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

Zachary James Watkins Live Noise (MP3)

Noises are mysteries: formless sound that’s more likely to be ignored than paid attention to. Some noises are more mysterious than others.

Take this single track (MP3), nearly nine minutes of protracted noise, often little more than a high-pitched whine; it comes with a straightforward title: “Zachary James Watkins, 09.13.08, ArtSF, San Francisco, Ca.” Whether that’s September 13, 2008, or August 13, 2009, is unclear, and there’s little info beyond. A handful of associated keywords at archive.org, where the audio is housed, associate it with several outward-bound electronic clubs and promotion outfits in San Francisco.

[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/ZacharyJamesWatkins09.13.08ArtsfSanFranciscoCa/ZWatkins_091308_artsf.mp3|titles=”Zachary James Watkins 09.13.08 ArtSF San Francisco Ca.”|artists=Zachary James Watkins]

A visit to Watkins’ website, zacharyjameswatkins.com (found easily via a Google search, but there’s no link info actually associated with the archive.org page), currently yields an impressively long list of past performances, including one on September 13, so at least we now know the year when this was recorded.

All this searching fills the time during repeated listenings — a little bit of sleuthing duty while the ear, in the absence of information, lends a narrative to the slow build of scattered, electric sound in what proves to be an especially enticing live performance.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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