Kary Hess, an author for FMRL.com, published an insightful review of the very unique Prelinger Library in San Francisco. The first part of the article explores the Library’s mission and organization, as explained by cofounder Megan Prelinger. The second part of the article delves into the “permanent” sound installation/instrument that I created for, and installed in, the Library last year. It continues evolving and can be experienced on any Sunday, from 1:30 to 4:00 PM. (See the Library’s home page. It will post exceptions.)
After a very unwelcomed two year absence, due to COVID-19, the San Francisco Tape Music Festival is returning, January 13, 14, and 15 2023 to the Victoria Theater in the Mission district. The sfSound organization and the San Francisco Tape Music Collective (of which I am a member) will present four distinct curated concerts over the three-night Festival.
As always there will be the featured headliners, from Robert Fripp to Ennio Morricone, as well many other international and local composers. And, as always the pieces will be dynamically diffused, live, through a pristine web of 24 loudspeakers. Thank you, CCRMA.
On the “late” (9:30 PM) Saturday concert, I’ll be playing my newest set of three short pieces. I’m looking forward to projecting them and shaping the space in real time, controlling the mixer that’s set up in the theater’s sweet spot.
In his light-filled Sculpture Studio, Artist Brian Goggin presents The latest Project Artaud and Developing EnvironmentsArt-talk Salon
When: Saturday November 19, 2022, 2-5pm (Note: If it rains we will reschedule for December 3) Where: Project Artaud 401 Alabama Street The Sculpture Studio #123 San Francisco, CA www.metaphorm.org
2-3 p.m. – Art-talk (part 1): Thom Blum – Making Music with Found Sound, with piano music played by Hadley McCarroll 3-4 p.m. – Art-talk(part 2): Improvisation with the environmental soundscape outside Brian’s studio 4-5 p.m. – Gramophone music and mingle
The PDF contains the details about this past event, including information about the sponsors of the Art-talk Salon series, details about the presenters Thom Blum and Hadley McCarroll, as well as the performance script that guided their two-hour presentation.
On Sundays in May Prelinger Library visitors will find themselves urged into the stacks by an unusual sound environment that sometimes pipes up. A couple hours a week I power up, softly play, and occasionally improvise on a twelve channel spatially distributed sound system that I’ve created for the Library.
I hope you’ll stop by, browse the stacks a while and enjoy a unique almost synesthetic blend of printed and sonic matter. Come and check it out during any of these times:
A couple hours a week I power up, play, and occasionally improvise with the sound installation that I’ve created here in San Francisco for Prelinger Library. These hours occur within the Library’s public hours, making it possible for visitors to browse the stacks with the unusual added dimension of sound — a parallel, library-like environment whose stacks contain sounds rather than books.
For the most part the sounds are fleeting and sporadic, sparse and quiet, and they are meant to enhance your browsing and exploratory experience in the Library; to enhance not dominate. Some of sound categories reflect specific topics in the Library, while other sounds are not representative at all. There are also distinct motifs that occur from time to time, like the sounds of doors opening and footsteps and nature. And there are occasionally longer fragments of composed musical sounds (“undulating beds”) that I scooped up from my sources or created specifically for this installation.
Friends from afar asked me to try and capture the experience of being in the Library while the sounds are running. I explained it’s a little difficult because of the spatial distribution and movement of the sounds. Depending on your location the sounds may appear to be mostly up close and coming from your right, or perhaps they’re more distant and behind you. But, armed (or “eared”) with binaural mics (SoundProfessionals Inc.) and my video camera (an iPhone), I started recording walkthroughs of the stacks while the installation was sounding. I would often go towards and into sections of the library where distinct sounds were calling out; topical sounds, for example of radio or protests. Sure enough I was lead to the expected subjects in the stacks.
In this way I have so far edited and stitched together three 1-minute “trailers” with binaural soundtracks (best heard with head/ear phones). My goal being to offer a rough approximation of the experience you could have while roaming the stacks at Prelinger Library at just the right time.
For the next four Wednesdays, Prelinger Library visitors who are there any time between 4:00 and 6:30 PM will be treated to an “audio animation” of the stacks. I’ll be nudging the installation (instrument) through its latest paces and pirouettes. The Library is a gem within San Francisco so please do drop by.
Wednesdays from 4:00 to 7:00 PM March 9, 16, 23, 30