Posted in Collaboration, Composition

Cities and Memory: Dada Sounds

February 5, 2016 marks 100 years since the founding of the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, and thus the beginning of Dada. To mark the occasion, Cities and Memory: Dada Sounds applies the techniques and practices of Dada to field recordings from around the world.

Dada-Shareable_1

I also contributed one field recording and its corresponding Dadaist remix …according to Tristan Tzara’s method How to Make a Dadaist Poem.

Edit: I am glad to announce that the piece is now included on the Dada Sounds highlights album, available as a free download release at bandcamp.com

Explore more Dada Sounds at Cities and Memory.

Continue reading “Cities and Memory: Dada Sounds”

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Posted in Composition, Presentation

›Background Noise‹. Field Recordings and Ethnography

Background Noise

›[The] visualist bias has dramatically influenced the way in which anthropology itself has evolved. Thus, one emergent and potentially very important aid to the refocusing of the discipline lies in attending to kinds of knowledge that have proved resistant to being coded in graphic or visual ways.‹ (Michael Herzfeld on the future of anthropology; Herzfeld 2002, 245)

noiseToday, there is an increasing concern for the senses in the humanities. Some even venture to proclaim a ›sensory turn‹. In cultural anthropology, a greater awareness for sensory phenomena and embodied subjectivities, for materiality and atmospheres is reflected in approaches such as an ›anthropology of the senses‹ (Howes 1991) or a ›sensory ethnography‹ (Pink 2009). However, in today’s academic practice many scholars still appear to be utterly reluctant to go beyond text, images, or diagrams as a means of communicating knowledge–even when presenting research on the human sensoriality.

Now Cultures of Auditory Knowledge–Knowledge of Auditory Praxis, an interdisciplinary conference held at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and the Karl Franzens University of Graz in June 2014, offered just the right setting to address and, indeed, transgress these representational conventions within an academic context. With a paper on Soundscapes and Ethnography. Field Recordings within Urban Studies I did not try to construct another theory on sound in the city. Rather, I aimed to allow for some first-hand experiences, or at least to provide some ›sensory material‹ by presenting a composed sequence of recordings from the field.

Listening to this sound sample is an experiment you can partake of: Can these recordings actually convey a ›sense of place‹ (Feld/Basso 2009)? Do they reveal something about the people living here, about the atmosphere and mood of this particular ›sonic lifeworld‹?

Continue reading “›Background Noise‹. Field Recordings and Ethnography”

Posted in Composition

Traffic noise, Berlin – time stretch manipulated –

Two field recordings of traffic sound from Ackerstraße/Bernauer Straße and from Ackerstraße/Torstraße, Berlin.

Cars motion blur 900Photograph by Kaylie Wibberley

Both recordings are radically changed in duration and in tone pitch. First, traffic sounds are replayed in quick-motion. After 30 seconds, it starts to fade over to traffic sounds in slow-motion. Continue reading “Traffic noise, Berlin – time stretch manipulated –”