Cricket Symphony

 

The sound of crickets slowed down to sound like an angelic choir 🙂

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Field Recording 4:33

I’m not sure how to download my recording from the 4’33” app, but I uploaded it onto the John Cage website.  I did a recording called toxic breathing 1.  During the listening while recording I was able to foreground certain specific sounds I heard, and focus on each one individually.  I was captivated by the different textures of shoes on the pavement and the rumble and roar of cars passing by, sounding quite jarring.  At times I focussed on passing conversation and the sounds of my own breathing.

There was so much I wasn’t attune to in the recording!  I completely missed the jazz like music floating in the background in the second movement, and was amazing by the likeness to waves that the rumble of traffic produces.  I had been able to hear the similarity in other of my deep listening experiences at night, but was not able to hear that without the recording’s help this time around, even when trying to focus on the resemblance.

I tried doing a field recording at a coffee shop as well, but was annoyed at how prominently the chewing of the guy sitting next to me was featured, eating his salad, I could hear every ruffle between leaves of green and every single chew.  Whereas when I was listening live, I focussed more on conversations happening all around me, in the recording I was only able to focus of the masticating happening so close by.  I took this as an trial run and decided to do another recording outside of the confined space of the coffee shop.

Brain MRI Sounds

I’ve been struggling to find inspiration around my thesis performance. I am researching the brain but the more I read, the farther away from myself it feels. These stories aren’t like my own and the more I find out about neuroplasticity the more I think that it actually has nothing to do with me.

This weekend I had a long phone call with my friend and puppeteer Zach Dorn. We did our undergrad at UConn together, and he also had a weird, unexplainable thing happen to his brain. So I told him about my project and he gave me really good feedback. He said, “It sounds like your trying to find answers. Like your trying to find out why this thing happened to you, and why it got better, and how it affects you today. But the brain is so mysterious that not even neurologists can explain it. Stop trying to find answers”. He suggested I try to tell the story through imbalance, through lack of unity and control, in a nonlinear format. So I went to my notebook and started writing. Then I remembered the sound of getting an MRI. Robot noises on repeat. Mechanical yet oddly meditative. I used to have to sit frozen still in the MRI machine while this played. I would to try to keep track of how many different sounds played, and their specific rhythms. I want to dance to this music. Freely. With my whole body. When I listen now I find it strangely comforting and funny. Here’s a link to the music: Brain MRI Sounds The comments are pretty interesting.

Also this is Zach’s website if you’re interested: Zach Dorn

Precarious Sounds // Sounding Sanctuary @ NYU

NYU Music Department Conference
February 16–17, 2018
Keynote address: Prof. Josh Kun, University of Southern California

This image is a photograph of an artwork made by Miss TANGQ. In the center is a red-silhouetted figure with a halo of yellow and smoke coming out of it upstretched, open-mouthed head. The figure also has white craft-feather wings. Inside the cut-out belly is another, black silhouette of a figure hanging by its feet as if dangling into the red figures stomach. Surrounding the red figure is a blue mosaic pattern with razor-wire spider webs in which the figure appears to be caught. Ringing the spider web is a wreath of wood, stone, and shells like an altar. At the base of the altar is a cut-out photograph of a bustling cityscape.

What can sound-makers and -thinkers tell us about the role of music, sound, and silence in struggles against precarity and in the creation of sanctuary?

Precarious Sounds // Sounding Sanctuary, hosted by NYU’s FAS Music Department, will unfold over two days of panels, performances, and multimedia installations.

Featured events include a Friday afternoon keynote by Prof. Josh Kun (University of Southern California) about his work with music and housing justice in San Francisco and a multimedia exhibit in NYU Bobst Library’s Avery Fisher Center.

Eighteen presenters discuss colonial legacies of a naval base in the Philippines, soundscapes of precarity on the streets of Cuba, mediation of struggles in a French refugee camp, listening practices across the Mexico-U.S. border, the political potentials of sonic blackness, and silence as tool of oppression or nurturing refuge.

Over twenty composers, performers, and installation artists explore precarity and sanctuary through chamber pieces, found objects and sonic technologies, and participatory performances highlighting themes including ecosystems in danger, the limits of the human body, America’s history of enslavement, the surveillance state, and memory as precarity and sanctuary.

Co-sponsored by
NYU Center for the Humanities*
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS)*
Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Division of the Humanities*
Departments of:

Anthropology
Social and Cultural Analysis (SCA)*
Middle East and Islamic Studies (MEIS)*
Media, Culture, and Communication (MCC)*
Performance Studies

Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies*
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)*
NYU Sanctuary Coalition

* We especially thank NYU Center for the Humanities, GSAS, FAS Division of the Humanities, SCA, MEIS, MCC, the Kevorkian Center, and CLACS for their generous financial contributions to make this conference possible.