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

Singing Bowls

From an installation by Jason Charney


The singing bowls of Jason Charney’s recent sound installation can challenge your speakers, and your ears. They can draw you in with their textured, sinuous waves, only to suddenly veer north into a piercing high register. Use headphones with caution, and start at a low volume. But all those caveats aside, the work is a must listen.

The track is a document of his half-dozen-plus steel bowls, set to trigger themselves. The result is a quasi-random series of overlaid signals, which on occasion take on a focused sequence akin to considered composition.

Writes Charney of his procedure:

A contact microphone and transducer attached to the bottom of each bowl creates a feedback loop, turning these bowls into resonant objects that play themselves. A computer listens and adjusts the signal flow to create a variety of sonic results. The sounds of visitors walking around the room or ambient noise from the space adds slight variation to the signal chain, magnified by the exponential nature of a feedback loop.

The work was exhibited at Eastern Bloc in Montréal, Canada, as part of Montréal Contemporary Music Lab 2015. Track originally posted at More from Charney at and

By Marc Weidenbaum

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