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Images of the Week: The Microphone in Landscape

Marc Fischer is such a casually prolific creative talent, there could arguably be a section of set aside simply to focus on what he does, from transforming the sound of a child’s rattle ( to framing the aural ambiance of his native Portland ( to developing a homespun looper ( to playing post-post-rock as part of the duo Unrecognizable Now (

Just take a look at this trio of Polaroid photos Fischer posted on April 11 at his site:

The first two show nature, the third and final a double instance of the insertion of a human element: the bird feeder, and the microphone placed within it. Writes Fischer in a brief description:

the bottom one shows our bird feeder which i recently fitted with a contact mic hooked up to my digital recorder in order to record the sounds of the birds picking up and eating the seeds

That the man-made melds so well with the non-man-made in the photo (and, by extension, that the photo in question sits so well with the two others) is a testament to Fischer’s modus operandi. It’s no surprise that someone who so elegantly mixes synthesis and field recordings in his own music can achieve a similar balance in a visual context.

Of course, the microphone is in service of sound: “really beautiful texture,” he writes of the audio recordings of birds feeding, “more on that later.” No doubt in MP3, not JPG, format.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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