New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Four Real-World Sound Works

Four musicians took field recordings into their studios and created something new from them, all for the debut of Editions, a web publication of soundwalk.com. The musicians are Francisco López, BJ Nilsen, Yann Novak, and Roberto Paci Dalo, and they used as their source recordings made in these locations, respectively: Mamori Lake in the Brazilian Amazon; Vatnsleysuströnd, Landakot, Iceland; Los Angeles; and Rapoli, Italy. Each track is accompanied by a brief description of the work, an artist bio, and a representative photo, such as the one up top, shot by Dalo in Napoli.

Despite a description by Soundwalk that these artists “use environmental field recordings as a point of departure in their work,” for some of them, the recording is the beginning and the end. The finishing work is, in fact, a raw field recording, framed by selective editing. That appears to be the case for Nilsen, whose Icelandic document captures birdsong, rain, and the ocean. The moans with which opens Novak’s L.A. could be mistaken for audio that has been slowed down, but it is in fact a distant car heard in the non-space that, as Novak puts it, is inherent in the indoor/outdoor middle-ground so intrinsic to Southern California living.

López and Dalo, to the contrary, take their recordings of the world and mix them into something new. For López, it appears to mean looping the sound of frogs into something rhythmically enveloping; for Dalo, adding oscillating, rudimentary electronic sounds — imagine a particularly existential scene from an early Star Trek episode — that slowly subsume the real-world sounds of city life.

The collecting in well-programmed, in that it balances the two non-mediated works, the Nilsen and the Novak, by bookending them with the enhanced/extended works, the López and the Dalo. Kudos, as well, for the explanatory materials. Subsquent editions of Editions are eagerly awaited.

Visit the Soundwalk Editions homepage at soundwalk.com. More on López at franciscolopez.net, on Nilsen at bjnilsen.com, on Novak at yannnovak.com, and on Dalo at giardini.sm.

Update: At the request of Soundwalk, the files have been removed from this post. Please go to the above link to experience the audio.

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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