CLICK ON COVER FOR MORE INFO compositions using field recordings 1

01. Marcelo Radulovich - El Tumbito [MP3 - 2.5 MB]

02. Doug Haire - Follow The Prisoner [MP3 - 1.2 MB]

03. Shawn Wilbur - Helio: Second Nature Takes Over

04. Cornucopia - Colateralmente Destrozado
Cornucopia are Claudio Chea and Jorge Castro.

05. Anders Östberg - The Singing Room
Processed recordings of empty office spaces.

06. Andrew Hayleck - Retired Water Tower In Morrisville, PA
All sounds were recorded at an abandoned water tower in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, 2002. Across the river is Trenton, New Jersey. The water tower is at least 100 feet tall and 20 feet in diameter. Recorded using a contact microphone and a microcassette recorder.

07. Doug Van Nort - Prelude: Storm
Produced in summer 2002 at DVN't sea/iEAR studios.The piece was created using two field recordings. The majority of sounds come from a recording made in downtown Albany, NY. The scene was restless, as a storm was fast approaching. What struck me most (as always) was the squeal of the city buses and their pre vs post storm sound collectively with the other traffic. Thus I made it and the approaching storm the focus. All sound was recorded using a Tascam Portadat and an Audio Technica AT825 stereo mic. The natural stereo quality of the scene was not tampered with. The only processing which I allowed myself was reinterpreting the order, direction, and speed of very small pieces of audio (tens of MS in size) in a technique commonly refered to as granular (re)synthesis.

08. Ben Owen - 8m3
Recorded in New York, NY.

09. Glenn Bach - Umbrellas, A Somber Parentheses
NYC field recordings; some are slowed considerably.

10. Edward Ruchalski - More Train [MP3 - 2.8 MB]

11. Toby Paddock - Timestretch_A
Version date: 5/22/02. A recording of a grandfather clock played at various speeds. No other effects or EQ.

12. Anode - Fjölu
"Fjölu" is a word in the Saami language of Finnish Lapland, meaning "to learn to listen to silence" or "the art of appreciating silence". From the unreleased album, Anode - Music For The Deaf (1977). Anode is Robert Carlberg.

13. Quiet American - Calisthenic (An Exercise In Negative Space) [MP3 - 4 MB]
This is a process study. The entire piece is based on a short (~35 second?) recording I made in Laos, of some kids doing calisthenics in a school yard with traffic whizzing by. I loop a section of it and use an FFT filter to gradually add in more and more frequencies from the original recording until you can tell what it is... at which point I break the loop and let the recording play out.That's it - no layering, additional manipulation, etc... Quiet American is Aaron Ximm.

14. Rod Stasick - Jotoah SRI - 15
"Jotoah SRI 15" is from a larger work from 1969 called "Jotoah SRI" which consists of 72 situational-event frames. Frame 15 presents notations that refer to the use of a microphone, ambient sound, and electronic modification. This is a short realization of that frame.

15. Marc McNulty - Instant Les Trajectories

16. Heath Yonaites - No More Moon In The Water
Sound sources used: geophone recordings (expressway overpass girder, lakefront pier, machine shop floor, computer) and stereo mic recordings (christmas church bells, fireworks, parade, truck, mountain ski lift, ducks in harbor, rainstorm, open air market).

Review Compositions Using Field Recordings Vol. 1 & 2 - Michael Bernstein (e/i magazine autumn 2003) is a repository for phonographers, or 'sound writers'. The term phonographer is used in place of 'musician' or 'composer' to connote a lower level of sound creation more akin to curatorial functions than compositional ones. Artists who choose their music as opposed to writing it belong in a special category, and now there exists a website to being these like-minded people together. As a website, allows phonographers to publish their ideas within a dedicated section; as a record label, publishes the work of dedicated phonographers who choose to use as source material 'found sounds'. This takes the musician out of the studio and into the field where a microphone and a DAT Walkman are the weapons of necessity. The first two volumes in a series of "compositions using field recordings" include works by more than 30 different phonographers, the contents either straight-up, manipulated, or an acousmatic combination of the two.

In the source material chosen by each artist, there is a sense of provocative fluctuation in their application of 'natural' and 'artificial' sounds into the compositional matrix. Rain, wind, and open spaces get the same treatment as refrigerators, office equipment, and human voices, footsteps, etc. The line between what is 'real' and unreal becomes unimportant, and the pure sounds, broken down to their basic frequencies, rhythms, and timbres, become the main focus of attention. While these mixtures provide the most intriguing moments during these two compilations, they occasionally create jarring juxtapositions that are hard to ignore. The sequencing is well-executed, but certain tracks clash with each other in spite of themselves. Excellent unadulterated work by Jon Tulchin and barely-touched tracks like "Calisthenic" by Quiet American sit alongside time-stretched granulations deserving of their own forum. As with any emerging art form hoping for a validity, the rewards of the phonography artist, and this introductory document in particular, merit closer, focused attention.