Tag: audio/Archives

HV132- Musicality of Speech

Musical notation of spoken word, by Diana DeutschHearing Voices from NPR®
132 Musicality of Speech: Spoken Melody
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2012-02-15

This program contains copyrighted material not licensed for web-streaming, so we cannot offer an mp3 of this week’s episode.

A history of what composer Steve Reich calls speech-melodies:

“It’s Gonna Rain” (1966 / 1:00 excerpt)
“Come Out” (1966 / 3:00 excerpt) Steve Reich

“It’s Gonna Rain” was composed in San Francisco in January 1965. The voice belongs to a young black Pentecostal preacher who called himself Brother Walter. I recorded him along with the pigeons and traffic one Sunday afternoon in Union Square in downtown San Francisco. Later at home I started playing with tape loops of his voice and, by accident, discovered the process of letting two identical loops go gradually out of phase with each other.

In the first part of the piece the two loops are lined up in unison, gradually move completely out of phase with each other, and then slowly move back to unison. In the second part two much longer loops gradually begin to go out of phase with each other. This two-voice relationship is then doubled to four with two voices going out of phase with the other two. Finally the process moves to eight voices and the effect is a kind of controlled chaos, which may be appropriate to the subject matter – the end of the world.

“It’s Gonna Rain” is the first piece ever to use the process of gradually shifting phase relations between two or more identical repeating patterns. The second was “Come Out.” Composed in 1966, it was originally part of a benefit presented at Town Hall in New York City for the retrial, with lawyers of their own choosing, of the six boys arrested for murder during the Harlem riots of 1964. The voice is that of Daniel Hamm, now acquitted and then 19, describing a beating he took in Harlem’s 28th precinct station. The police were about to take the boys out to be “cleaned up” and were only taking those that were visibly bleeding. Since Hamm had no actual open bleeding he proceeded to squeeze open a bruise on his leg so that he would be taken to the hospital.

“I had to like open the bruise up and let some of the bruise blood come out to show them.” More…

Western Soundscape Archive

Western Soundscape Archive logoThe Western Soundscape Archive houses thousands of audio recordings: “570 different Western bird species, all of the region’s vocalizing frogs and toads, dozens of reptiles and more than 100 different types of mammals,” with dozens ambient field soundscapes of the West remote wildlands. Many of the recordings are are Creative Commons licensed for non-comm use.

Here’s a few of their Featured Sounds – some from HV’s Jeff Rice, a lead archivist and audio recordist for the WSA…

Yellow-headed Parrot, Pasadena, CaliforniaYellow-headed Parrot
Amazona oratrix
Recorded in Pasadena, California
(0:14 mp3):
Northern Elephant Seal at Ano Nuevo State Reserve (California) - Male adultNorthern Elephant Seal (Adult Male)
Mirounga angustirostris
Recorded in Ano Nuevo State Reserve, San Mateo County, California
(0:15 mp3):
Relict leopard frog, Lake Mead National Recreation Area (Ariz. and Nev.); Mohave County (Ariz.); ArizonaRelict Leopard Frog
Rana onca
Recorded in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Mohave County, Arizona
(1:40 mp3):

Stereo Stack

Are you ready for the Wall-to-Wall Wonderland of Dual Dynamic, Kaleidoscopic, Spectra-Sonic, Stereophonic Sound? Well, the 1960s record-label design departments sure were.

Here’s just a few of the scores of Stereo LP banners displayed at Stereo Stack:

Banners advertising Stereo, from LP covers, screenshot from StereoStack.com

Stereo Stack, via Boing Boing.

Playtagger- Mod

The Delicious Playtagger seems to be gone, for now, maybe forever– possibly due to Yahoo! revisions to the Delicious service. Here’s a quick fix (version 0.1; check back: will write a better one later): playtagger_mod.zip

This uses the same Delicious audio player (playtagger.swf) and images (stop.gif, play.gif), with a revised JavaScript (playtagger_mod.js). It lets you store the files locally. (Also adds a class to the image: “mp3” for CSS styling, courtesey Consuming Experience. Plus you could create your own play/stop icons.).

To get ‘er goin’:

  1. Unzip playtagger_mod.zip and upload to your site the folder: playtagger_mod
  2. In the file: playtagger_mod.js.
  3. Change the variable at the top: playtagger_url.
  4. from: http://YOUR_DOMAIN.COM/PATH_TO_FOLDER/playtagger_mod/.
    to the URL of your uploaded /playtagger_mod folder (needs trailing “/”).

  5. In the <head> of any files you want the Playtagger- Mod to work, place:
    <script type="text/javascript" src="http://YOUR_DOMAIN.COM/PATH_TO_FOLDER/playtagger_mod/playtagger_mod.js"></script>

    (Again, replace http://YOUR_DOMAIN.COM/PATH_TO_FOLDER/playtagger_mod with the URL of your /playtagger_mod folder.)

Should be good to go. The Playtagger- Mod script looks adds a little Flash audio-player mext to any mp3 links on your page. Looks/works like this:
Specialist “Laser” Lawrence (2:08; audio: Jake Warga, Iraq: Soldier’s Soundtrack.)

UPDATE: Playtagger- Mod is now working in the wilds of the great WFMU’s Beware of the Blog.

Random Tape

Photo of Auburn IngramRandom Tape is a new sound-drenched website by David Weinberg, featuring sonic novelties, like this lovely excerpt from an audio diary entry by 16yo Auburn Ingram, “Why Am I Here?:”

The FAQ is packed with the site’s vital stats, such as:

Q: How often do you post?
A: It’s Random.

Q: Have you ever tried to record the sound of two termites making love inside the cockpit of a balsa wood model airplane?
A: Yes. Unfortunately though I had the pause button on.

HV097- Crow Fair II

Crow DancersHearing Voices from NPR®
097 Crow Fair II: Apsaalooke Nation Celebration
Host: Scott Simon of NPR
Airs week of: 2010-08-25

“Crow Fair II” (52:00 mp3):

“Crow Fair II: A Portrait in Sound” (52:00) Steve Rathe

This is the final hour of a two-hour special on the annual Crow Fair in southeastern Montana, recorded in 1977 by NPR. For all the info, see part one: HV096- Crow Fair I.

Crow Fair- Dancer
Crow Fair- Dancer, © Allen Russell

Crow women in dance dresses on horseback
Crow Fair, © Donnie Sexton, Montana Office of Tourism

Men pose for photo at 1926 Crow Fair, photo by Elsa Spear Byron
Brady Locks, Little Wolf, Black Crane, and Big Beaver,
ca. 1926, Crow Agency, MT, photo by Elsa Spear Byron

Photo Gallery (in Crow Fair I)…

HV096- Crow Fair I

Crow DancersHearing Voices from NPR®
096 Crow Fair I: Gathering the Tribes
Host: Scott Simon of NPR
Airs week of: 2011-08-10 (Originally: 2010-08-18)

“Crow Fair I” (52:00 mp3):

“Crow Fair: A Portrait in Sound” (52:00) Steve Rathe

Crow Fair logo

A century ago the six Crow Reservation Districts came together for a cultural gathering with other Great Plains tribes. Every third weekend of August the Crow Fair honors that tradition in a “giant family reunion under the Big Sky.” Five days of celebration in southeastern Montana, with a parade, Pow Wow, rodeo, and traditional and fancy dancing.

In 1977 a team of NPR producers and recordists spent a week collecting sounds and interviewing people at this annual event. This early ambient sound-portrait breathes with the arts and activities of the Crow people: the Apsaalooke Nation.

This is part one of a two-hour radio special which ran originally on NPR Folk Festival USA. Producer: Steve Rathe. Interviewers: Scott Simon, Frank Ray Harjo. Mix: David Rapkin. Engineering Supervisor: Jim McEachern. Recordists: David Harris, Ralph Woods. Thanks: Willy Stewart & the Crow Fair Board and the Crow Tribe for their hospitality. For the final hour, listen to part one: HV097- Crow Fair II.

PRX Shares

PRX brought enuf for the whole class: they’re now Sharing Pieces and spreading the sonic love, in players big:

 

and small:

 

Audio pieces at PRX now embeddable in blogs, websites, and sharable via FB, Twit, email and other socially transmitted media.

Expialidocious

Expialidocious is up again. “Guess Who’s Back In Wonderland,” sez cut-up Aussie artist, Pogo:

After a year producing professionally for Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios, my contract has finally come to an end. The gag order is released, and my classic Disney mixes are allowed back online.

(Old Expialidocious post w/ autre Dizknee audities.)

Nature Recordists Campout

Trumpet Swans in water, photo by Steve RussellThe Midwest Nature Recordists Campout took place in the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, “30,000 acres of wetlands, brush prairies and forests was bustling with nesting and migratory birds, deer, foxes and wolves” (photographs © Steve Russell).

Audio recordists gather for one weekend each May at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in southwestern Wisconsin, and create a 24hr timeline of the avian action. Check David Michael’s “Upper North Fork Flowage (composite)” and these “Paul Dickinson: Tracks.” Curt Olson of Track Seventeen recorded the recordists at play:

“2010 Midwest Nature Recordists Campout at Crex Meadows” (9:30 mp3):

(Curt also made HV and Weekend America a sound-portrait of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.)

Carolyn Jensen Chadwick

CJC Photos:
Elephant sealElephant seal, California’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

humpback whaleHumpback whale near Maui, Hawaii.

Mali camel herder “On the Edge, Timbuktu.”

Roy Sesana, Bushman elder (Kalahari Desert, Botswana), on a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, “From the Kalahari to Malibu.”


CJC, EP of Radio Expeditions, on the Rio Tiputini (photo: Flawn Williams).

Splendid with Sound: The audio world lost a great producer today, Carolyn Jensen Chadwick. With her husband Alex she co-founded NPR’s Radio Expeditions (article in Current) and produced the Interviews 50 Cents films.

Carolyn was Maya Lin’s sound consultant for “What is Missing?” She produced scores of sound-drenched, audio-intense stories for NPR — we’ve run several, with more coming.

We hope you’ll spend an hour soaking in her sonics below. Hubby Alex once described a jungle as “splendid with sound.” That phrase also does justice to CJC’s enveloping, enrapturing, sometimes ecstatic, and always engaging work.

Master-engineer Skip Pizzi (NPR, Microsoft) would play this first piece at workshops to illustrate how a simple story can be superb, when elegantly enhanced with stereo sound. David Molpus narrates a portrait of “Equestrian Olympian: Bruce Davidson” (1984 / Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer / 12:39 mp3):

Radio Expeditions often recorded those who recorded sound, such as Rex Cocroft on “A Journey to the Edge of the Amazon(2006 / Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer / 8:54 mp3):

Among the natural sounds CJC captured were those of human nature, as when her husband Alex pitted wits with the regulars at a small-town casino, playing “Poker at the Ox” (Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer; Michael Schweppe, engineer / 9:55 mp3):

The Chadwicks spent time in India charting the Geography of Heaven: Vrindavan. In this first of three-parts, they walked “The Streets of a Holy Hindu City(2005 / Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer; Flawn Williams, engineer / 8:57 mp3):

And in the mountains of Payette National Forest, it’s all guns, guitars, guts, and wild game, inside an “Idaho Hunting Camp” (Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer; Michael Schweppe, engineer / 12:57 mp3):

We’ll miss you, Carolyn.

Carolyn's Memorial notice in LA

Faces: Africa

Now showing at the Seattle Art Museum a photo-audio exhibit, by HV producer Jake Warga, of “Faces: Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya.” Features digital stills projection with field recordings:

One hundred faces introduce individuals from many cultures in five African countries, a collection that became part of Jake Warga’s response to his work as a public radio producer since 2007. As he states, “Journalism’s tendency is to talk only of numbers — numbers starving, numbers infected, numbers displaced — while individuals are easily hidden, their unique details lost in the shadows.” He started out with a conventional search for numbers and statistics, but Warga later decided to take a “tree-for-the-forest approach” by focusing on individuals.

Art exhibit poster

Weberdance

Chris Engles, photographer and radio producer (site | blip.tv | prx), blends the two skills expertly in this audio-slideshow of Boston’s Weberdance:

Energy Field

CD coverA new sound symphony by Jana Winderen artist/recordist is out on Touch Music. She calls her album Energy Field. Here’s a sample (5:20):

Armed with four 8011 DPA hydrophones, DPA 4060 omni mics, a Telinga parabolic reflector mic and and a Sound Devices 744T digital hard disk recorder, Jana Winderen studies and records wild places which have a particular importance in our understanding of the complexity and fragility of marine ecosystems.

The recordings were made on field trips to the Barents Sea (north of Norway and Russia), Greenland and Norway, deep in crevasses of glaciers, in fjords and in the open ocean. These elements are then edited and layered into a powerful descriptive soundscape. The open spaces of Greenland, northern winds, ravens and dogs in an icy landscape provide the setting for these haunting but dynamic pieces. Sounds of crustaceans, fish such as cod, haddock, herring and pollock recorded as they are hunting, calling for a mate or orientating themselves in their environment, are all included in the mix.

From her artist statement:

I have been occupied with finding sounds from unseen sources of sound, like blind field recordings. Over the last three years I have collected recordings made by hydrophones, from rivers, shores and the ocean, and more recently also from glaciers in Greenland, Iceland and Norway. In the depths of the oceans there are invisible but audible soundscapes, about which we are largely ignorant, even if the oceans cover 70% of our planet.

Jana Winderen: site | Touch | Noisiest Guys

The [Un]Observed

The [Un]Observed is a new Radio Magazine whose stories cross genres, countries and societal subjects.

Try “The Trouble With Rick” by Aussie “media practitioner” Kyla Brettle. She calls her piece a “radiophonic exploration and impressionistic interpretation of how the world spoke to Rick.” May sound pretentious, but is a pretty good description of the way she paints her audio portrait:

Medical image of the earWalking into a noisy restaurant, Rick Tarulli felt inundated by a barrage of sound — the effect of which was so overwhelming that it made him lose his balance. Every conversation in the room shouted at him, the scrape of knives on plates made his vision jump and he could clearly discern the hum of the fridge out back. Rick knew there was something going wrong inside but couldn’t work it out. Neither could his doctors. Three years ago Rick discovered his symptoms were caused by superior canal dehiscence syndrome, a recently diagnosed condition that affects the inner ear.

Other contributors include HV frens Aaron Ximm (aka, quiet american; “Guatanamo Express“, Jonathan Mitchell (“Eye Contact“), and, ‘course, AnnKara: those females at the forefront of every forward facing futuristic audio feature.

Interested in contributing? Contact them; their ears are wide open:

What we’re looking for [is] innovative, engaging and dynamic use of sound as a medium to tell a story. That story can be about a wide range of things, and can be as long or short as the producer would like. The main guideline is in the execution. One of the goals of The [Un]Observed is to move away from traditional, act/track, radio pieces to something where the medium of sound is explored and expanded. The magazine hopes to be a playground of sorts for radio and audio producers to present work they are excited about and proud of. Beyond that, we hope to create an international space where sound makers from all different parts of the world can come together.

via sound Rich and Chadwicks.

The Levelator

Major update release of The Levelator®  (free: mac, win & lin) from The Conversations Network:

It’s software that runs on Windows, OS X universal binary, or Linux Ubuntu that adjusts the audio levels within your podcast or other audio file for variations from one speaker to the next, for example. It’s not a compressor, normalizer or limiter although it contains all three. It’s much more than those tools, and it’s much simpler to use. The UI is dirt-simple: Drag-and-drop any WAV or AIFF file onto The Leveler’s application window, and a few moments later you’ll find a new version which just sounds better.

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Spooky Antarctic

DJ Spooky in AntarcticaDJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid combines field-recordings and feelings he collected in the South Pole into Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica, a “large scale multimedia performance work” (NPR story):

Miller’s field recordings from a portable studio, set up to capture the acoustic qualities of Antarctic ice forms, reflect a changing and even vanishing environment under duress. Coupled with historic, scientific, and geographical visual material, Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica is a seventy minute performance, creating a unique and powerful moment around man’s relationship with nature.

The Corner

Aaron Dixon on the cornerAmong the great oddio-viz coming out of Maker’s Quest is The Corner: 23rd and Union, stories, photos, and phone call-ins about one street intersection “near the geographical center of Seattle.”

KUOW’s Jenny Asarnow directs the project. One of the many fine Corner interviews at the site is with “Aaron Dixon: The Checkmate” (mp3):