Sometimes you are confronted with an embarrassment of riches. This is the case with the recent Ear to the Earth festival in NYC. The festival featured sound art installations, panels and concerts centering on the connections between sound, art and ecology. Here is a little blurb from their manifesto:
“As composers, musicians, and sound artists working on Ear to the Earth, we asked ourselves: What can we do? How can we inspire active sensitivity and engagement in environmental issues? How can we maintain our own sensitivity to the world?
Listening to the world is one good way to become more sensitive to the environment. Listening through the ears, sensibilities, and talents of sound artists is yet more compelling and engaging. And creating environmental sound art is active participation and involvement.”
How cool is that? Some of the projects include: Elevated Harmonies-an exploration of city sounds collected and then rebroadcast into the environment & Glacier Bay-a soundscape from Alaska. NYsoundmaps, a project of the New York Society for Acoustic Ecology, creates maps of sonic events in NYC and deep listening city walks. Be sure to also check out the UNESCO sponsored youth audio project Sound of Our Water.
A bevy of how to articles, referrences and advice brought to you by The Association of Independents in Radio. And to supplement your research at the Foundation Center, there’s AIR’s fellowships and grants page. This page is specifically oriented to $$$ for radio, a few of which are oriented towards individuals and smaller projects. Another convenient resource is the pitch page, listing different radio projects that accept freelance work. Check it out, get learned, comments welcome!
Here’s a site that provides a bit of context to the audio/sound art scene in France and Australia (and by extension, the sound scene in general). Put together by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Goethe-Institut, ZKM (Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe) and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), check out Crossfade and see what you think.
And while we’re on the subject of art, check this site daily if you’re interested in d.c. art & artists: Mid Atlantic Art News
If you haven’t heard of him yet, you should. When I think of the most influential forces behind popularizing personal-story audio documentary today, I think of This American Life and Storycorps. The former is headed by Ira Glass, the latter by David Isay (who is also the man behind Sound Portraits).
Transom interviewed Isay and his staff in 2003, and it’s an illuminating retrospective article: David Isay and Sound Portraits
I would argue that the kinds of audio documentary showcased by TAL and SC has, over time, moved from the edge to the center. They veered from the standard operating proceedure of reporting/narrating from a fixed point in favor of producing a story straight from the source, infusing and investing a story with emotional truth that an audience can identify with. Which makes me wonder what comes next and where is the edge now?
Wisdom of the Elders is entering it’s third season of programming, with the theme of Native Nations along the Lewis and Clark trail. In season two, Milt Lee produced the Contemporary Voices segment. In addition to introducing some great music, I think he does a pretty good job of framing the narrative and weaving in sounds.
Crow and Cheyenne CV – featuring , among others, John William Latin, Jr., hip hop gospel singer
Blackfeet CV – with Kenny Scabby Robe of the Black Lodge Singers and a clip of the powwow song, “Mickey Mouse Minnie Mouse”
i thought i’d take a second to post this amazing sound resource called ubu web. it’s so expansive that i won’t try to describe it too much. (from their “about” page: “UbuWeb is an unlimited resource with unlimited space to fill.”) but they have an enormous (and enormously rich) archive of sound art, ranging from meredith monk to william s burroughs to ee cummings to gregory whitehead. not to mention digitized versions of all of the issues of aspen, an avant-garde multi-media magazine from the ’60s. not to mention film and video, criticism, images, you-name-it. here are a few of my favorite sound pieces, so far…
meredith monk, “education of the girl child”
chris burden, “the atomic alphabet”
f. uwe laysiepen / marina abramovic, “biogaurde”
gregory whitehead, “ziggurat”
A joint project of the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society and Western Folklife Center, the 24 hour show is a series of five minute vignettes on various aspects of Vegas life. In addition to producing some solid pieces, the project is a great example of finding funding to produce locally relevant audio.
Check out the short piece Wigs, then check out the Foundation Center . If you’re a D.C. local, it’s definitely worth your while to head over to their field office (3rd floor, 1627 K Street, NW). Check out the library, chat up the staff, and hopefully find yourself some money!
Brighton by Night is a radio soundscape experiment airing tonight on BBC Radio South Counties. It is similar to an experiment that the Lounge did last year of streetscape sounds in DC. The recordist is simply walking around town with a live mic…but this time no editing! And it is going out live across the airwaves. You can listen to it live through the website today (11pm-12am UK time). Or you can wait for the archive version (which in an email said will happen only if someone in the studio remembers to record it! Let’s hope so…)
Update (10/31/06): the walk has now been edited into a 30min or so tour which is now archived on the site link above. Enjoy!
This is an amazing organization based in Brooklyn, NY, that promotes artists who are exploring transmission a a creative medium. I thought the Performance/Exhibition/Transmission Series was an especially great concept: check out the Tune(Out)))side at the Wave Farm in Acra, New York.
A while back, Ben P brought up the idea of profiling DC-natives who use their voice in an interesting manner. Check out WAMU’s Sidsel Overgaard’s piece that does just that…it aired on Metro Connection. The piece is titled, Crazy Running Guy Note: You have to scroll half-way down the page.