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CurrentSoundscapes Cycle 1 – Digging In

And so this is it. Cycle 1 of CurrentSoundscapes, Digging In.

Listen to the final playlist below or here on our Soundcloud, and check out more of the work from the participating artists!

Currents New Media · CURRENTSoundscapes Cycle 1 – Digging In

Thank you to all the artists who participated from around the globe. We had a total of 68 sound art submissions over a period of 5 weeks, all guided by weekly themes. These short works came not only from artists in the USA (Alabama to California and places in between) but also from Singapore, Brazil, and Japan.  

Gratitude to the wonderful curators as well. Fernando Hernandez, Leila Day, Maja Thomas, and Sxip Shirey. Each curator brought a different sonic aesthetic to this collection, yet they are united by an abiding interest and affection for humanity, not audiences. They looked for the handwork in these short sonic stories.

Here is the curated track listing.

DIGGING IN

0 – Invitation by Megan Jones

1 – Splashsong by C. Alex Clark

2 – Voicemail by Les Stuck

3 – Ambience Gamified by Sim Sadler

4 – A Wander by Ken P

5 – Quarantine Live at Alternate Days by Sara Marinelli

Additional notable pieces as selected by curators include:

Awake by Kalpa 4.32

Safe N Sound by Muddy Boots

Interwoven Beings by Muddy Boots

Grande Dame Non Sequitur by C. Alex Clark

Dropping Stitches by MichaelsRadio

5 = Mix by David Forlano

DIGGING IN

Here is each week’s theme followed by curatorial selection and notes.

1 – velocity vs boredom – 10 April 2020

Find and record a percussive or repetitive sound from your environment and incorporate it into your piece at two different speeds or pitches. Please do not source a sound from the internet, but rather, find and use one from your surroundings. Maximum length for this first piece is 180 seconds. 

Splashsong by C Alex Clark

Notes from curator Leila Day

The use of water in this piece created not only a soundscape that was deep and dreamy, but also very percussive, using sound alone to create these rhythms that resembled the qualities of the goddess Yemanya. This may not have been intentional, but it was a unique use of very simple sounds, and it was very clear what the sounds were. 

2 – ever finer details – 17 April 2020

Get a short recording of a loved one(s)  in your household (or outside your household if you already have a recording, or if they can record themselves and send to you) and incorporate that voice (hiccups, laughing, yelling, singing, talking, etc) in any manner into your work — anything goes as long as you have permission from your person. Maximum 3 – 43 seconds of voice to be used in this piece. Maximum length for the total work 4 minutes 30 seconds. 

Voicemail by Les Stuck

Notes from curator Maja Thomas

It is the piece that most accurately and beautifully followed the theme. The way the sound scratches after she says “scratchy” . . . the way the whispering and plosives and giggling respond to the voicemail. The poignancy of the shortness of the piece given the message. Just perfect.

3 – cavum clouds – 24 April 2020

For this piece, please include multiple recorded or created ambiences. Use 3 – 5 ambiences layered and arranged to provide a clearing for a brief solo moment. Ambiences can include conversations (make sure people give permission for recording), musical phrases, spoken word, captured moments, audio diaries, and sound scenes. Maximum length for this piece is 4 minutes 30 seconds.

Ambience Gamified by Sim Sadler

Notes from curator Fernando Hernandez

Sound art tends to lean on saturation, repetition and evoking unsettling emotions. This piece doesn’t sound like that. Somehow it made me feel that I was inside a cavum cloud, I’m the kid right in the middle of a race track, trying to cross that imaginary and dangerous street. I like that this piece sounds “organic” even though it’s layering different sources of sound. It’s clear that the piece suggests a mood but it doesn’t resort to lots of digital treatment, sounds and textures to do so.

4 – mine own hands – 1 May 2020

Conceive a piece in 3 acts or chapters, where the last chapter does not have to  be the end, and the first act is not necessarily the beginning. Include in this piece at least one sound or musical phrase created by you, either with an instrument or with an object of any kind you have. You may also include spoken word. Maximum length of the finished piece is 3 minutes 30 seconds.

A Wander by Ken L

Notes from curator Sxip Shirey

First movement, great sounds. The first note is compelling. I love its muted pluck and the scrabbly sounds that come over it, like insect legs trying to work their way out of a can. Great ambient sound. LOVE the end of this movement. Second movement, great, real sounding electronic sounds, buzz, overtones and pulse. Great, could listen more. The first two movements made me curious as to how the sounds were made. They are delightful to listen to. The third movement works, a three notes synth line and a very muted scrabble underneath which is a nice place to put it in relationship to the over scrabble of the first movement. This work is very enjoyable. I listened to this one several times to write this, but honestly mostly my own pleasure. This person has sophisticated ears,  and I look forward to hearing more work by them. 

5 – embroidered – 8 May 2020

Create a sonic artifact that is gilded, quilted, lined, woven, or mended with threads of gold. Incorporate voice in any manner, and if possible, include a bit of a work (or works) from the previous 4 weeks of soundscapes that is not your own. Find works on Currents New Media playlists or search #CurrentsSoundscapes. Please do respectfully ensure proper attribution of any and all creators as per the Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International — CC BY-NC 4.0. Maximum length for this final piece of this cycle is 5 minutes.

Quarantine Live on Alternate Days by Sara Marinelli

Notes from curator Megan Jones

I listened to all the submissions as they came in each week so I was both anticipating and dreading making a selection for week 5, which included the option to remix from the sonic community that had gathered around this project. Choosing one submission was terrifically difficult, but in the end it seemed this piece by Sara Marinelli worked for the theme and also in concert with the other selections. It is richly quilted and layered. The nostalgia is thick but not suffocating. And I swear I could smell things when I listened – beer and incense and city streets and bay laurel. This piece was also nominated by Maja Thomas. 

CURRENTSoundscapes Cycle 1 – Week 5

It’s our last week! We are so excited to see the remixes you make to wrap up this cycle of CurrentSoundscapes.

May 8

5. embroidered

– Create a sonic artifact that is gilded, quilted, lined, woven, or mended with threads of gold. Incorporate voice in any manner, and if possible, include a bit of a work (or works) from the previous 4 weeks of soundscapes that is not your own. Find works on Currents New Media playlists or search #CurrentsSoundscapes. Please do respectfully ensure proper attribution of any and all creators as per the Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International — CC BY-NC 4.0. Maximum length for this final piece of this cycle is 5 minutes.

The final theme is due at midnight next Thursday, then we will get to work curating the final album of all the wonderful work we have received. Be sure to #Currentsoundscapes!

CURRENTSoundscapes Cycle 1 – Week 4

CURRENTSoundscapes


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Are you ready to tell a story?

This week for the CurrentSoundscapes theme we are looking at sonic storytelling. This is all about how we divide up time, rhythm, and syncopation to construct a narrative in audio. We are also looking to have each participant create a new sound to include in their story. Watch for a special message from our guest curator Sxip Shirey.

May 1

3. mine own hands

– Conceive a piece in 3 acts or chapters, where the last chapter does not have to  be the end, and the first act is not necessarily the beginning. Include in this piece at least one sound or musical phrase created by you, either with an instrument or with an object of any kind you have. You may also include spoken word. Maximum length of the finished piece is 3 minutes 30 seconds.

Submissions are due by next Thursday 5.7.20 at midnight, and don’t forget to hashtag #CurrentSoundscapes!

Translation provided by Fernando Hernandez:

Me invitaron a ser curador invitado de la galería digital sonora #currentsoundscapes. Donde cada semana al mediodía del viernes se lanza un tema sobre el cual puedes hacer una pieza de arte sonoro.

Este proyecto, iniciativa de @msmagswildwood es una gran oportunidad para amateurs y profesionales que crean, viven y experimentan el sonido.

Esta semana 4, el tema es: MINE OWN HANDS

Concibe una pieza en tres actos o capítulos donde el último capítulo no tiene que ser el final, y el primer acto no tiene que ser el comienzo de tu pieza. Incluye en esta pieza al menos un sonido o frase musical creada por ti, ya sea con un instrumento o con un objeto de cualquier tipo que tengas. También puedes incluir palabra hablada. La duración máxima de tu pieza es de 3 minutos y 30 segundos.

Tienes hasta el jueves 7 de mayo a la medianoche para subir tu pieza (instagram, soundcloud, etc) y no olvides ponerle el hashtag #currentsoundscapes
Estoy muy emocionado de seleccionar grandes expresiones de creatividad al lado de @genesxipshirey@dayfound y @digimaja
Ya les contaré por acá cuáles fueron las piezas finales que seleccionamos y por qué.

Más información al correo calex@currentsnewmedia.org o al dm de instagram @currentsnewmedia

CurrentSoundscapes Cycle 1 – Week 3

CURRENTSoundscapes


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All of the beautiful submissions keep rolling in!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated this week! Our new prompt is now live on the CurrentSoundscapes page, and below. We have been hearing great things from our curators, as well! Fernando Hernandez has also been so kind to start translating our weekly themes into Spanish to broaden the reach of this project. Watch for links here soon! Until then, enjoy the next theme and don’t forget to hashtag #CurrentSoundscapes!

April 24 –

3. cavum clouds

– For this piece, please include multiple recorded or created ambiences. Use 3 – 5 ambiences layered and arranged to provide a clearing for a brief solo moment. Ambiences can include conversations (make sure people give permission for recording), musical phrases, spoken word, captured moments, audio diaries, and sound scenes. Maximum length for this piece is 4 minutes 30 seconds.

Currents New Media · CurrentSoundscapes 4.24.20 – 4.30.20 Cavum Clouds

CurrentSoundscapes Cycle 1- Week 2

CURRENTSoundscapes


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We had such a great response to last week’s theme and loved hearing all your entries! Looking forward to what you all will create this week!

We are also happy to announce our list of guest curators! The final album will be compiled by an amazing list of artists and recording industry professionals. The final list includes Sxip Shirey, Maja Thomas, Leila Day, and Fernando Hernandez, along with our producer Megan Jones. For more information on the curators visit the page on our site CurrentSoundscapes!

April 17

2. ever finer details

– Get a short recording of a loved one(s)  in your household (or outside your household if you already have a recording —or if they can record themselves and send to you) and incorporate voice in any manner: (even hiccups, laughing, yelling, singing, talking, etc) into your work —anything goes as long as you have permission from your person. Maximum 3 – 43 seconds of voice to be used in this piece. Maximum length for the total work 4 minutes 30 seconds. Submissions close at midnight next Thursday, April 23.

Record, mix, play, and upload your tracks to SoundCloud or Instagram with the hashtag #CurrentSoundscapes by midnight next Thursday and we will be compiling them into this playlist:

CurrentSoundscapes Cycle 1 – Week 1

CURRENTSoundscapes


SoundCloud


Instagram

We are happy to announce that our special project Produced by Megan Jones is now live on our website!

The first theme can be accessed at https://currentsnewmedia.org/currentsoundscapes/

Each week a new theme will be released. These themes are meant to inspire some audio experimentation and hopefully provide a brief creative respite while we are dealing with the ongoing public health crisis.

Hashtag your posts on SoundCloud and Instagram #CurrentSoundsapes to be featured and possibly curated into a final album – to be released after the final week.

April 10

1. velocity vs boredom

– Find and record a percussive and/or repetitive sound from your environment and incorporate it into your piece at two different speeds or pitches. Please do not source a sound from the internet, but rather, find and use one from your surroundings. Maximum length for this first piece is 180 seconds total. Submissions close at midnight next Thursday, April 16. Tag your tracks #CurrentSoundscapes to be featured!

Check back this Friday for the next theme and a special Curator announcement!


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