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Radiophonic Amirkhanian MP3

The San Francisco-based Other Minds organization generously continues to upload recordings from its 2005 festival, number 11, held this past February. The most recent addition to the Other Minds catalog at the Internet Archive, at archive.org, is a “radiophonic” piece by OM founder Charles Amirkhanian, who turns 60 this year. Titled “Son of Metropolis San Francisco,” it’s half an hour of local field recordings and electronic atmospherics (the original version was about an hour in length), like some avant-garde Frommer’s guided tour for the ear. The raw materials range from the barks of elephant seals to “a runaway overflow valve next to a hot tub at Harbin Hot Springs,” and also include “Tongan gardeners, a Chinese sitcom and conga drummers at Ocean Beach.” For all its random elements, it’s a relatively relaxed audio stroll through the city. The original, full-length version (“Metropolis San Francisco”) was commissioned by Studio 3 Horspiel of the West German Radio in Cologne and New American Radio for the NPR satellite system. The file is only downloadable via FTP, but the site provides clear instructions; just search for “Amirkhanian metropolis.”

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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