At Play in the Field: Found-Sound Mix

About’s “Listen?”:

This is’s streaming-audio service. The interface immediately below will stream in sequence a series of tracks, 18 total, by various musicians. What they all have in common is that each has taken sounds from the real world and made something new of them. The raw materials include the ambience of Japanese ritual spaces and the noise of European tunnels, brief snatches of frog-song as well as audio documentation of a distant moon. The phonographers — that is, those who record the world in sound (in contrast with, or as a complement to, the more common practice of photography) — visit Iceland, Mozambique, London, and Laos, just to name a few destinations. Some simply turn their microphones toward their own studios.

You can flip back and forth through the playlist using the small arrows. The duration of this album is 55:36. It is titled At Play in the Field.

[audio:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,|titles=”Church”,”Natural Sounds of the Mountain Lake Sanctuary (Side One)”,”Tunnel Brücke (Excerpt)”,”03 13 09″,”Temple Ambience Kamakura”,”Taya Cavern”,”Liq”,”2 O’Clock: I Love You”,”Resonance”,”Calisthenic”,”Composição n3?”,”Asagaya Matsuri”,”Sleepless City Remix”,”Section of a soundscape of two troops of indris” ,”Huygens Alien Winds Descent”,”January 21, Pound Ridge, 2:09pm”,”Harbourstorm”,”Out of Our Sight”|artists=Scott Sherk,Steve Roden,Totstellen,map~map (Marcus Fischer),Tim Prebble,Tim Prebble ,Helena Gough,Ven Voisey,Aaron Ximm,Aaron Ximm,Cancro (Tiago Jerónimo),Carl Stone,Stephen Vitiello and Scanner, ,HASI Probe,Taylor Deupree,Lori Beckstead and Dave Rose,Chris Watson]

The artists’s creations range from framing a field recording by giving it a beginning and an end, to working the sounds into a composition. In some cases, the listener may even be required to make a leap of faith that the sourced sound is, in fact, buried deep in the mix.

Many but not all the tracks originally appeared in this site’s Downstream section, which focuses on legally free downloads on the Internet


Playlist Guide:

Please note that most of the links below in this post will result in pop-ups, so as not to interrupt the streaming audio. Direct links to download the individual MP3s are provided.

Track 1. (Duration: 02:26.) "Church" is a document of Iceland, recorded by Scott Sherk.
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Track 2. (Duration: 06:44.) "Natural Sounds of the Mountain Lake Sanctuary (Side One)" is a clip from a nature-sounds 7" that dates from the 1970s, posted by sound artist Steve Roden on his blog. It is, in effect, a twice-found sound, first by the recordist and years later by Roden.
[MP3. More info:, Musician:]

Track 3. (Duration: 01:40.) "Tunnel Brücke (Excerpt)" by Totstellen is an augmented field recording, taped in a tunnel below traffic, from the album Tunnel Brücke. 
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Track 4. (Duration: 03:04.) "03 13 09" by map~map (Marcus Fischer) is, he explains, "a little experiment using field recordings of the pacific ocean."
[MP3. More info:]

Track 5. (Duration: 00:34.) "Temple Ambience Kamakura" was recorded in Japan by sound designer Tim Prebble.
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Track 6. (Duration: 00:31.) "Taya Cavern" was also recorded by sound designer Tim Prebble in Japan.
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Track 7. (Duration: 04:26.) "Liq" is by Helena Gough, who likes to say she makes something from nothing. She takes field recordings of our real world and creates new audioscapes from them, thanks to microsonic manipulation and an empasis on a narrative-like song structure.
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Track 8. (Duration: 01:29.) "2 O’Clock: I Love You" is a mix of birdsong and electronic synthesis that serves as the soundtrack to Ven Voisey’s installation "Cuckoo Radio."
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Track 9. (Duration: 09:49.) "Resonance" by Aaron Ximm, who writes, "Plumbing resonance, reconsidered, in Vang Vieng, Laos. When the stars align, resonance in our bathroom pipes makes them sing." From his album Rockets of the Mekong.
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Track 10. (Duration: 04:06.) "Calisthenic" by Aaron Ximm is a beautiful piece, just over four minutes long, though it feels much quicker; brief snippets of real world sound are looped to incantatory effect, moving steadily away from silence. Described by Ximm as an "exercise in negative space." Also from his album Rockets of the Mekong.
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Track 11. (Duration: 02:23.) "Composição n3?" by Cancro (Tiago Jerónimo) announces itself with a sudden thud and then proceeds like the effort of distant machines as heard from a windowless room.
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Track 12. (Duration: 04:05.) "Asagaya Matsuri" recorded in Japan by Carl Stone, who describes it as follows: "An ensemble of drums and flute play while perched atop an elevated scaffold in front of the train station. Add the occasional sound of an ambulance along with the normal sounds of traffic -- incredibly they don’t close the roads but let the paraders mix in with the cars -- and you get a wonderful sound stew which I offer up herewith for your enjoyment."
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Track 13. (Duration: 05:18.) "Sleepless City Remix" by Scanner (remixed by Stephen Vitiello). Back in 1996, Scanner got some young British men and women together to talk about, as the website puts it, "how the city at night looks and sounds to their ears and eyes." Among the results of this project was “Sleepless City,”a maudlin track opening with dolorous piano that, characteristic for Scanner, places spoken word by his young subjects amid a soundscape that lends drama and emotional context. This is Vitiello's remix of that track.
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Track 14. (Duration: 00:17.) "Section of a soundscape of two troops of indris" from, which is exactly what it sounds like it promises to be: a menagerie comprised entirely of the sounds of animals.
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Track 15. (Duration: 01:43.) "Huygens Alien Winds Descent" is a "laboratory reconstruction" of what the audio sensors on the HASI probe (Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument) witnessed as the probe descended to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, on Friday, January 14, 2005.
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Track 16. (Duration: 01:48.) "January 21, Pound Ridge, 2:09pm" by Taylor Deupree, who writes, "room tone in my studio. recorder placed on stack of external hard drives." Part of his 2009 "One Sound Each Day" series.
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Track 17. (Duration: 02:24.) "Harbourstorm" by Lori Beckstead and Dave Rose is from their Winanga-li: Australian Soundscapes album on the Wandering Ear netlabel. It's the one "composite" track on the album, composed of multiple recordings.
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Track 18. (Duration: 02:59.) "Out of Our Sight" by Cabaret Voltaire founder Chris Watson, who writes of it: "Motionless anticipation, along the dry sandy banks of the Zambesi a Mozambique nightjar is sucking in all the remaining light."
[MP3. More info: Musician:]

About the Cover Photo: The image of the pond on the "cover" to this collection is borrowed from Stephen Vitiello's "Pond Set," a series of experimental graphic scores that combine to varying degrees sheet music and high-contrast nature photography. Vitiello did the remix of the Scanner track (#13 above).

NB: To the best of my knowledge, my promotion of these tracks in this manner is all above board. However, if you represent any of these tracks and/or artists and feel that they are being inappropriately utilized here, please contact me directly at [email protected], and I'll rectify the situation promptly.

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