September Lounge Highlights:
Neal welcomed Loungers that trickled in from near and far. The night’s ice-breaker was "what memorable sound did you hear today?”
Neal, from AR & DC
the negative sound (aka - quiet) of not hearing the normal drone of the AC.
the discomforting sound of an overhead helicopter with "silver missiles," eliciting a somewhat of a “Pavlovian” conditioned fear response.
Tanya - Walkersville, MD
a neighbor, normally quiet, but picking today for his annual ritual of cutting loose with a super-loud motorcycle. He does this sometimes too with a super-loud camper truck.
Denée - Columbia, MD
the pleasant sound of voices in the street having a variety of languages, consistent with Columbia’s nurturing of diversity. Also the meditative voice of hearing Ibram X. Kendi reading from his book “How to be an Antiracist.”
Matthew - Denver, CO
actually let us hear what he heard, the sonorous “POP” of uncapping a medicine bottle.
Jocelyn – Petoskey, MI
the building up of wind that was so intense that it was surprisingly discovered to actually be hail.
Ana Maria - Alexandria, VA
the potentially embarrassing, rhythmic creek of the floor boards as she did her exercises, conjuring up the 1991 French Film Delicatessen ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVL5_I4CvTc )
Jay - Ashville, NC
As an ethnomusicology/experimental audio professor at Georgetown, he had lined up Atlanta-based hip hop producer Renegade El Ray for a zoom lecture but had concern how it would come off – turned out it was amazing. Jocelyn expressed what most were thinking “hmm, what’s Georgetown’s policy on auditing courses?”
Barry – Gaithersburg, MD
Living in a townhome he had the pleasure of hearing his neighbor refinish their floor, but from the sound of it, very badly. Erratic drilling tempos and timbres being dead give-aways.
Ben – Annapolis, MD
Venturing outdoors he witnessed the grunts and slaps of a football hitting the hands of mask-less teens evoking feelings of both envy and anxiety.
[We later welcomed: Nina (DC), Ian (Pittsburgh- sound: Kanye’s metronomic sonic pallet), Ann (DC- sound: baby sounds), Brandon]
WE LISTENED TOGETHER:
Neal – shared Sound Collage #8, where pandemic lock-downed participants agree to add 30 sec of creative audio to a forwarded file, exquisite corpse style. As a “contrarian,” Neal’s contribution soothed out the preceding 8ish contributions. Guidance to participants included “you should surrender to it…make it exciting…don’t be precious.”
Jocelyn – was moved to contemplation of our times by the sound of a creature of the night; a cricket. The cricket sounds reminded her of Steve Reich’s 1968 piece “Come Out” where the tape moves out of phase much like the crickets. In “Come Out” the voice of a man beaten by police is heard to say that the only way he could get hospitalized was to open up one of his bruises – flowing blood being the entry criterion. Although the crickets were peaceful, the reminder was disconcerting. It ultimately left her with determination to “stay on causes that I care about,” and not just relax into the peacefulness she was privileged to enjoy.
Jennifer – took last month’s prompt – “ask someone about their first, best friend” – and ran with it. Erik Johnson, a UPS driver became her subject and shared that his first best friend was actually “a mob of us” wandering around the Rock Creek/old Walter Reed property with nicknames including “Catfish”…”Smokey”…”Peanut”…”Fat Steve.” His nickname? He and his brothers were the collective “Johnson Boys.” The rain on the in-truck interview added a nice ambiance to Jennifer’s remarkable first interview sound piece.
Barry – shared a field recording that didn’t require him to trek into the wilderness as he saw a “storm a comin” so stuck his LOM Uzi PRO omnis on his window sill. This turned out to be an immersive, mysteriously air-traffic-sound-free, and perfectly timed to catch the entire storm symphony concluding with a rain-drenched finale. Some side discussion included Barry saying he had to perform an “audio biopsy” on tape since he “kept hearing voices.” Why? – “some sound software algorithms favor the vocal range.”
Brandon – got a cabin in the Shenandoah which offered a great opportunity to use his Wildtronics Pro Mini Parabolic Stereo Microphone hooked up to his Zoom H4N. The crystal clear, peaceful track revealed multiple bird species identified as: a red-bellied woodpecker, multiple blue jays, Carolina wren, and downy woodpecker (thanks to Neal - DCLL’s resident bird expert).
Ben – shared a clip from a January trip to Vieques Island where he and a friend went to the Human Society to check on a dog that they had previously rescued. The walk through the kennel, stepping around dog bowls and tools, inspired an impromptu salsa dance lesson given by one of the staff.
Tanya – as a sound artist and composer was coaxed to share one of her compositions “Terrestrial Sounds for the not Terrestrial.” When asked a little on her process, she cagily described it as “I hunt and farm” but clarified everything by revealing it was “hard-disk based.”
CONCLUDING WORDS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND SHOUT-OUTS:
Denée announced information on the Comeback Champion Summit which promotes positive work habits and enhanced productivity.
Ana Maria announced she is conceptualizing an Environmental Art Project involving plastic pollution and was seeking input on how to add a sound component. QR codes and sonic delivery hardware were suggested.
Ben announced that the Transom podcast “How Sound” is really good and helpful for sound enthusiasts and creators.
And we adjourned.