Sound installation installments — Prelinger Library

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

?Prelinger Library
301 8th Street (corner of Folsom)
Suite #215
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 252-8166

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Openings – an audio animation of and at Prelinger Library, San Francisco

Prelinger Library and I will be co-hosting two initial launches of my new sound-art installation (see below for a description). Please drop by during one or both of these openings — They’ll be different — and spend some time floating and “wondering” through the Library’s unique stacks, as they’re reshaped and activated by a world of low-density, library-quiet sound.

7 to 9:30 PM, Wednesday January 26, 2022
4 to 7:30 PM, Saturday January 29, 2022
Masks are required. Attendees must show proof of full vaccination.

Prelinger Library
301 8th Street (at Folsom), Suite #215
San Francisco 94103
(415) 252-8166

[You Are [Here] You [Are] You Here], by composer Thom Blum, animates Prelinger Library through the use of sounds; something you don’t generally expect or want in your typical library. But Prelinger Library is in no way typical. You notice that as soon as you enter the space and peruse the stacks.

The sounds in the installation are infrequent and for the most part quiet and fleeting. While barely audible they inconspicuously call your attention to specific ephemera, knowledge, and artifacts that occupy areas of the Library’s stacks, nooks and crannies. At times it becomes a sonic treasure hunt.

The real goal of the sound installation is to pique the visitor’s curiosity and to enhance or transform the visitor’s experience of The Library, pulling one into and around the stacks in ways that wouldn’t normally happen were it not for the invisible sonic guides. It serves to give voice to, transform, and animate the Library and the gems it contains.

thom at

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Featured artist on The Watt From Pedro Show

Thom Blum, 2020 pandemic doo

Hear Mike Watt’s interview of me on his eclectic, boisterous, and fun podcast. (Recorded June 21, 2021.) Now in the show’s 20th year! Listen here:

Mike Watt in studio

The Watt From Pedro Show is available from your favorite slinger of podcasts and also here:

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Brutal Sound Effects Pestival #91

Once again~~~~~~~~~it’s~~~~~~~~~~~efficient?~~~~

Brutal Sound Effects Pestival #91
6pm PST!!!!


Fumio Kosakai (Incapacitants, CCCC)

Dominic Cramp
Anti Ear (New Orleans)
Bill T Miller Orgy of Noise Zonkulator (Boston)
Matt Robideux
Thom Blum
Instinct Control (Chicago)
Mas Coad (South of Los Banos)
Gargoyle Madrigal

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New (and final) addition to the “Collections” series

fr site 20 © 2016 Tuyen Q. Nguyen |

Available now, the new and final album in my Collections series presented on sfSoundLabel (Bandcamp). This album contains five selected early works that I composed from 1972 to 2000. The album’s title is Foundations because these were the keystones to my compositional focus of the two decades that would follow. And undoubtably the same early tiles remain in place for the compositions and improvisations I’m making today. (A release of new works is planned for March 2021.)

Of the five pieces on the album three are premiere recordings never before released. Two of those premieres happen to be the oldest pieces, as well as the only instrumental works — Rotochrosite (1972), for small ensemble, and Phthong (1978), for 10 vocalists and percussion.

Rotochrosite (1972, 7:00)
Phthong (1978, 11:25)
Three Studies for Pedal Steel (1995, 9:05)
To My Son Parker, Asleep in the Next Room (1996, 9:35)
Four Poems Somewhat (2000, 13:45)

I hope you’ll check out the album, as well as the three other albums in my Collections series. And while you’re there please explore the other albums on sfSoundLabel, as well as the other links you’ll find in the right-hand margin of my Bandcamp page.

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Passages – the next release of Collections: Music by Thom Blum

I’ve just released the next album in my series, Collections, presented on sfSoundLabel. It’s called Passages and includes my audio postcards and other place-specific pieces composed over the years. Each track is a sound map of a land I’ve had the good fortune to visit. The streamable album includes program notes for each of the five works.

I give Passages to you now with a special wish that it may help feed your gnawing wanderlust. You know… the one that’s undernourished these days.

Some help is here. All aboard. Journeys await! feverish dream 19 ©2016 Tuyen Q. Nguyen |


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New album series released on sfSoundLabel — Collections: Music by Thom Blum

I’m releasing a series of albums on Bandcamp’s sfSoundLabel. Each album is a collection of thematically like-minded musical works hand-picked from those I’ve produced over recent and past many years.

Abstractions 1
artwork: “baooooanh” © 2016 Tuyen Q. Nguyen |

Abstractions 2
artwork: “feverish dream 320” © 2020 Tuyen Q. Nguyen |

This is the first comprehensive gathering of my compositions into thematic and chronological releases. Once complete the series will include the following albums:

Passages: audio postcards, journals,
and travelogues (1995 – 2015)
Abstractions 1 (1996 – 2008)
Abstractions 2 (2012 – 2018)
Abstractions 3 (2018 – 2020)
Fantasias & Improvisations (2016 – 2020)

I’ll be releasing another album in the Collections about once a month. And please be on the lookout for other new releases on sfSoundLabel. My hunch is that there are more new releases percolating there.

I hope you enjoy this music and that it takes you to new places.

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San Francisco Tape Music Collective Releases New Album on Bandcamp

sfSound is pleased to announce our new release

San Francisco Tape Music Collective

A selection of fixed media works presented by the collective in recent San Francisco Tape Music Festivals.

Works by Maggi Payne, Kent Jolly, Cliff Caruthers, Matt Ingalls, Thom Blum, Kristin Miltner, and Joseph Anderson.

Freely available for streaming and download from

Donations are welcome.
All proceeds go to the San Francisco Tape Music Festival.
(post COVID-19)

The San Francisco Tape Music Collective is dedicated to presenting performances of audio art. For over 20 years they have presented The San Francisco Tape Music Festival, diffusing works from composers throughout the world in addition to their own works through a pristine immersive 24-speaker surround-sound environment, in complete darkness.

SFTMC and SFTMF are projects of sfSound.

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Amore Vieni for Isolated Ensemble by Cenk Ergün & Friends

Cenk Ergün had a great idea, inspired by the 2020 Pandemic and shelter-in-place: enlist a group of his musical friends, yours truly among them, to contribute sound recordings that Cenk would then assemble into a composition.

He executed the idea beautifully as can be heard in the new release on Bandcamp Amore Vieni for Isolated Ensemble. Check out the music and the story about how the piece came to be.

All proceeds from sales will go to the New Music Solidarity Fund.

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Another side — Due Pesci releases debut album

Another side to my music-making over the last 3 or 4 years has been playing in a duet with drummer extraordinaire and widely recognized Jazz disk jockey, Ron Pelletier. We’ve called our duet Due Pesci (“Two Fishes”) because we’re both pisces (the fish), astrologically, and in fact we share the same birthday, different years. Ron is Italian and came up with the name. It seemed apt.

I have a difficult time classifying this music. It’s not like other styles I’ve composed, like tape music or musique concrete, acousmatic, or place music. I think it’s closer to Jazz inhabited with the vaporous spirits of Jimi Hendrix.

The music results from live electronic processing, feedback, and synthesis that is sometimes loosely interleaved other times tightly commingled with trap drums and other percussion. The combination is elastic but often takes the form of a unified or fused voice that is an amalgamation of electronics and acoustics, circling in an embrace that sometimes completely blurs their boundary. Perhaps it is heading towards an electroacoustic Jazz.

Hear and get it all at Bandcamp

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