Adventures in Sound

Alongside my more formal projects, I’ve amassed a huge archive of incidental sound from the radio waves and the material world. Adventures in Sound is a repository for these field recordings, non-musical shortwave interceptions, and other sonic curiosities.

This section includes recordings made in Bulgaria, Japan, Libya, Mali, Socotra, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA. See below for summaries of each sub-section.

Please check back, as this section is always being expanded. And don’t forget that certain recordings from this collection may be available on my Bandcamp store!

Field recordings from Bulgaria (2010)

I traveled to Bulgaria in August 2010 with musicologist Martha Forsyth, her husband Dick, and a panoply of Bulgarian music and dance enthusiasts. The group traveled throughout western and central Bulgaria for ten days, culminating in The 10th National Festival of Bulgarian Folklore, which takes place every five years in the village of Koprivshtitsa. We took an unexpected detour to the village of Dolen, where I recorded a concert of rare “na visoko” singing by local women, and spent an afternoon in the company of legendary Bulgarian singer Kremena Stancheva, whose vocals are heard on the influential early records of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares. I also recorded the 2010 season of ShortWaveMusic in a variety of locations, from shepherds’ mountain frame houses to disused Bulgarian soccer fields.

Sonic portraits of the Burning Man festival (2006-2014)

I’m a latecomer to the world of Burning Man, having first arrived there in 2006, but I still find it one of the most sonically breathtaking places on Earth. I’ve made field recordings there every year I’ve attended, often bringing home in excess of 24 hours’ worth of raw footage. Over the years, I’ve made condensed travelogues which capture the gorgeous sonic variety of the Burning Man experience, as I visit art installations, dance camps, performance stages, art cars, and (of course) the burning of the Man himself.

Japan tsunami transmissions (2011)

In March 2011, during the T?hoku earthquake and tsunami crisis in Japan, I used a Web-controlled radio located on the island to log a number of emergency and civil transmissions as the horrific events unfolded. These recordings are reproduced here in unedited form for historical interest.

Rebel transmissions from the Libyan civil war (2011)

In February 2011, as the Libyan civil war was gaining steam, anti-Gaddafi forces began an incremental takeover of state-run AM radio stations throughout the country. The stations operated under the loose banner of Sawt Libya al-Hurra, or the Voice of Free Libya, although each carried its own programming. I began monitoring these broadcasts in March 2011 and made an extensive set of recordings via remote radios in Italy and France.

Field recordings from Mali (2012)

I arrived in the West African country of Mali on New Year’s Eve 2012 and spent the following sixteen days busing, backpacking, and hitch-hiking around the country. Thanks to some friends I met in the village of Diéma, I ended up in the back of a 4×4 taking the dusty back roads to the city of Timbuktu, where I attended the Festival au Désert and sat in on a private house concert by the Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali. This section contains audio from many different stages of my journey.

Field recordings from Socotra (2013)

I traveled to the archipelago of Socotra in March 2013 with photographer Kelly Davidson Savage and her husband Matt, a writer. We spent ten days exploring the main island with our guide/translator, Ismael Salem. Along the way, we met and recorded native Socotri musicians, fishermen, shepherds, poets, storytellers, singers, and other everyday people, creating a rare sonic portrait of a place most people only know from viral photographs.

In the Field: Miscellaneous Recordings and Ambient Excursions (2013-Present)

This section is a repository for field recordings and ambient excursions not explicitly connected to larger projects.