out rhythm of the call. A while later, a car honked and it seemed to me to be similar in pitch. My ears began making relationships in unexpected ways. Even when the half hour was over, I had a difficult time forgetting the bird call. It became an underlying thought, of sorts, that influenced my listening throughout the day.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Response to a Performance of Word Sound from Pauline Oliveros' Sonic Meditations


                                                    Sound a word or a sound.

                                                    Listen for a surprise.

                                                    Say a word as a sound.

                                                    Say a sound as a word.

                                                    Say a sound until it is a word.

                                                    Sound a word until is is a sound.

                                                    Speak a sentence of sounds.

                                                    Sing a phrase of words.

                                                    Cross overs.

April 2, 1996
Evanston, Illinois

The score makes many references to identity and to changes in the identity of the words.  The score juxtaposes the nouns "word" and "sound" and the verbs "say" and "sound."  Initially the score asks the performer to "sound" a word or a sound, demonstrating that to "sound" a "word" or "sound" is lexically coherent.  We are shown that "word" is both encompassed in "sound" and distinguished from it.  "Listen for a surprise." establishes a mind set for the enacting of the following instructions.  

"Say" is introduced as a verb associated with orally manifesting words.  At first, it is paired with "as a"; expressing a comparison, and again showing their uniqueness, but asking the performer to begin to consider them alike (both can be sounded and said).  The score then calls for the performer to perform "cross overs" changing sounds and words from one identity ("is") to another.  (While the expression "cross overs" is not used until the last line of the piece, it is important to note that the score does not ask the performer to remove the separateness of "word" and "sound" but to use the associated actions (saying, and sounding) to transmutate one into the other.)

Next the expressive actions of speaking and singing are introduced.  Lastly, the performer is asked to perform "cross overs."  I interpreted the score as asking for cross overs between the intentions of singing, speaking, saying, sounding, words, and sounds.  

The word sound does not exclusively imply oral manifestation.  Many things may be perceived as sounding.  Saying, speaking, and singing all imply human oral production.  Once cross overs are possible, and the boundaries between these distinctions become permeable, opportunities for non-human oral saying, speaking, and singing, are introduced.  Or, everything is given a mouth, a voice, a message, and a song.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Urban and Country Meditations


Urban Meditation

Listen to a roadway–eyes closed–distinguish size shape make of car by sound–also speed and health of engine.

Country Meditation
Sit by the trees–what kind of tree makes what kind of sound?


urban meditation

I’m sitting on a bench in front of the McCullough library in North Bennington, at the intersection of 67A and West Street. The day is grey, still, and quiet but for the cars. 

At first, I just listen to the cars going by, letting the sounds blur into one another. I can hear the redness of the approaching cars and blueness of those that have passed. The sound swells and dissipates; I can hear the rise of the road as the cars from the south approach.

I open my eyes, and match sounds to certain cars, trying to understand how the shape and size of the car affect its sound as it moves through the air. When I close my eyes, I can now hear the height of the car; the shorter sedans, the taller trucks. I am beginning to discern the distance of the car from the ground. A truck and a Jeep pass, their chassises raised considerably, and the sound of the air underneath the car is jarring, much different from others. The wheelbase of the car of the car affects the sound–a Smart car passes, and I am distinctly aware of its compactness and short wheelbase. It sounds like a compressed gust of wind, confined to a small area. The shape of the car is harder for me to hear, but I find that I can guess when the car is a truck and has only a cab. The way the air moves over the hood, up over the cab, and then down to pass over the bed can be faintly distinguished.

As I grow more familiar with the sound of the car moving through the air, I begin to pick up the sound of the cars’ engines, and the tires on the roadway.

I don’t like the sound of Subaru’s.

The engines belonging to trucks are deep and resonant, like the purr of a lion. Larger trucks rumble, especially as they turn onto 67A and gain speed. The cars without mufflers are immediately recognizable, the unpleasant noise of a carpet caught in a vacuum. 

Other noises are becoming apparent. The whine of squeaky brake pads, the creak of an old chassis, the tire that’s beginning to go flat. The road is just slightly wet with the melting ice and snow, but it doesn’t have much impact on the sound of the tires.

I find certain cars’ tires to have a strange crinkle, almost like the tires are sticking to the road and continually being pulled off. Do these cars still have on their snow tires? The sound is more like small rocks or sand hitting the underside of the car, or the inside of the wheel-wells. Perhaps these cars all have recently driven on a dirt road, and the debris caught in the treads are spraying the car body.

A truck approaches that sounds familiar; it passed by half an hour ago.

country meditation

The bareness of the trees and the still cold air make the sound of the cars in the valley below travel up to the blue trail where I’m walking. Though I’m surrounded by trees, a steady gust of traffic is all that can be heard besides the occasional call of a bird and the crunch of the snow underfoot.

Without wind, the trees are silent, save for the faintest of sounds as a pine needle falls to the ground. While walking, I pass a young maple tree, where a single brown leaf curled in on itself is precariously clinging to a branch. Though the sound of the wind is absent, its subtle presence can be seen as the single leaf is gently blown, scraping the trunk with a dry, stoic touch. 


For this week Jake and i did our sonic meditation together. After discussing several collaborative  project ideas for the spring festival, we sat in the dining hall and listened to clamor of commons for an hour. It was inherently difficult as our friends kept attempting to engage us in conversation but we managed to hold off long enough to pick up on some interesting sounds. While having my eyes close i found that with each wave of people entering the dining hall-- i got a sense of anxiety. When i opened my eyes however i was more easily able to piece together sonic collages of voices and movement. I think this transition was similar to going from complete lack of control (eyes shut) to a voyeuristic state (eyes open) of control where i felt almost a ghostly awareness of my surroundings.

I worked on two of Pauline's exercises the first being her "sonic rarshack" meditation, and "the greeting". What i enjoyed about these two practices were their employment of single tones. For the Rarshack i used white noise generated from a small television and my room light. For the greeting i thought about the tone of water spilling, and preceded to greet all who entered my room singing that sound aloud (lead to some pretty funny responses).


Saturday, March 8, 2014

David Dunn

David Dunn began composing music at the age of fourteen.  At seventeen he began working as an assistant to composer Harry Partch, maintaining the composer's instruments and performing in his ensemble in concerts and recordings.  Later he worked with composer Kenneth Gaburo, to whom the first piece on his Four Electroacoustic Compositions (Pogus Productions, 2002) is dedicated.  Inspired by Gaburo's ideas concerning the relationships between linguistics and music, Dunn wrote the piece Tabula Angelorum Bonorum 49 (Angels and Insects, WN0009 1992) using an angelic language channeled by John Dee and Edward Kelley in 16th century England as source material.  His piece Mimus Polyglottos (1976) engages the mockingbird's mimetic abilities with electronically created sounds.  Dunn utilizes a myriad of devices and systems of varying complexity to create his pieces, from a microphone constructed from a plastic pen and hearing aid to the Vidium MK II, a "hybrid analog synthesizer which acts as a "hyper Lissajous pattern generator.""

Mimus Polyglottos

Autonomous Systems: Red Rocks

Environment, Consciousness, and Magic: an interview with David Dunn by Michael R. Lampert (1988)

David Dunn's Homepage with scores, writing, recordings, and pictures

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pauline Oliveros and others...

Some of Pauline's music and some others I've been checking out....


http://kenbutler.squarespace.com (Ken Butler)

Jake and i worked for Ken over our FWT's, and he is a major inspiration. He's done some installation work but focuses most particularly on the hybrid design of musical instruments. These instruments are constructed practically (employing garbage and other found objects that are just lying around),  allowing for a variety of visual stimulation and intrigue gained from simply looking at the instruments, as well as the diverse catalog of unexpected tones they each generate. Most of Ken's instruments are tambrelly oriented around violins, guitars, and bass stringed instruments, but the materials he uses truly reinvent those sounds and have us reconsider the commons associations we have of them.

http://potophonics.com ( Ed Potikar)

Ed Potikar is a colleague of Ken's who is also an instrument maker. His work is less about practical design as it is about inventing non standard instruments (often using exquisite woods and technology) and artworks which produce sound.

http://musicmavericks.publicradio.org/features/feature_partch.html (Harry Partch-- really cool stuff)

Harry Partch was an early inventor of non standard musical instruments. This website allows you to virtually play some of the instruments he made with your computer keyboards (you all will like this).

See ya later!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

More on Rooms and Spaces

In preparation for our class tomorrow, and in a nod to Nico and Isadora's latest posts, I want to mention here two more "rooms" of interest.

The first, the Dream House, is a fabulous, long-term sound and light installation in lower Manhattan, the work of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. I worked there for many years (and you can too, btw!) and I can tell you it's an extraordinary place to visit and spend time. It should be on your list. Kyle Gann has a great article that might encourage you to make the trip sooner than later…

The second, another long-term project, is James Turell's Meeting. The piece consists of a small square room, artificially lit in a very particular way, with a rectangular hole cut into the ceiling. Weather permitting, this hole is open to the sky beyond. One can feel the air moving, can watch clouds, birds and jets pass overhead, and can hear the sounds from the busy street below as they filter into this quiet, sheltered space. Here is an interesting interview with Turell.

Deep (Imaginative) Listening

In last week’s class, we talked about Pauline Oliveros and Deep Listening. We listened to ‘Deep Listening’, the first album of the Deep Listening band (featuring Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, and Panaiotis), recorded in a cavernous underground cistern in Washington State. We also did some Deep Listening of our own, including a short improvisation together based on transforming sounds that we could hear in the room. 

In the discussion after our improvised listening/sounding piece, the idea of ‘imaginative listening’ came up. This is an idea closely linked to what Katharine Norman, in ‘Sounding Art: Eight Literary ExcursionsThrough Electronic Music’ describes as “imaginative making up.” It is a process in which composers must bridge the gap between sounds heard and remembered, and sounds transformed into music. Initial inspiration and its creative outcome have to be stitched together and listening, paired with imagination, makes this possible.

In our improvisation, we were listening for sounds and transforming them – augmenting, magnifying, stretching, shifting…The tiniest ping of the radiator became a loud hissing of sharp inhaled breath; a soprano practicing on the floor above us became a multi-layered droning hum, shared among several performers, slowly climbing higher in pitch.

What I realized was that listening INTO a sound creates all kinds of space for transformation. Through this listening, the “resourcefulness” of a sound (that is, its ability to be a resource to us, as composers, artists, creators) is revealed. But we have to engage with imaginative listening to make this happen. Deep Listening is a point of access for this kind of imaginative listening. As with soundwalks, the focus on listening engages both the body AND the mind. The work of deep listening is kinetic, active and continuous, but also open-ended and far ranging. I think this is one reason I am drawn to the practice of Deep Listening. I find it especially useful in the context of mapping sensory and perceptual experiences to creative practices, which is exactly what we're trying to do in this class…Deep Listening can serve as a creative end, in and of itself, as well as a way to get at more.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Three 'Similar' Rooms

Over FWT, I went to an exhibition, Analog, at Blain|Southern. The exhibition consisted of works from a group of artists using sonic media to create installations in exploration of sensory (visual, auditory) perception.

In the exhibition was Max Neuhaus' Three ‘Similar’ Rooms, originally shown in Turin in 1989. This work consists of three adjacent, visually-identical rooms, each of which is permeated with a layered aural experience. Moving through the rooms, the subtle differences in each sonic atmosphere become intelligible, coloring the experience of physically being in that space without visual cues as to the origin of the sound.

Listening to Listening to Donald Judd

In his discussion of Stephen Vitiello’s Listening to Donald Judd in ‘Beyond the Soundscape, William Montgomery writes that,“Going further than Judd, [Vitiello] opens the gallery door on to the surrounding countryside.” This is perhaps to miss part of the crucial point of Judd’s work at his Chinati Foundation in Marfa. 
  Judd sought to create an environment where, “...art has to exist as an example of what the art and its context were meant to be.” This statement, in the first catalogue in 1987, states the clear intent of the Chinati Foundation to link art, nature, and architecture. The remote and austere setting of the desert and the former military fort that serves as a gallery space are not merely, “...a suitable architectural environment to house his work,” as Montgomery suggests. Judd chose Marfa not because of this architectural element, but because of the vastness of the greater context. One story goes that Judd had begun drawing circles on a map of the United States, trying to find the largest circle with the smallest amount of people; in the center of one, beside the Chinati Mountains, was Marfa. It is the remoteness of the locale, the vast and empty swathes of landscape that constitute the context, not solely the immediate setting of the buildings. These spaces, left as empty shells, have been converted to maximize a connection to the natural light and surrounding fields of grasses. The sculptures and renovations are inseparable from one another–each is conceived with the other in mind–but to focus on this connection is to ignore the critical regionalist intent of the Chinati Foundation. 
  Montgomery contends that, “Judd’s attention to obtrusively man-made objects is displaced by the natural sound that leaks in. Here Schafer’s conception of signal and noise is reversed, with natural noise productively contaminating the purity of the artwork.” Vitiello isn’t capturing the contamination of the art and architectural space; he is capturing the remarkable sensory integration of the diverse elements which constitute the essence of place. Judd’s work in Marfa is the recognition of what Mircea Eliade calls “sacred space,” a qualitative break in the formless, neutral expanse of space. This sacred space transcends that limitless space Karsten Harries describes as homogenous, objective space. Eliade’s nomenclature suggests a religious connotation, but what is being described can perhaps be more appropriately deemed ‘place,’ carrying with it a recognition of its inherent value and heterogeneity. This conception of place and space is central to the experience in Marfa, where the expanse of space is necessary in creating our experience of place
  Judd was obviously concerned with form and the object, but the impetus for his move to Marfa was to make work permanent, to have it, “...be placed and never moved again,” as he writes. Judd was unsatisfied with the dominance of the gallery and New York City in the art world, and the lack of permanence inherent in exhibitions. The critical response of the artist to place necessitated a permanence and preservation lacking elsewhere, and Marfa was an opportunity to do just that. Montgomery, to his credit, understands that, “Listening to Donald Judd depends absolutely on the interdependence of artwork and environment,” although he continues to say that, “By capturing the acoustic experience of Marfa, Vitiello offers us a single sensory aspect of Judd’s artworks and their surroundings, tipping the balance away from artwork and towards context.” This statement professes that the context and the artwork are separate, easily divisible elements, a remarkable trivialization that ignores what is perhaps the most beautiful and abstract work of art in Marfa; the place-making Judd has performed. 
  It is this very sense of place that Vitiello is responding to, crafting a sonic experience that translates the coherence of art, architecture and nature as a single rich experience of place. Listening to Donald Judd is listening to the interaction of the artwork and the environment, displaying a profound connection to the overarching atmosphere in acoustic rendering. 

Eliade, Mircea. (1987) The Sacred and the Profane.
Harries, Karsten. (1997) The Ethical Function of Architecture.
Judd, Donald. (1987) Statement for the Chinati Foundation. http://www.chinati.org/visit/missionhistory.php Accessed March 3, 2014.
Montgomery, Will. (2009) Beyond the Soundscape: Art and Nature in Contemporary Phonography.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Janet Cardiff (born 1957) and George Bures Miller (born 1960)

This installation, recently up at the Cloisters in NY, emphasizes sound and space as sculptural elements of the subjective experience. The Forty Part Motet consists of forty speakers, each of a single voice, collectively singing a reworking of Spem in alium by Thomas Tallis, 1573. Each audience member's interaction both constructs and contributes to the sculptural whole, demonstrating the variability of experience through elements of space, movement, and sensation.

more about Tallis's Spem in alium

Check out the Cardiff/Miller website for info on some more of their installations and other projects. Many explore the roles of visual and auditory sensation in the creation, suspension, and intermingling of realities, such as this installation, which does so specifically within the spatial context of the cinema. 

Cardiff has also done some interesting "walks"--guided or mediated experiences exploring perception and sensation in relation to memory, space, and time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Three Essays - Field Recordings, Sound, Music

Three articles on music and sound art made from field recordings. Each article deals with the relationship of composer/creator and recorded environment in different ways, but a number of theoretical questions of interest to us arise across all three writings -- for example, what is the boundary between sound and noise, or music and sound? How does the interchange between real/sensed experience and imagined/created experience unfold across these works? How are these artists transforming perceptual experiences and practices into works of sound and art? Are the transformations conscious (intentional) or merely a by-product of the recording process?

Will Montgomery's analysis of six contemporary artists (Chris Watson, Peter Cusack, Kiyoshi Mizutani, Toshiya Tsunoda, Jacob Kirkegaard, and Stephen Vitiello) offers an excellent survey of some compelling recent works by these artists, framed in a discussion that attempts to locate the practice of field recording in relation to both art and nature.

Montgomery: Beyond Soundscape

Francisco Lopez writes about his own work (La Selva: Sound Environments from a Neotropical Rain Forest), adressing questions of real vs. imagined, authenticity, the notion of the sound object, and his concept of a 'blind' listening.

Lopez: Environmental Sound Matter

In my own essay, on Annea Lockwood and Frances White, I analyze two pieces about rivers. I propose the notion that these works are 'made from listening' and I strive to reveal what takes place in the space between the creators' initial experiences of listening and their finished works.

Nagai: Listen Compose Listen