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.