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Cities and Memory: Oblique Strategies

An international sound-art project based on the Eno/Schmidt card set

20150406-oblique

For Cities and Memory: Oblique Strategies, more than 60 musicians and artists from almost 20 countries around the world took the classic card set by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt as their guide. Each participant either made a field recording or reworked an existing sound, or both, in pursuit of responding to the Oblique prompts. Marcus Lisle, for example, took the sound of cracking ice on the Merrimack River in the U.S. and had these as his Oblique Strategies: “Trust in the you of now,” “Work at a different speed.” For David Mixco, it was a Pudong airport in China and “You are an engineer,” “What context would look right?” For Christina Wong it was a tuna auction in Tokyo, Japan and “Move towards the unimportant,” “Do we need holes?”

This playlist contains some of the resulting sounds:

The mix of unmediated and repurposed sounds works well in this context. The sheer breadth of material can’t be easily consumed, and even the map-specific locations don’t entirely focus the imagination on what is generally unmoored and often abstract. Instead, variety is the guide, a flux of contrasts in a sea of geolocated audio.

More on the project at citiesandmemory.com. The audio is hosted at audioboom.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comments: 3 ]

3 Comments

  1. bassling
    [ Posted April 6, 2015, at 9:36 pm ]

    Looks northern hemisphere-centric. Antidote is to add Antipodeans!

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted April 6, 2015, at 10:12 pm ]

      Yow, you’re right. Maybe we’ll do a riff on this to fill in the geographic blanks.

  2. bassling
    [ Posted April 6, 2015, at 11:20 pm ]

    “Don’t avoid what is easy” says my Oblique Strategies app :)

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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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