The night began is a quick go-round of introductions, who we are, what we love about audio and a sound that brings delight.
Alberto G.- has worked with sound since the 80's, in a sculptural way. He loves the sounds of pistol (slingshot) shrimp.
Ben P. - connecting from Annapolis MD, loves the sound of Carpano vermouth (good in many cocktails) and especially the uncorking of it. If he were a foley guy, Carpano Antica uncorked would be a go-to.
Steve M, now based in Baltimore MD, in the work he does if he can hear the personality spirit and soul of a person come through than that is a sound he really likes.
Jocelyn F. based in Minneapolis MN, podcast producer and a curator and organizer of Sound Scene. She loves the sound of blaring blasts – the kind made popular on radio shows- but made delightful by her former bandmate using the imitation of that sound effect to celebrate great moments in band practice.
Patrick Sullivan in DC. is getting into making audio for the first time even though they've always wanted to (made animation and film). Now trying to learn how to use recording and mixing equipment as well as some beat making. Patrick S. is a ham [ham radio fan] and loves the sound of noise on the bands with voices fading in and out. and morse code.
Lizzie P. is based in Washington DC, host and producer of the Smithsonian's Sidedoor podcast.
Loves the sound of sticking a hand in coffee beans, that hollow crackling noise.
Ian F. in Pittsburgh, is an organizer curator of Sound Scene. Crunchy leaves under foot is a winning sound for him.
Barry S. - is a sound artist, musician, field recordist, sound hacker and installation artist. The sound that he likes: leaves -- specifically the scraping and rustling of leaves that sort of sounds like little crabs scurrying.
Audio of the evening
Barry got the night going with “something related to a daxophone” which very few people know to begin with – the instrument includes sheets of metal, piezo microphones and other cool things like metal bars, bouncy objects like springy door stops and a contemporary shaped piece of wood – for which the instrument is named (photo attached). It's generally a bowed instrument. He gave us a live performance.
Alberto asked if we ever heard of the apprehension engine (https://apprehensionengine.squarespace.com/)
Lizzie- noted that her whole environment transformed...into a horror movie? What does the instrument sound like without the reverb?
And we got a second demo!
Ian pointed out that the instrument gives a similar feeling to prepared piano. Bowing strings for example.
Quote of the night: “amazing how many things you can bow” a metal bookshelf, a fence, a lot of things will resonate.
Jocelyn said in some ways it reminded her about a performance of a woman who played the Brooklyn Bridge (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U02X8UWgxY)
Ben shared an ambient sound recording taken under the SF bridge in the warming hut. It was a foggy day and he was struck by the fog horns and how the notes danced together. Ben shared a binaural recording....to explore the seemingly accidental harmonies. He went back to a keyboard to figure out the intervals (and he gave us a keyboard/melodica demo) and realized the horns call back to an opening movement in opera.
Barry mentioned the film sound track for Eraserhead with it's melancholy ship's whistle evoking quite an emotion.
Alberto- talked about the artist who worked with geographic folds, involving (if I understand correctly) a speaker on the ground in an abandoned train station, and transmitted to another train station in Germany. That artist did an installation at the Kennedy Center, piping in fog horn sounds from SF (sometimes in real time). That led to a chat about nature and how it can create music including the much beloved wave organ which works with the tides (https://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/wave-organ)
Jocelyn and Lizzie: shared their KCRW 24 race submission. They talked about their backstory brainstorming adventures which felt like transforming into semi-pro private investigators and the fun involved with that (the piece went on to win 2nd place! Congrats Lizzie and Jocelyn!)
Ian shared his KCRW radio race story as well and explained a bit about how it transformed from a story of Emily Dickenson into quite a different tale.
The group remarked and applauded the use of home-gathered/performed musical sounds to support the scoring and the fantastic pacing and delivery of the story. And a lesson at the end!
Barry shared a video of a lithophone, a slice from a block of marble with contact mics and exciting sonic potential https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithophone.
That reminded Steve of the audio tour he made for the Getty in LA and when he invited a featured artist to play the walls of the museum to create the soundscape!
Made Lizzie think of the ringing rocks of Pennsylvania LINK: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/sonorous-stones-ringing-rocks-park
Ben talked about the David Byrne in Battery Park Manhattan installation
and David Vantigum- played buildings
Steve shared audio with the hope for feedback on the series he helped produce called “Living Downstream” about Salton Sea in the Coachella Valley in California. Episode: “The Sea Next Door” https://www.npr.org/podcasts/655974992/living-downstream
As the night wrapped we offered some impressions about the character of the episode and if the behind the scenes workers were more or less audible/evident than the local voices that grounded the reporting and storytelling itself.
A great sonic evening was had by all. Looking forward to listening with you in December!