Thank you to everyone (especially our volunteers) who helped make Sound Scene XI a success.
What a delight it was to present Sound Scene XI July 7th and 8th at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden for our third year of partnership (this year with help from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Asian Pacific American Center, Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Goethe DC!). The engagement was terrific. There were smiling faces spotted on visitors of all ages as they rode iSheep and listened to audio about engagement and consent. The workshops were wonderfully diverse from audio architectural tours to creating hip-hop remixes of hand clap games, to mini "lounges" where attendees gathered on couches for a more intimate listening experience. We were floored to have WPFW spend the day broadcasting live from Sound Scene on Saturday and taking time to interview artists and visitors. This year we had our very first second day of Sound Scene and Sunday was a great compliment to Saturday with memorable live performances from international musicians as well as local artists translating text to dance and conveying the stories of our bustling city.
Thank you to everyone (especially our volunteers) who helped make Sound Scene XI a success.
June Lounge highlights bonus reel:
1) Here's the theme tune to the famous British detective drama 'Morse' (which is the name of the lead character) that was mentioned during the Lounge; it's set in Oxford and the theme music opens with Morse code for 'M.O.R.S.E'
2) And Chantel's sweet funky mix
She writes "I will warn you, this playlist induces chillaxing, so please listen responsibly. Enjoy!"
4 things below:
1) Join us for a Sound Scene Planning meeting
Wednesday 6/13 (tomorrow) in "Lamont Park" across from Don Juan’s Restaurant in Mount Pleasant. (17th and Lamont St NW). 7:30pm-9pm
Please RSVP. Questions? text Jocelyn
2) And save the date! Sound Scene July 7th and 8th at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn! Full list of audio artists (from DC, Spain, Germany, India and more!), live performances and free workshops is here and here!
2b) Please volunteer at Sound Scene! You could lead a mini listening lounge! (No notes required). Please sign up to help out (you can choose a short shift)
3) Highlights from yesterday’s June Listening Lounge (courtesy of Rene):Jocelyn observed that Rene had a notepad and pen. This resulted in the end of Rene’s two year run of shirking note-taking responsibilities.
Teague suggested the ice-breaker, Favorite Strangely instrumented song.
Teague led off recalling a song by Mexican Rock Band, “Zurdock”, that made effective use of a Kazoo.
Rene’s favorite use of a strange instrument is featured by the steampunk robot group “Steam Powered Giraffe”. They use a melodica to pleasing effect in “Clockwork Vaudeville”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eH2i26Uegw
Chantelle Described a piece from an Icelandic Music Festival in which the artist recorded heartbeats of participants and mixed it at the end of the festival.
Camilla recalled the theme from “Inspector Morse”, in which Morse Code is used in the music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u20sVtCxf_8
Abby mentioned that there is now a type of ham radio license that does not require proficiency in Morse Code.
Daniella recalled a version of Johnny Cash, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” that used silverware in the mix.
Abby recalled a song by Dakhabrakha that utilized a playhouse roof.
Jocelyn recalled a piece David Schulman played for a previous lounge. He
started with field recordings of live roosters and accompanied them on his violin.
Dave discussed a piece in which someone created music that was designed in tempo and pitch to be enjoyed by various animals. “Monkey Music” was successful. https://www.wired.com/2009/09/monkeymusic/ (On a side note, my dog doesn’t love the Monkey Music)
David (No relation to Dave above) recalled a concert of Japanese Rock Group “Acid Mothers Temple”. One member of the group seemed to only be gesticulating and smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. He later bought the album and read the liner notes to learn that she was credited as playing “beer and cigarettes”.
Meg(h)an said something very interesting and Rene forgot to take note of it.
Lizzie recalled a piece by Breakmaster Cylinder that utilized spinning plates and dropping water.
Abby shared first. She has been working on the “Howling Dome”. One or more participants express grief through vocalization. Roughly inspired by an episode of Invisibilia: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/06/01/529876861/an-anthropologist-discovers-the-terrible-emotion-locked-in-a-word There is an indigenous word “Leggett” which captures the feeling.
Abby shared audio from a group of co-workers in the Howling Dome. She said she is trying to capture the sound of “Humanity searching for the key of grief”.
Camilla was reminded of 5Rhythms dance. Chantelle mentioned Ecstatic Dance on the theme of cathartic expression through vocalization and movement.
Jocelyn shared clips recorded from local radio during a recent trip to Alaska. One was a remarkably well produced commercial for a local feed store, and one station ID in which all the many (radio) stations linked were listed by the host.
Teague was reminded of his one-hour as a fill-in host for a local station in Alaska. When he played a Johnny Cash track he got three phone calls right away. Apparently, everyone loves Johnny Cash.
David and Abby suggested “Sublime Frequencies” to listen to broadcasts from around the world. Abby also noted that ham radio broadcasts can be heard on Spotify.
Chantelle shared a song from her rainy-day funk mix. When this is on, you don’t have to leave the house. “Didn’t I” by Darondo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZqQT5904_U
David and Dave discussed the label “Numero” and the groups “Eccentric Soul” and the “Universal Togetherness band”
Daniella shared a piece she produced which was featured on “The Splendid Table” She reported on seeds being shipped to Puerto Rico as a facet of the recovery. Her piece closes the episode: https://www.splendidtable.org/episode/655
Chantelle shared her experience of waiting for news from her family in the Caribbean during the storm. This led to discussion of how people react in time of disaster.
Abby had insight into the aesthetic difference between podcasts and broadcast radio. Discussion turned to techniques for tracking. Lizzie and
David pointed to this episode of How Sound: https://transom.org/2018/dont-write-tell/
Camilla has coached journalists to track for audio and video and notes that, “Print journalists really know their beat.” So if you can get them to tell what they know the result are good.
Rene asked the group for examples of silence used in music or storytelling.
Abby pointed to her piece from 2012 ShortDocs Challenge: https://www.thirdcoastfestival.org/feature/glass-not-glitter
She also mentioned a piece regarding snail sex. Having come full circle from “Monkey Music” the evening was almost complete.
Lizzie was reminded of a frog she met during an apocalyptic rain storm at a recent wedding. She had been recording a story booth. But the when the rain hit, the water rose so quickly that some people lost their shoes forever. Lizzie took refuge in a barn with her gear. She was joined by a frog who had been alarmed by the storm. Much like the final scene in Titanic, she was able to save her gear by placing it on an old door. Luckily the only casualties of this disaster were the shoes. And more importantly, she got the tape. The frog said softly, “rrrribt.”
4) Community Audio Events
Soul Tent June 13 and 20th @ BloomBars
a space for shared listening and creating art from our lived experiences of economic hardship and other struggles. In collaboration with the Poor People's Campaign, BloomBars is proud to host a series of art-making workshops on connection, liberation and radical community. Led by actor/activist/organizer Anu Yadav and singer/songwriter/activist/organizer Courtney Dowe.
Wednesday(s) June 13 & 20, 6:30-8:30pm @ BloomBars
Donation $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds)
This series is inspired by 1968 Poor People’s Campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King, where thousands of poor people across colorlines protested poverty, forming a "Resurrection City "40-day encampment on the National Mall. The original “Soul Tent,” also called the "Many Races Soul Center," was a site of cultural exchange at Resurrection City to celebrate shared experiences of struggle through arts and cultural expression. This summer marks the 50th Anniversary of the original campaign and the launch of the new Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival co-chaired by Rev. Liz Theoharis and Rev. William Barber.
Anu Yadav is an actress, playwright and theater-based educator dedicated to art and social justice. She wrote and performed the solo plays Meena's Dream and 'Capers, co-founded the storytelling project Classlines and recently wrote The Princess and the Pauper, a feminist adaptation of the Mark Twain tale produced by Imagination Stage. She is DC Public Library's first Artist-in-Residence as part of the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Poor People's Campaign. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and holds an M.F.A. in Performance from University of Maryland, College Park. She was recently named a “Person to Watch” in American Theatre Magazine. She is a 2018 DC Artist Fellow and a proud member of Actor's Equity Association, the Dramatist's Guild, Alternate ROOTS, Network of Ensemble Theaters and the new Poor People's Campaign.
Growing up with a musically gifted mother, Courtney Dowe began writing songs from a very early age. She does not think of her relationship to music as a career as much as a calling. Guided by the philosophy that music should be accessible to as many people as possible and in as many ways as possible she has performed in places as humble as subway stations and as legendary as The Filmore in San Francisco. Her interest in human rights has inspired "protest songs" ranging from the subject of police brutality in the United States to the persecution of Falun Gong by the Communist Regime in China. In recent years, she has felt called to repair her relationship with the Earth and hopes to support as many others as possible to do the same.
Check it out!
Sound Scene: Mapping Memory
registration is here, free!
Sound Scene: Mapping Memory is a FREE and INTERACTIVE audio art installation for all ages, presented by the DC Listening Lounge.
Come rest in a dream tent, hold sound in your hands and listen through your fingertips and build your own wind chime. Take a guided audio architectural tour, practice mixing samples into a live DJ set, and transform words from speech, to text, to dance.
Now in it's 11th year, Sound Scene will feature sonic surprises and thought provoking listening opportunities produced by DC-based artists as well as works from artists from Spain, India, Armenia, Germany, New York, Michigan and elsewhere.
Live performances from Layne Garrett, David Schulman, members of the National Symphony Orchestra and dance ensemble, Errant Movement. A full schedule of live performances is available online and on location.
Small group workshops (all first come, first served) will include:
Deep Listening: A guided sonic meditation inspired by Pauline Oliveros.
Perform the Building: An architectural listening walk with international guest artist Sam Auinger.
Sample DJ : A demo and hands-on opportunity to sample and construct your own tunes, with Sonia Herrero.
Your DC Oral History: Enrich the cultural heritage of our city by contributing a story of your own or an interview of a neighbor or friend. Audio links available after the event.
Hand Games Project: Join OnRaé LaTeal from the Hirshhorn ArtLab for an interactive audio workshop where participants remember childhood hand games and remix the sounds and stories into hip-hop songs. Girls and women-identified participants of all ages welcome.
Mini Listening Lounge: Grab a seat and join members of the DC Listening Lounge audio collective for a faciliated listening session of diverse audio, including: found sound, original music, oral history, video sound and narrative. Feel free to bring a sound to share.
*Curated and produced by the DC Listening Lounge and the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden with support from the Goethe-Institut Washington, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Below are highlights from the May Listening Lounge
4) Call for Volunteers:
We'd love to have your help at Sound Scene: Mapping Memory July 7+8. Do you want to introduce a small group of visitors to the joys of listening? Love giving directions to people who are lost? Want to play with small children as they turn chaos into art? Interested in recording oral histories?
Please check out this short form.
Thanks to Lynn for hosting the listening lounge in May and thanks to Faith for making notes!
DC Listening Lounge, May 17, 2018: Highlights!
Icebreaker question: Jukebox from Hell: Your Favorite Bad Song
Bishop: The podcast 20,000 Hertz has tracked the rhythm of voices in a podcast.
Brain picks up on the rhythm of our speech. A guy on Youtube David Dockery drums to the syllables of the characters in movies.
[Listened to a clip of that] You can hear the rhythm of their speech!
Rene compares to Phonics Monkey from South Park.
Lynn listened to a pocket podcast from Third Coast and someone was doing something on generative sound – did project in Australia working with road noise, then matching it to chords and creating music generated by the traffic. When he took the traffic noise out it was amazing music, and then when you add it back in you can still hear the song.
Diana Deutsch does research into music hidden in dialogue. Take any line of dialogue and if you repeat it enough you’ll start hearing rhythm/music in it.
Ken notes that sometimes he hears a British rhythm in American speakers
Song Road in CA – rumble strips make road sing like jingle bells when you ride across it
Lynn: Piece from her show, “Choose to Be Curious” Summer has its own soundscape. Sounds from Adirondacks—even caught sound of mosquito! You realize when you pay attention that every place has it sounds.
Bernie Kraus – records soundscapes, thinking that animals communicate with sound and if humans encroach on that, it’ll interfere. Documents those soundscapes dimming, dying out.
Others share sound memories: sounds of ship’s bell equated with summer; alarm clock that said “Charge!” – and then hearing it at a baseball game
Brandon: Recording from his work, when they had of a lecture for Shakespeare’s birthday on his virtues. Between parts of lecture, two spoken performances of Shakespeare and one song based on a Shakespeare sonnet
Lynn notes that she started hearing percussion in it!
Bond: Scott Hutchins, lead singer of band “Frightened Rabbit” recently went missing and then was found dead, so we listened to his song “An Otherwise Disappointing Life” in tribute. “He really wore his heart on his sleeve,” says Bond.
Nathan: Played song called “Flora” by Japanese artist named Hiroshi Yoshimura (?), an artist and musician who did “environmental music” that was meant to complement and fill the space wherever it was played. First album in 1982.
Talked about how it has a synthetic kind of quality that sounds like old video games and makes it sound dated, like music in David Lynch movies. Discussion of old forms of music...will we talk in future about how CDs sounded the best?
Ken: From north of England, his accent sounds different than some of his family members—disappearing accents and cultures. His is a working class Northern accent. Working classes often make humor of things, Ken notes—plays recording from a comedian (name?) “Pork Pies at the Crem” (short for crematorium)
Notes that this way of speaking is actually closer to Old English
Lynn notes she lived as a child outside of Boston when she was learning to read, so she’d read with a hard Boston accent—but not for speaking!
Disappearance of accents ties back to disappearance of natural soundscapes
Beatles had this Northern English accent! Ann noted Hard Days Night holds up well.
Rene: recorded song from Tyco drum group at Tacoma Park PorchFest
Faith: played clip of interview with her mother, about her (mother’s) mother
1) First of all- the submissions for Sound Scene are GREAT! Thank you to everyone who put forward a proposal (or two). We are looking forward to making decisions in the coming week/s. (Sound Scene is an annual interactive audio art installation, curated and produced by DCLL. Last year over 10,000 smart, curious and attractive people attended.)
2) Want to weigh in on Sound Scene decisions??
RSVP (here) to attend the Sound Scene Planning Meeting.
It will be tomorrow Saturday April 7th at 3pm-5pm. Please RSVP
3) The next listening session aka "listening lounge" will be
April 18th at AC's place.
Please bring any combination of food, drinks, friends and audio (limit clips to under 6 minutes) to share.
About a 10 minute walk north from the Georgia Ave/Petworth stop on the Yellow/Green lines.
Email for more information.
Looking forward to listening with you soon,
3.13.18 Listening Lounge Notes! (courtesy of Lizzie)
In attendance: Tony, Rene, Lizzie, Bond, Ann
At Bond's suggestion, we began by sharing extreme weather stories related to the high winds we've had lately.
Rene: As an insurance appraiser, he's dealt with three cars hit by falling trees.
Bond: On his way to visit him, his mother had to take a five-hour detour into DC because a bridge closed in MD due to tractor trailers blown over by the wind.
Tony: He got last Friday off work!
Ann: On his way to visit her from Boston, Ann's brother's flight had to make two attempts to land due to the high winds. Luckily, he was not on the "barf flight" that landed at Dulles.
Lizzie: Not directly related, but last week contractors discovered a buried well in her backyard. We don't know how deep it is, or when it was built, but it's creepy as hell and anything could crawl out of it:
Sounds we shared:
Rene shared some SoundScene footage from last year, which he intends to make into promotional material for this year's event. We heard Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Rain" performed on a violin made from a baseball bat, and suggested structuring the piece around the violin music itself -- letting commentators lead us into the scene through description before telling us what we're hearing and end with the stellar line "if you haven't been here, shame on you."
Bond shared a song from Dessa's new album, Chime, called "Fire Drills" and it rocked. "You can't be too broke to break." Check it out!
Tony, who will be giving a workshop at the NSS (Natural Sound Society) on birdsong recording, shared a binaural recording he made from a canoe. Above him a colony of frigate birds nested together in mangrove bushes, and we could hear the young birds calling to their parents for food.
We also talked about binaural recordings for VR, and the microphones now being made in the shape of a human head, including some with pig skin for the "skin" and human-shaped ears (which have a significant effect on the recordings). We wondered if they could make a microphone with cat-shaped ears and head that would allow us to hear what cats hear...?
Ann shared a compilation of short but fully immersive recordings from her trip to China, which included street sounds, singing, and the bells the men ring to advertise ear cleanings. YES, EAR CLEANINGS. They use a "tiny bamboo scoop," a series of brushes, and a long fine wire which they insert into your ear and then touch to a tuning fork to let your whole head ring with an otherworldly vibration.
We wondered whether some of these street sounds (geo-linked recordings) could make a good contribution to this year's Sound Scene, "Mapping Memory." Tony added that we now know our ears are so finely tuned to our surroundings, however unconsciously, that even as adults we could identify our childhood bedroom from a bunch of recordings of empty rooms.
Rene shared audio from a podcast called "Tweet of the Day," featuring a different bird call and short accompanying explanation each day.
The conversation turned to the darker themes (virtual kidnapping and forest fires) so Bond pulled us back to the light with a song ("Everybody's Coming to My House") from David Byrne's new album, American Utopia.
We all ate copious amounts of peanut m&ms. A good time was had by all!
Looking forward to next month!
1. The next DCLL meeting Tuesday March 13th at Lizzie's house!
When: Tues March 13
Where: Lizzie's Place
Arlington, VA 22202
Nearest metro: Crystal City or Pentagon City (blue/yellow)
"I'll make popcorn! And will probably have lots of peanut m&ms left over from my birthday so come help eat those."
Please also bring audio to share (limit clips to under 6 mins duration). Food, drinks and friends are very welcome too!
2. Reminder, if you'd like to submit an idea for a Sound Scene aka project/installation/proposal/workshop please do so here
By March 24th.
3. Separately, we'll have a planning meeting for Sound Scene (general planning for outreach, workshops, diversification of proposals etc) on Sat March 17th from 1-3pm. *You do not need to attend the planning meeting to submit a proposal!
*have a lovely week!
Feb Lounge and January Highlights
The next Listening Lounge will be
Tuesday Feb 13th (Save the Date)
where: ?? TBD Would you like to host?
Interested in hosting a DC Listening "Lounge" but unsure what it takes?
We are looking for a living room that can accommodate 10-20 (ish) people. Useful if you have speakers (that can accommodate streaming audio from phones, computers and/or other devices- but we can loan you some for the night if that is a hurdle). Especially interested in places that are metro accessible.
FEB. AUDIO CHALLENGE:
By the next listening lounge: Record something to do with scale. Brandon said during the lounge that, “audio is vast, yet it’s intimate.” Shoot for around 3 minutes. Create a recording that contains something tiny and/or intimate something large or expansive.
We're hunting for an INTERN for DCLL and Sound Scene 2018.
Know someone who you think would do a great job?
We are especially excited for DC/MD/VA people (of any age) who are very organized audio lovers, interested in learning more about curating and non-profit management (estimated 2-4 hours a week). Un-paid (but a small stipend may become available depending on grants in the 2018 year). Interested folks please send a resume/cover letter (1 page MAX) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications due Feb 15
January Lounge highlights (courtesy of George. Thank you George!!)
JANUARY 16th, 2018
Thanks to Rene and Kate for hosting.
The evening started with a prompt to introduce oneself, then discuss a line of an awkward story you heard over the holiday break, a sound that reminded you of the holidays, or alternatively, an audio gift you received (or wished you received). “Mutiny, family or gift.”
Attendees: Rene, Lynn, Stella, Teague, Bond, Brandon, Tony, Ben, Amy, Adam (AI Righteous), George, Liz, Kate, Clyde (the dog).
Rene: A gadget (i-XLR?) that allows you to plug an external XLR microphone into an iPhone (he uses an iPhone SE). Uses a quarter-inch input that plugs into the headphone jack, which he tried used with a Røde NTG. Allows you to monitor with the setup but unsure of the quality, and the gain levels. Also, he mentioned the SurePlus MOTIVE app.
Ben: Binaural microphones that look like earbuds. They give you a very spatial quality in stereo recordings. Best to listen to them using earphones. Suggestion: to put on a hat dummy. Still won’t be as vivid if replicating the folds of the ears. There are professional grade products that replicate this.
Teague: Made DIY binaurals using a lavalier mic that has two channels. He split the wire and ran over tops of his ears to record. He also found a 1968 vintage reel-to-reel recorder from his father with tapes of things, like music, he and his friends recorded. He’s hoping to get it working again.
Tony: Found a track he recorded when he was doing biology fieldwork where he recorded audio with his friend eating apples in the back of a truck. He put the mic next to them, it sounded like pigs eating. He demoed the audio to his friends and they didn’t recognize the sounds. He recently came back to the area but went to Listening Lounge meetings in 2006 in Mount Pleasant.
Bond: He received an Amazon Alexa. He tried listening to SirusXM channels on the Alexa.
Brandon: Spoke about doing an alternative music internet radio show. >From Pittsburgh, PA area.
Adam: A producer sent him a beat, and he wrote a verse to it. He’s looking to record at the studio. Twitter link: AI Righteous
Amy: Her brother sent her a link to two YouTube videos where someone is demoing binaural beats. She hasn’t listened to it yet.
Lynn: Recorded her mother-in-law telling the story about finding recordings of her father from 75 years, including recordings from a Voice-O-Graph done in Daytona Beach in 1953. It’s like a photo booth for sound. Her family also gave money to Arlington Independent Media for station WERA LP FM 96.7.
Stella: opened a box and found bells. There are sheet bells that her parents would ring during Christmas evening and rediscovered this technology.
Kate: She got an external monitor that you can plug in with an HDMI cable so you can have two screens if you’re on travel.
George: He got a vinyl copy of The Golden Record, the recording sent into space during the Voyager missions into space. The records have various sounds and music from the planet and are the farthest man-made objects from the Earth known (riding along the Voyager 1 & 2 probes launched in the 1970s).
Clyde: Woof, woof.
Liz: Used to have a Bose record player from the 1980s in brushed aluminum and smoked plexiglass, which she thought of as a family heirloom. It was one of the only things she wanted to keep after a move to Buffalo, NY, yet it was one of the few things she acquired from her family that was destroyed in a fire. She’s looking for suggestions on a new record player.
The prompt from the previous lounge was to collect /record one interview over the holiday season. Ask a question about the person's past and use the prompt: “Tell me about your first best friend...” Extra credit: If you've never used one before, try out an audio editing program on your computer.
The listening began with:
Rene: Sat down with his mom to record when he was visiting family in California. They talked for about 40 minutes. He had someone listen to this edit once and got some notes on it but he hasn’t changed it since then. Her mom spoke about a girl named Roxanne. A car hit her when she was two years old, and then hit Roxanne’s house. Her friend later moved away. The accident happened in May 1966. She was playing on a rocking horse and a car rolled down the hill and hit her.
Lynn: Her mother-in-law Sandra was visiting. She got her into the studio to tell the story of the last year of learning about her father. Her parents were divorced when she was seven and the last time she saw her father was around 75 years ago, and doesn’t know what became of him. She only captured only about 10 minutes of actual conversation out of an hour. Lynn later recorded more audio with her husband and a sister-in-law. No one was allowed to know her mother had been divorced. “I lived a lie but was taught to never tell anything but the truth,” said her. A family friend, Jennifer, has genealogy experience and likes “solving the puzzles of the past” from clues and research. She left us with this quote about curiosity: S. Leonard Rubinstein: “Curiosity is a willing, a proud, an eager confession of ignorance.”
Stella: Winter solstice in the High Line in NYC. For five years now they’ve had an event that is a soundscape event, with a collective of artists creating a sound experience. You walk the highline and have an experience. The High Line is a public park and green space built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. You were given an app. The movement of your body would change the soundscape from what’s on your phone.
Amy: Played a podcast episode that she listened to recently. She listened to it at work. Then listened to it again outside of work. She shared a few segments from The Organist, by Clive Desmond who tells a personal history of advertising in radio. It was rebroadcast on 99% Invisible. Desmond, a voice over artist, talks about an ad that had impact on him as a child that seemed to have an authenticity that most radio did not, even though the little girl on the radio clip was an actor. There was also a radio jingle from Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane singing an ad for white Levis and an ad Frank Zappa created for a Remington Electric Razor.
Teague: Recorded his dad via videotape on Skype asking about when his father got drafted in 1970. His father talks about how the recruiters were selling him on signing up for Airborne. They started with an officer asking if he wanted to be in Artillery. Teague’s dad said “no thanks.” Then after that there was someone from a different office and more. He wondered “When are they going to ask about my background?” He went to a room with two low-ranking enlisted guys who had typewriters. He gave them two years of his life to do a good job and mentioned his background was as a mechanical engineer. One of the enlisted men asked “Isn’t there a form for people with science backgrounds?” and instead of going to Vietnam, Teague’s dad went to Alabama instead for two years.
Ben: Had an interview with his mother about her first best friend, where she is playing piano in the background. Ben asked: “What do you think about when you play?” “Nothing. I do it with feeling.” His mother’s neighbors had an orphan child named Olga living with a nanny with whom she is friend. She learned a lot from the nanny in the house because they had a different life. There was a garden with a weeping willow. The nanny would put the girls in nightgowns and they would play as actresses or Opera singers, not with dolls. The girl’s mother died during birth. The father never remarried; he would always travel. The father had killed himself because of a rumor of him squandering everything away, like a gambler. Her friend was taken in a truck off to Poland. None of these people she knew during the time came back from a concentration camp. Side note: Ben didn’t know anything about audio recording at the time he recorded. It was his first attempt at producing something. This was recorded awhile ago. His mom is 92 now.
Brandon: Lynn spoke about how being around people with disabilities makes one gain empathy and curious about how you can see the lack of accessibility for people to get around. A guest, Charlotte talks about the challenge of being a disabilities teacher. “In school, you don’t get to do the fun stuff. Because you are doing extra homework, or doing it slowly.” She thought a lot of kids would take-off if they found something they love or are excited about something.
-- -- --
Some other audio resources and items of note from George (who produced the summary above):
• “The New Analog, Listening and Reconnect in an Digital World,” book
& Ways of Hearing, podcast.
If you're out west soon check out: The Audium: A Sound-Sculptured Space in San Francisco that’s been running performances since the 1960s.
Can't remember anything good about 2017? How about the highlights from the December DC Listening Lounge!? Thanks again to Rene for hosting.
The night began with a go-round of everyone's favorite movie- /sound track/ film's sound design
Rene: Matrix for first one (and undercut by the next two) sound design was also pretty great.
Carla: Lord of the Rings movies solid for sound and visual
Bob: Elf (fav Christmas film but not sound track)
Ben: 1973 Felini's Amarcord,“not one of the freakier Felini's”
Karen: Favorite movie was Ghandi. Baby Driver for the sound track. And the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sound track was great too.
Teague: Fav movie Election by Alexander Payne (later made Sideways)
Jocelyn: Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist (Fav sound track to have created a public radio review for. Also the only film sound track she's reviewed and it wasn't published...sore spot )
Ann: North by Northwest (poster featured on her wall) High Fidelity great sound track
Sonya: The Social Network great soundtrack, The Ghost in the Darkness (campy favorite film)
Byrd: Fav movie and soundtrack Harold and Maude, Ferris Bueller's Day Off a close section.
Ginger: Florida Project great movie, Ferris Beuller's Day Off- great holiday rerun this past Thanksgiving season.
Bond: Fav movie was Thank You For Smoking, fav film soundtrack, Pulp Fiction
Brandon: Fav movie Ghost in the Show (thinking about AI), fav sound design was for Wonder Woman (action sequences, build up electric guitar to full distortion).
The listening began with
Bond showcasing a track from his Dad's performance with The The (he also performed with Billy Ocean, Alison Moyet,) the work Bond's most proud of is the band, The The, His dad toured with them when Johnny Marr was in the band. The The has a comeback tour in the works for next year, and his dad may come back on keyboards. Bond played, Uncertain Smile, with his dad on the keys. Discussion about the mysteries of music's popularity overseas and German support for the arts.
Rene shared audio from his accidental detour from the Red line to the Armitage Platform, on the Elevated Brown Line on Chicago. With cameo's from the diesel trains, and dump truck moves from above to below. Recorded on an H4n. An hour of tape later edited. High quality sounds of close and far and rumbles and high pitches.
Byrd shared audio from the KCRWRadio Race (24 hours to make a piece). She, Gretta, Martine and Ted made something – all audio has to be new that day- including the music (and the mix/edit etc).“Down for Whatever” theme. Discovered a Saturday afternoon Hyattsville jam. The creative and non-linear design was appreciated.
Next year form a DCLL team?? KCRW race is usually around August 18th ish.
Jocelyn shared a sneak peak of a pilot she's working on. Talking about sound design. What wins out in comprehension and memory, when there is a joke, a sound design, and facts? What do people keep a hold of?
Brandon offered up a recording approaching the Canadian Embassy's special dome- a clapping session which highlighted the incredibly memorable and surprising acoustics of the space.
Rene mentioned the University of Maryland also has a memorable clap zone where a person can clap and the sound seems to squeak back at you.
Ben shared a recording from his annual urban tree hike from a hiker group singing in front of the Christmas Tree in front of the Canadian Embassy under the dome of crazy acoustics.
Discussion of the former White House Yule Log which no longer burns out front.
Deep cut reference to Lil' Bub sitting by the fire...that no one could remember except one person (sniff).
Bond: made a shift from the Sirius XM gig with the Symphony Hall channel to Sirius's Hair Nation channel. Cat's Craddle was burned in to all our heads before leaving. It's probably still stuck in 90% of our heads (Thanks a lot Bond).
Audio Challenge from Ben- By the next listening lounge, collect /record one interview over the holiday season. Ask a question about the person's past. If you need a prompt, here is one to try: “Tell me about your first best friend...” Other parameters: aim to share 3 minutes total (edited or unedited), extra credit: If you've never used one before, try out an audio editing program on your computer.
Another shout out for : DC audio producers interested in work opportunities to email email@example.com to be added to a gig list.
ReferYah: is a networking site of a friend of Bond's
Had a good conversation about the value (and fun!) of mentorship- interested in matching DCLL'ers with other DCLL'ers/local mentors to learn new audio skills. YES TO 2018 GOALS LIKE THIS!example: Tape Sync mentorship: people have recording gear and interest in doing tape syncs but would feel better to have a chance to shadow someone first to learn the ins and outs. Let's partner up!
Other skills sharing? Let's get a chat started on the DCLL Facebook Group page.
-Adult job shadows are awesome- try them out.
...and a conversation about stethoscopes.
Check out the 99 Percent Invisible Episode
Judy Dench Stethoscope article
Radiolab episode about the Lady with the loud heart “The Tell Tale Heart”
other great 2017/2018 ideas
Sonya: Let's have an audio scavenger hunt leading up to Sound Scene (Canadian Embassy, Einstein memorial etc etc.)
DC Listening Lounge began in the fall of 2004 by like-minded audio enthusiasts as an informal place to listen, experiment and learn more about the art and craft of sound. We continue to meet once a month in DC living rooms to share and listen to one another's latest audio finds- and to continue an ongoing conversation about sound and creative storytelling.We always welcome curious visitors, eager listeners, and sound enthusiasts of all stripes and types. To join our mailing list or learn more about our monthly meetings, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next DC Listening Lounge will be Tuesday Dec 12!
Please bring audio to share (though it's definitely not required- we love listeners and thoughtful company generally). Please limit audio clips to 6 minutes or shorter. Friends, snacks and drinks are all also welcome.
Next DCLL: Dec 12th,
Where: Ann's place, (email dclisteninglounge at gmail dot com for details)
Public transit tips: the 96, 30S, 30N, 31, and 33 buses all stop right out front at either Macomb St. or Newark St. The H4 stops a few blocks north at Idaho St. Nearest metro stops are Cleveland Park and Tenleytown, which are each about a 12 min walk away. For drivers, it's usually pretty easy to find street parking in the neighborhood.
Questions: contact DCLL
(SAVE THE DATE: Jan 16th will be the first DCLL of 2018)
The night kicked off with a go-round of intros: who you are, what brought you to DC, what is your favorite "DC" sound?
Andrea - new to DC for work, anthropologist / favorite DC sound: protests
Alex, grew up in DC. Came back to work at NPR, now drawing radio cartoons (100 in total) / end of summer cicadas singing and the howler monkeys at the zoo.
Lizzie, grew up in Alexandria and then moved back to DC six years ago, was a teacher, now a podcaster "your story here" / dosing the decaf coffee and the decaf beans are super dry, hollow and larger, and make a clackling sound
Teague, came to DC for a job, enjoy sound as a hobby / overhearing conversations in coffee/tea shops, especially at Teaism (among the best: state dept officials and a TV show pitch)
Ellen, came back to DC for a new Vox gig, loves voices of subway (makes her think of the Ludicris song every time step back step back you don't know me like that/It's time for an archival project of human voices on public transit – siiri/alexa/etc will over take it all soon)
Heather, voice of WAMU underwriter, does voicing and also freelances, including roots at Metro Connection, wants to start a podcast about the contributions of African American women /iconic DC sound of the escalator at Cleveland Park
Bond, came to DC for work in radio at SiriusXM / memorable sound of a guy behind me freaking out because he had left his wallet on a subway car
Ann, moved to DC eight years ago, started a podcast about mental health care, "the medical mind" / sound of the bell on the El train in Chicago.
Jocelyn, came to Dc to as an intern with NPR's/Nat Geo's Radio Expeditionsseries, that focused on threatened cultures and environments. And then stayed for awhile / sound of person singing in Spanish on the street, she refers to him as "the town crier" shout-singing often in Mount Pleasant. She played a recording of him.
Bond shares a piece that was inspired by "interdimensional cable" post on Reddit --> Enunci8 video / we talked about the push and pull between performative or trained voice and conversational voice. Ann talked about going to a session at the Third Coast Audio Conference about "how not to sound like a robot."
Jocelyn noted a Third Coast Fest conversation about S-town as a new audio genre: "novelistic." We listened to the first two minutes of the first episode of S-Town.
Teague shared a piece of recorded sound from a platform of SF BART train platform and how it imagined it as a soundscape of a dystopian sci fi film.
Ellen shared a clip of CASYM steel pan orchestra, rehearsing for Panorama, the largest steel pan drum competition in North America.
Lizzie shared an interview with a silversmith, who told her casually that he wasn't expecting to live that long. So she asked him to tell him the story of why. She plans to release as episode of her Your Story Here podcast.
Andrea recommends "Integratron" sound bath experience based in Joshua Tree, CA, a 30 minute "brain balancing" session of 14 quartz crystal singing bowls. She went two weeks ago and shared some of the CD so we could all listen.
Jocelyn shared a mystery animal sound. We listened without knowing and guessed: a chicken, a turkey, a pig pretending to be a bird. It turns out it was two ravens, perhaps imitating a turkey. Ravens can mimic other birds.
Recommendations beyond DCLL:
Alex recommends "Lumia." The Light exhibition presents "symphonies of silence" "Credenzas of Color" and is kind of like sitting back and listening to silent LPs. Curious? Now at the National Portrait Gallery until January.
Thanks to Slammer for a great Lounge at her place. Highlights below (courtesy of Teague).
The next lounge will be: Tuesday Nov. 14th (just after Third Coast Festival).
Thanks to WHUT's Artico for coming to film at the Oct. DC Listening Lounge for their upcoming episode in November about the vibrant DC arts scene. Looking forward to watching the coverage soon.
Upcoming events of audio interest:
DC Association of Old-Time Radio Club the upcoming meeting of The Metropolitan Washington Old Time Radio Club will be on Friday October 13th at 7:30 pm at the Trinity Episcopal Church 2217 Columbia Pike Arlington, Virginia 22204 (at the corner of Columbia Pike and South Wayne Street).
Admission is free.
The evening will open with the playing of a 15-minute old radio program. The main program will be a newly written half-hour radio play about a classic character "Candy Matson" (a female private eye) being performed by members of the Club and will feature live sound effects. This will give everyone a good idea of how shows were created and broadcast during the Golden Age of Radio.
The Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries re-open Saturday Oct 14th 5pm-12am with great audio content available! (also live music, food, other performances and the incredible collections: info here.
An upcoming $10 podcasting conference @ Georgetown. DC Talks
"stakeholders from across the US—musicians, documentary filmmakers, comedians, podcasters, researchers and government officials—to discuss what role the public sector is playing in the expanding digital culture landscape. The goal is to explore what the various arts communities and media might learn from each other, and to discover how like-minded creators can benefit from integrating strategies and networks."
Slammer started by welcoming folks to her home and talking about the immigrants who share the building with her. We then went around and introduced ourselves and each recalled a sound that we have connected with (in a good or bad way) in the last couple months:
Teague - The sound of music of various styles spilling out of the doors of the clubs on Frenchman Street in New Orleans.
Jocelyn - The (thankfully now absent) sounds of street paving outside her house.
Rene - The clinking, clacking, and knocking sounds of a pinball machine with the sound turned off.
Bond - A mysterious descending tone sound his phone sometimes makes during a call. (Which we were then able to crowd source among those in attendance as meaning that his phone was down to 20% power.)
Dan - His 95-year-old grandmother's loving shout out to her family in the middle of a family gathering at a restaurant.
Jax - The crickets of Turkey Run when driving a rental car with the windows down at night.
Christopher - Video of various birds that have learned to imitate cellphone sounds.
Karen - Blade Runner (the original) sounds of dystopia, reviewed in anticipation of the new movie.
Slammer - The sounds of helicopters, ambulances, and police -- some reassuring, others less so -- on her corner near the hospital.
Ben - His old vibraphone-ette, recently and miraculously repaired with hair elastics.
Mary - Sounds of children and babies laughing.
Edgar - Live sound effects of a monster destroying a city in a radio production that he recently acted in.
Anne - Her aunt launching into her own version of the happy birthday song as soon as she picks up the phone each year on her birthday.
Chantelle - A recent sound healing session, where the tones of crystal bowls reverberate through your body.
A.C. - The sound of the optical theremin app that he recently bought for $3. (He also demonstrated.)
* * *
Bond played the song "Agnes," a mournful track about loss by the Glass Animals, who recently played the9:30 Club.
Jocelyn shared a recording of a friend performing a song and dance from that friend's time being home-schooled as a kid. Sounds begin with a call home to confirm the words with her mother, "Here we go zodiac..."
Dan played a recording of trees high on Mount Hood that were caked in ice and snow, yet melting and creaking in the summer sun and breeze.
Christopher played a hip-hop track by Surreal and the Sound Providers called "Life and Rhymes." (Edgar also recounted his accidental appearance on the Arsenio Hall show alongside some hip-hop stars of that time.)
Teague shared a recording of the automated voices saying track numbers at Chicago Union Station, which meld together into a Steve Reich-esque soundscape. (more on this below. Thanks TJ for sending the follow-up)
Chantelle played a dreamy, layered track by Kadhja Bonet, a love song to San Francisco called "Francisco."
Ben played a recording he made of kids joyously encountering bioluminescent jellyfish at night the the Chesapeake Bay. ("This is so fun!!")
A.C. offered an abridged version of a performance of Pauline Oliveros's piece, "Single Stroke Meditation," which involves a group called Umbilicus performing synchronized, continuous hits of four snare drums for 7 minutes, creating all sorts of unexpected auditory effects.
TJ played his original work, a chill downtempo composition, "A Good Once-Over."
Mary played Roger Williams' composition "Autumn Leaves," which, weather notwithstanding, suggests with feeling of fall.
Edgar played a excerpt from a radio drama production he acted in. We listened from a safe distance as "the flesh" began to consume a city, breaking buildings with its terrorizing presence.
Other meaningful moments, reflections on a sonically overwhelmed loving grandmother.
Thanks to Elisa and Kyle for hosting last month.
No Sept lounge. We'll be back in action October 10th at Slammer's house.
For your audio fix this month check out this great listening event on Wednesday!
Fall Listening Events at the Goethe-Institut
Wednesday, September 13, 7 – 8:30 pm
“Every Time A Ear Di Soun”
WPFW in the spotlight at documenta 14
With Katea Stitt, Interim Program Director
In August, Washington’s Pacifica station WPFW-FM (a neighbor and partner of the Goethe-Institut) provided hours of daily and archival programming for a special project of the international art show, documenta 14, which took place this year in Kassel, Germany and Athens, Greece. Other stations featured at this year’s documenta included broadcasters from Indonesia, Germany, Brazil, Cameroon, and Lebanon. In this evening’s “Hear Now” presentation, Katea Stitt talks about her experience with documenta and presents audio contributed to this international project.
August Lounge Highlights (courtesy of Elisa):
Lots of new folks came after learning about DCLL at Sound Scene. Yay!
Icebreaker question: what's the weirdest/funniest phone call you've ever gotten? (got a little freeform)
Deb: making prank calls as a teen
Anne: was a victim of prank calls
Bird: accidentally received many calls for Supercuts, scheduled appointments anyway
Ted: no funny calls
Martin: practiced Spanish
David: 3 out of 3 NASA astronauts prefer mint chocolate chip ice cream
Dave: wrong-number texts from Colombian family, watched them grow up
Elisa: received call from Howard Stern, hung up
Andrea: thought the cruise offered to her on the phone was a scam, actually went to Bahamas
Jocelyn: WhatsApp calls at 5 am
TJ: crank calling Japanese record shops
Elise: tricked her boss into thinking FBI was onto him re: tennis racket homicide via voicemail
Stella: serial voicemail saver
Kyle: home phone one digit off from Blockbuster
Sara: tribulations with evil Mrs. Claus while working as an elf
Bond: Billy Joel fanatic
Karen: real (Kyle lost his train of thought)
Rene: MLB umpire dreams dashed
Bond shared a song by A R I Z O N A, who he first heard at Lollapalooza.
Deb played her audio postcard created with recordings from Sound Scene X, featuring sounds of bongos, accordion, many voices, guitar + more. She also brought party favors: credit card-sized devices to record and play back ~30 seconds of audio.
Elisa played an audio collage from a citizenship ceremony that took place at the Folklife Festival, "The Star-Spangled Banner (Folklife Remix)." Dave helped master it.
TJ played an original piece entitled "Trace's Emerald Alley", and expressed his joy for looping short musical phrases for an extended period of time. You'll have to be around him to hear the piece, as he does not put his music online!
Rene asked, "What does a tree sound like?" to his arborist neighbor. We all got to find out through the audio piece he put together of the interview. From solid wood to decaying wood, the interview offered a glimpse into the world of "sounding" a tree.
David played his dream-inspired original funk song about sports journalist Howard Cosell (work in progress, still needs drums). We talked about the possibilities of lucid dreaming.
Kyle, upon hearing David's recording, remembered that we saw him play violin at the Phillips Collection, improvising songs about paintings on the wall, and that he had recorded it on his phone. We listened, but David couldn't remember which paintings they were inspired by.
On May 20th Susanne and Stephen and Jocelyn, on behalf of DCLL, co-led a workshop at the Center for Accessibility at the DC Public Library. Some attendees were blind, vision or hearing impaired and deaf. The session began with a small group discussion about sounds in our daily lives (which are pleasant, grating, small and large) as a way to explore the ways that our sense of sound (whether perceived through our ears or through vibrations felt elsewhere) is experienced.
We listened to a collection of audio stories and sonic snippets including the illusive sounds of compost digesting, ice-melting, and animals scratching. We heard the story of DCLL'er Selina S.D. moving through a case of laryngitis and we heard words gathered from the streets of Columbia Heights about aspirations and personal motivation.
The workshop was an opportunity to listen together and for DCLL to learn some new tips for making the listening experience more inclusive and inviting. DCLL is looking forward to putting many new ideas into practice at Sound Scene on July 8th (if not before). Some of the great ideas we discussed are noted below.
Thank you to the Public Library for hosting us!
Great tips for more inclusive programming:
-Columbia Lighthouse is the best bet Braille Printing Service and other services in the area listed here: https://nfb.org/braille-transcription-resource-list
-Consider large print versions of written materials
-Make your website and web materials work with screen readers
-Mentioning "audio" leads many blind people to think first of "audio descriptions" and that isn't as fun as "interactive, exploratory, storytelling and sonic adventuring."
-Can listen with more than your ears. Consider putting your hands on a balloon, but also your hand on your neck and throat can enable you to feel the ways that sounds bend and change pitch vibrationally
-It's helpful to have a visual version of the waveforms of audio to follow with your eyes
-Interpretive dance can help
-Not all ASL is created equal
-If you have an ipad sign in at the front door, its best to have someone there to assist and walk-through the process
We have a lot to learn but we're grateful to be improving.
DCLL May Notes:
The night began with the best table of snacks you've ever seen....the audio included:
1) a piece from an acoustic ecologist Leah Barclay. You can check out her work here:
We listened to the biosphere sounscapes: a sonic image of day break expressed through recordings moving across the globe, from mic to mic, gathered from audio streams around the world in the direction the sun rises. An international dawn chorus day. The audio started on the prime meridian.
We also talked about artist Barbara Hutchinson and her commitment to marking the day with a bell. And exploring topics and interpretations of personal vs group meditation, performance art, community participation etc.
Hutchinson brief bio: “Over the years, her projects have becoming increasingly performance oriented. In 2008, as a reaction to the political situation in the U.S., she started The Daily Bell, in which she—and anyone nearby willing to join her—rings a bell at sunrise and sunset every single day. As she says, “sunrise and sunset are things you can’t argue about.” For the first year she documented every single ring, and now continues the tradition with less documentation, but with no less enthusiasm.”
We talked about how our ears never shut/turn off at the end of a long day (though attention certainly can).
What exactly is ear fatigue? Real or in our minds not our ears...?
With mentions of the “Sleep with me” podcast http://www.sleepwithmepodcast.com/
- boring stories told in soothing, sleep-inducing monotone.
2) Next we heard a piano performance from the National Gallery- musician Margaret Leng Tan
debuted new works by Crumb and demonstrated piano with extended technique through the works including classic avante guard compositions from Cage and Cowell.
This one we heard was called Tides of Manaunaun – god of motion, by Irish Composer Henry Cowel.
-Lizzie mentioned Little Salon performance events – she's helping to put on the next
and in collaboration with Erik Moe- history of neighborhoods, future cartographers' society.
3) We had a small whimsical musical interlude from Lizzie. A steel drum all-star band from.... Maine. Flash in the Pans (50-70's) of Blue Hill Maine. It began when one resident travelled to Trinidad, fell in love with the sound, read advice about how to make a steel drum from Pete Seeger and badaboom-badabing...Cruise ships from Nova Scotia started disembarking in Maine to the beautiful Caribbean sounds...Now a huge jam happens in town weekly (its a town of 2000 in summer, 1000 in winter). The town has a total of 4 steel drum bands.
Listening was basically a DCLL dance party
The back story of the band was noted to in some ways be like the opposite of Cool Runnings...http://www.flashinthepans.org/
Rene brought up his interest in following up with a former radio host who was an inspiration to him but later ended up in prison and how to reconcile the interest in a follow up with the sense that it could be misinterpreted as a motive of voyeurism or disaster-indulgence.
Quotation of the night:
“People lie to me all the time.” Rene, insurance appraiser.
4) The night wrapped up with Jocelyn playing some of the 20k.org episode she wrote and produced. She had played the rough draft version a few Lounges back.
Thanks Lizzie for hosting!
Next DCLL will be JUNE 13th at Vashti's place near U-ST Metro. Details coming.
Come one, come all -- to the Next DC Listening Lounge
when: MONDAY May 8
where: Lizzie's place, (email for details)
how: house is equidistant from Pentagon City / Crystal City metro stops (an 8-10 minute walk), so get off wherever you feel the spirit moves you to.
questions: call Lizzie: (email for details)
WHAT? please join us for an evening of listening together to audio, art, music, game sound, found sound, collage, stories and more (or less depending...)
All are welcome, Please consider bringing food or drinks to share, and a friend. If you'd like to share audio please limit clips to 6 minutes or shorter.
Looking forward to listening with you,
The April DCLL was at Ginger and Teague's place. Thanks for hosting.
We started the night going around mentioning the memorable food combinations that probably shouldn't exist (or that other people thought shouldn't exist) which we have dabbled in.
Lilian- Multi-media artist: Her grandfather used to eat sardines with berry jam. Her piece
Kaleidoscope featured @ art-o-matic. Check it out (apologies for late notes...).
Nathan- haas been hanging at Rhizome and:, Twizzlers and guacamole- it was a dare
Steve M- Passover delicious food with dry dusty flavorless cake
Jenny- Kyrgyzstan dried (chalky) cheese balls and chocolate
Claudia- Columbian hot chocolate and mozzarella cheese (immersed), morning breakfast, dip the bread into it.
Rene- portland ice cream shop with olive oil ice cream. - insurance appraiser.
Jocelyn- broccoli dipped in water
Lizzie- freshman in college roommate took anthropology of cooking, feeding crickets and so she booked crickets into cookies. Cricket Cookies (faux Cambodian)
Teague: mom got on a health kick, brewer's yeast with orange juice.
Ann- Salty licorice
Discussion swirled around the upcoming audio field trip (now completed).
Advice about external microphones:
iQ-6 plug in
history of transom as a name- to get someone to hear your work you had to throw it through the transom...org founded PRX.
Audio of the night:
Nathan- Tim Hecker is an ambient artist (as described by Nathan) came through NTS radio – a 1-hr radio show of original work and remixes, ambient artist- mixed it with an interview with Fugazi and added ambient feature. Music of the Air is one piece that is recognizable within it.
Featuring saw-tooth synth
What does it mean to be an artist, composer , musician? Definitions of these are complex and interpreted differently by different people. Music creation can be similar to painting a scene or when a feeling becomes recognizable as a genre or established after a time.
Harmony and Ultraviolet album is a great one.
Jenny (sp?) – shared her first ever audio piece featuring musician Sam Guilford. She recorded on her phone, what would you do to make it better?
discussion of how to boost one-voice if the level is low
How important is that kind of adjustment?
Also talked through tools for plowing through tape- time cues and/or talking about the best tape and creating a list of “must-haves” to shape the story.
Jocelyn- shared a pilot for a new series she's working on.
Big questions to explore:
how much to let the central figure tell the story
will there always be a few questions that you ask everyone in each episode?
What about having every fourth show live- to have audience reaction
How do we tackle Bigger issues- like power dynamics within smaller stories
what are the responsibilities of the producer/host to protect a guest from revisiting difficult moments?
-framing maters- from an intro or the central figure themselves Sets a context
Animate the story with video! idea....from Nathan.
Youtube series could be great with that.
Lizzie – shared a personal interview with an unidentified person. And asked us to listen for where is it boring? Where does it draw you in?
Helpful questions to be sure the tape answers:
Who is this character? Is he redeemable?
What's at stake?
And we need clues to keep us interested?
Where is the turn in the story? And where are we headed to?
Lilian- shared her work which was/is featured at art-o-matic
art-o-matic 7th floor , video installations and light-based work, projection of kaleidoscopes on rotating table on the floor. Kaleidoscope of humanities past. This was her first sound art piece (after attending a workshop presented by DCLL members at Washington Project for the Arts years ago- so cool!).
How much do you need to distort someone’s work to use it as your own?
Does the answer change for an Installation? For work that lives online? for work that is for sale?
DC Listening Lounge began in the fall of 2004 by like-minded audio enthusiasts as an informal place to listen, experiment and learn more about the art and craft of sound. We continue to meet once a month in DC living rooms to share and listen to one another's latest audio finds- and to continue an ongoing conversation about sound and creative storytelling.
We always welcome curious visitors, eager listeners, and sound enthusiasts of all stripes and types. To join our mailing list or learn more about our monthly meetings, email us at email@example.com
The next DC Listening Lounge will be Tuesday April 4th. Mark your calendars.
Until then, here are some highlights from the lounge- last night:
MARCH DCLL HIGHLIGHTS
Thanks to AC for hosting. He kicked off the night welcoming everyone and we went around to make introductions and mention of our favorite weird food.
AC- pork rinds
Efim- mothers Russian Pelmeni- dough with meat inside like piroges, boiled and dipped in sour cream, mustard and followed by beer.
Jenny- pickled herring
Jocelyn- buddha's hand
brandon- steamed blue crabs, well-picked
Alex VO- century eggs, on saltine crackers. Buried in earth. Chinatown NYC.
James- drink egg whites from the carton
Ian-Gefilte fish, pulverized poisoned fish- yes he likes it.
Deb- bitter melon, pickled, caramelized, like caramelized garlic
Steve- Menudo, hangover cure, beef tripe, potatoes, corn, carrot. A ritual of toppings with cilantro, lemon to taste.
Liz- The popular in Brazil food containing, manioc flour toasted, sweet or savory etc
Bond- pickled broccoli stems
Ann- keeping us in suspense...
The night's audio :
began with Alex Van Oss, featuring work from Finish sound scape artist Simo Alitalo . The video was shown from a live performance in the round (with instrumentalists positioned around and across a small cove ). Conversations about how to performance and create audio outside the confines of a tightly controlled studio- just be sure to include the waving of large flags from the tops of buildings and a giant crank powered alarm.
Reflections of the fine line between dry humor and tuning a band to a crank-powered alarm or maybe performing the sound scape of a World War..
Bond moved us along with a guessing game of “who's this artist” with the song “Screen Door.”
Radiohead or Yo-Yo Ma meets Steve Reich. Solution, EDM DJ DeadMau5, "stuff I used to do compilation" from 1997-2007. Cool contrasts in this one from the regular work and the old magic from this compilation. Notes made about the contrasts between simplicity of early rap programmed into an 808, and the computerized voice and the sensitive metaphors and then mixing in with poor metaphors.
Like asking Siiri to compose a piece.
Efim jumped in with a song that he wrote and converted into a Dada poem, cutting out the words and pasting them back in into a random order, using music memos app which generated a backbeat and bass line for the poem. This is the result “Sketches in Sound, I Am I”
crowd response: “That could have been a bad lip-reading parody.”
Steve followed with audio to celebrate a successful first edit he had today on a story He shared a youthful sing-a-long with clapping accompaniment and accented by kid squeals. Sounds from the church of Kansas City mostly made of members from Democratic Republic of Congo and refugee camps they left behind. Sounds from the first Baptisms of the new church. For the podcast The Spiritual Edge, funded by the Templeton Foundation.
Jocelyn played the rough mix intro to a new episode of a podcast she's working on. Complete with homemade audio effects and per-liscened music beds. Discussions of the ways that music can manipulate our emotions in good and bad ways and the recent Smithsonian Hirshhorn Ragnar Kjartansson exhibit.
Brandon played audio from the Folger Shakespeare Library lab audio that was pulled from a radio play and re visioned for a new sound scape. Wanted it to be cinematic.
Greenwood Tree: show just closed.
Jenny shared audio from her friend Sam Guilford's collection “Sonic Sketches” a composition collection that uses different keys and time signatures and follows the shape of a drawing of an animal or image that is drawn in silhouette. Mandolin and fiddle featured with this octopus tonight.
Efim mentioned the composing off stars, over-laying a staff and drawing in notes any place a star appears.
James played the ending of a story of Todd. He debuted the opening at last month's meeting. This month he finished the story of Todd's relationship (or non-relationship) with his dad and his grounding in personal identity. Conversations abounded about how to play with sound to manipulate,distort or otherwise change a recording- how much is too much and in what ways can fx influence our listening to a scene and understanding of it's characters?
-Sound Scene update: July 8th, 2017 @ Smithsonian Hirshhorn
Decisions on what pieces will be accepted for this year's event are coming soon (apologies for the slow process- many cooks in the kitchen). DCLL is actively seeking partners to share financial support for evening programming- please do be in touch with any suggestions/leads!
-DC Department of Energy and Environment FROG WATCH coming up. Follow this link to learn how to be a citizen frog call scientist and help manage and monitor frogs in the DC area. seriously.
March 16th the program is coming back by popular demand- Frog ear-training and identification.
Just a reminder the next DCLL meeting will be Tuesday March 7th at 7:30pm. More info on that soon.
Also- thanks again to all the artists that put forward incredibly creative proposals for consideration of inclusion in Sound Scene 2017.
The Sound Scene planning team has been discussing proposals and moving towards decisions but we have not finalized our program yet. We are looking forward to being in touch with all artists as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience. We haven't forgotten you!
The next DC Listening Lounge is March 7th at AC's in Petworth. Mark you calendars. We'll send additional details as the date approaches.
Next Sound Scene planning meeting Feb 13 (email for details)
Highlights from DCLL Feb 6, 2017 Listening Lounge
We kicked off the night with a go-round about the most memorable/best food you've eaten (not the most "sonic" opener but we definitely got a sense of storytelling styles in the room).
Bond- sushi Shady Maple (?) in Silver Spring “amazing how many things go well with avocado.”
James- “The best thing I ever ate, was probably the placenta of my little brother...just kidding” Christmas in Patagonia, thick Argentinian beef, red wine. Etc.
Teague- donut connoisseur, donut quest. NY donut tour with a rating system. Doughnut Plant (before it was on TV, he claims he was a fan), basic is less sweet, complex dough, puts up a little resistance without being too chewy, and seasonal glaze, fresh blueberries.
Jocelyn- I haven't been but I hope to one day, maybe check out Kobo's- vegan tasting menu – it was just reviewed in the Washington Post Magazine and looked beautiful aesthetically and flavorful
Slammer- just returned from chapatis in Kenya. Thick similar to tortillas, bready with delicious home cooked stew
Steve- jalebi, looks like a day-glo orange pretzel, Jalebi wala- Jalebi “Man” has been there almost 250 yrs. Deep fried in butter and dipped in sugar syrup. (don't try this in the US)
Melissa- wanted to learn Italian better, an olive farm in Tuscany during harvest time, and organic farm, a little more labor intensive, and at the end of the first day, took 700 kilo to pressing plant, ancient place, and next day pick up florescent green fresh pressed olive oil. And the woman of the house made steamed vegetables and toasted bread , scratch with raw garlic clove and dump olive oil all over it. Cloudy olive oil is better flavored. Local recommendation. California Olive Ranch- picture of guy on tractor holding a huge olive or something. Its pretty darn good.
Amy- Italian favorite meal based on where I was as much as the food. Trastevere neighborhood in Rome, courtyard, playing violin next to us, gnocchi, in a broth 4-6 kinds of fresh mushrooms,
Tyler- goat herder volunteer in Israel, goats milk not properly pasteurized made him sick, hadn't eaten anything but white rice for 2.5 weeks, and had falafel that was the best I ever had, and then threw up a few hours later but it was totally worth it.
Jimmy- first job after grad school was installing security gates, Monday walking to car in Seattle away from shop, friend went fishing this weekend, reach into truck and grabbed salmon caught yesterday and, smoked that day- mouth lit up, not even salmon to me- its a whole other thing.
Brandon-Roatan island off Honduras, visiting godfather at his house there, neighbor took him out fishing- starts at 5am, catch the bait first casting a net, held partially in teeth, only caught 2, but the first fish he caught was a yellow finn tuna, breakfast at 10am of the tuna, incredibly fresh and special.
Shawna- in the Dominican Republic. In LasTerrenas, small town known for kite sailing, we were the only people there, just expats running a little bnb. Crabs walking by our feet.
Audio part of the night:
Melissa- kicked off the night with something, not serious, she said, the opposite. Balmy, comforting.
As she was waiting to set up – the donut advice continued. Priorities...creme brule at Astros, canoli filled at DistrictDonut (this link leads to a DCLL-worthy audio piece!) and in Baltimore some solid choices as well.
Back to the audio: A local publication in Baltimore, J-More, newly launched, monthly mag with daily web updates. A written profile of 5 couples how they met and how they keep their marriage together, what is the glue? Melissa also produced short audio portraits/slide shows. One couple married for 60 yrs, played tonight.
Barry and Sandy Lever-
Reminded some of the group of the Storycorpslove story of the couple who were together for ages, and recorded through the husbands death (not sure if we got that link right).
The music Melissa used was gathered with help from the AIRlistserv
Take-away advice from another couple Melissa interviewed: “marriage is a game where no one knows the rules and they keep changing.”
Bond- wanted to play a song that he noted was titled “Pure Comedy” by Father John Misty, sarcastic, out-there. Bond says “if I ever had kids, which I don't plan, I'd share this music as a bit of insight into my life,” and musical tastes.
Sounds like some homage to Billy Joel and Rufus Wainright.
Father John was a drummer with Fleet Foxes before.
Jimmy- working with Rebecca, and also a visual artist and a programmer shared a brand new (one day old) application that they are creating that allows a visual artist's work to be interpreted and experienced sonically. (We all swooned and had lots of thoughts and feedback by request...and some not by request). This “translation tool” used sounds gathered from 7 different sound collections,
and it uses “edge detection” triggering different sounds
We loved the ideas of collaborative performance art, live drawing and multiple layers of experience.
Discussions of the sonicification of visual art- the color organ and vibration as a possible additional element.
Amy- shared audio from “The gnocchi experience” an audio representation of a very special meal. Dinner on the street corner in Italy.
And the AirBnB – recorder held out the window featuring street side accordion
James- stories of himself and friends, collected over time will be collected and organized as a “Life in three chapters” beginning, middle end. We listened together to the
chapter transition from middle to last act...and discussions about frequency ranges, clarity, music balances, sound effects, and general design followed.
Jocelyn shared an excerpt from an interview with Evelyn Glennie describing how to listen with more than your ears and digest sound like “a pea or carrot.” discussions about laughter, host engagement, striking the balance.
DC Listening Lounge began in the fall of 2004 by like-minded audio enthusiasts as an informal place to listen, experiment and learn more about the art and craft of sound. We continue to meet once a month in DC living rooms to share and listen to one another's latest audio finds- and to continue an ongoing conversation about sound and creative storytelling.
We always welcome curious visitors, eager listeners, and sound enthusiasts of all stripes and types. To join our mailing list or learn more about our monthly meetings, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Come on out for a night of listening
DCLL's February Listening Lounge
When: Feb 6th, 7:30pm
Where: Amy's Place
(email for details)
How: Petworth metro is closest
What do I bring? : Yourself. Also feel free to bring food, drinks or friends to share. If you'd like to bring audio - we'd love it. Please limit clips/excerpts to 6 minutes or shorter.
January Lounge Highlights Need extra motivation to attend February's lounge? Check out the notes from last month's lounge courtesy of James.
Attendees introduced themselves and described one sound that they found particularly loathsome.
DC Listening Lounge is a terrific audio collective. Browse our blog and archives to get a sense of all the fun we get up to. You're also invited to join our Facebook Group page to get in on the conversation.