Listening Bodies at Tanzfabrik

Monica and I have spent two months living in Berlin focusing on our work and the Listening Bodies project. We taught a nice workshop here at Lake Studios Berlin. We’re doing a movement and sound duet this weekend at Tanzfabrik. Afterward, we will be touring and giving workshops in Croatia, Denmark, UK, Ireland, and Italy for the rest of the summer. Check out our new website for more info: Listening Bodies.


Also , I was honored to have a short remix in this latest project from Cities and Memory focused on outer space (to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the US moon landing). Hear my remix of John F. Kennedy’s famous speech about going to the Moon.
Listen to Space

Europe Residencies

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Greetings from Berlin, I hope you’re enjoying your early fall / late summer days and nights. I had a wonderful time in Iceland. The other artists at Listhus were very inspiring. I got to take many walks in the mountains, fields, shores, towns and volcanic plains taking in the otherworldly sights and sounds of that lovely country.

I recently uploaded one of the tracks built around fields recordings from Iceland. You can listen here on Soundcloud:

Olafsfjordur ♫ 

My travels continue this month with a residency in Berlin at the prestigious soundart gallery/venue Liebig12. The space has a really great sound system where I will be working on some mediation / sleep music and Echozoo sounds. Also as part of my residency I’ll be taking part in three concerts (many with my old friend, Bilwa, from Philadelphia who lives in Berlin now) and a Deep Listening workshop. If you’re in Berlin it would be great to see you!

Here are the dates of the events:

Friday Sep 8
SPEKTRUM

Wednesday Sep 13
XBLiebig

Saturday Sep 16
Opening soundscape at Liebig12, 15:00-19:00
for Natsuko Tezuka + Tomomi Adachi Duo, 19:30

Friday Sep 29
18:00 – Deep Listening Workshop at Liebig12 with Sharon Stewart

CITIES AND MEMORY PROTEST SOUND MAP

I created a sound collage piece that I recorded at a Black Lives Matter Protest in Philadelphia for the Cities and Memory Protest Sound Map. This sound map is an amazing collection of over 200 recordings and remixes from protests all around the world. The project has been featured on Wired, BBC, The Guardian, Mashable and dozens of other news outlets. Check it out!

http://citiesandmemory.com/protest/ Protest and Politics is the first global mapping of the sounds of protest, demonstration and political activism.
Sourcing field recordings from our own archive as well as from dozens of field recordists around the world, we assembled a database of protest sounds over summer 2017, and opened this up to artists and musicians to recompose and reimagine, bringing to bear their own experiences and memories onto these sounds.
You can explore the documentary field recordings of protests, spend time in the alternative sound world created by their reimagined counterparts, or flip freely between the two as you choose.

MIXES FROM THE FIELD

Sharon and I are ramping up our Field Recording, Deep Listening, Sonic Works project Mixes from the Field with some exciting projects in 2018. Check out our latest Newsletter detailing all we’ve been up too and having coming up, including a Deep Listening outing in Arnhem, NL in October. Also please get on our mailing list to find out more about our upcoming events and projects!

Read more here: http://mailchi.mp/b03cec94af07/deep-listening-and-roundtable-at-sonsbeek-park

2015 In Review

Hello and happy holidays! I wanted to thank everyone for their support of my musical projects throughout 2015. Below is a recap of projects I worked on in 2015 with some free downloads, videos and other media.

In a River the Color of Lead

In a River the Color of Lead

Early this year I released my 8th solo studio album on NOREMIXES. The album is a continuation of my exploration of the piano as an object of beauty and noise. It was released digitally and as a vinyl record (with support from Kickstarter backers). I’m very proud of this work and hope you all got a chance to listen to it.

NOREMIXES Store


Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet

In February I was delighted to perform with my long-time choreographic partner Nora Gibson and her company Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet in the premiere of 257,885,161-1. This ballet was a meditation on the mathematical concept of twin primes. The premiere was well received and sounded and looked gorgeous. Excerpts from the premiere can be viewed here on Vimeo.

In 2016 I’ll be working again with NGCB on an even more ambitious project EPHEMERAL, a work about time for dance, light, and environmental sound score.

EPHEMERAL
Christ Church Neighborhood House Theater, Philadelphia
Feb. 19-21

Tickets can be purchased online and you can support NGCB’s second season on their Hatchfund page.


Field Recordings / Cities and Memory

This year I began to really explore the sound world of actual places through field recording. I published several works through the brilliant UK based site Cities and Memory. Here are three pieces they published:

  • Turtle River (Philadelphia) presented on World Listening Day and at the Oxford Contemporary Music Festival.
  • Corca Dhuibhne (Western Ireland) field recordings and reimagined sounds recorded in Dingle and the Cliffs of Moher. 
  • Utopia part of an international collection of artists who created an imaginary sound world for the Thomas More novel Utopia (1515)

The last piece I wanted to share was from the Papal visit to Philadelphia in September 2015. The piece contains recordings I gathered over three days as about a million people descended on center city Philadelphia to celebrate the historic visit by Pope Francis. As with many of these recordings, I sought to remove the element of time and create a shifting landscape of timeless space.
 

Philadelphia Papal Visit - Soundcloud

dark matter

Photo by Glenn Benge

This season I am Artist in Residence at <fidget> along with choreographer / artist Zornitsa Stoyanova. In November we collaborated on the performance film dark matter. It was premiered at the <fidget> Fall Experimental Music Festival.

The above photo is by Glenn Benge from the premiere.

Here’s a review from Thinking Dance

Excerpt from dark matter on Vimeo


Save the Date

In March 2016 I’ll be performing another concert at <fidget>. This is going to be a 12-hour long concert of sleep music! Bring a sleeping bag, pillow and blanket, enjoy some dream tea and snuggle in for 12-hours of dream drones and tape loop lullabies. I’ll be performing ambient music all night with visuals from Alex Bond focusing on themes of Bardo, reincarnation, Dream Yoga and sleep (un)consciousness.

To get a taste of the kind of music you’ll hear, please check out my 2014 sleep music album, Quiescent. It’s an eight hour mix of music for the four sleep cycles.

Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State

Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State
March 19 7pm – March 20 7am
thefidget space


Happy New Year!
Michael

Fall News

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Hi folks, it’s been a few months since my last update. I’ve been working on lots of studio projects with some occasional shows.

Here’s a rundown of recent projects I was involved with this fall.

Utopia

Utopia

Over the past few months as I’ve gotten more into field recording and Deep Listening, I’ve been producing sounds for the site Cities and Memory. The most recent piece I did for them was part of a project to imagine sounds for the 16th century Thomas More’s novel Utopia. For my piece I focused on a darker aspect of More’s work: slavery. This seedy aspect of this well known concept of Utopia seemed to echo the modern day issue of hidden slavey in our “advanced” society.

Read more and listen to the piece at Cities and Memory


Papal Sound Collage

Another recent sonic piece I created was an audio collage of the sounds of Pope Francis’ historic visit to Philadelphia in September 2015. Approximately one million people visited Philadelphia creating one of the largest gatherings in the city’s history on the Ben Franklin Parkway. For three days I walked around with my field recorder and captured the sounds of the crowds, choirs, vendors, singers, chanters, musicians and ambiance to create an sonic photograph of what this beautiful weekend was like.

Listen to the Papal Sound Collage


The Buddy System

Buddy System from the stage

The Monday after the Papal visit I was honored to perform along side two giants in the electronic music scene: King Britt and HPrizm (from Antipop Contortium) for their Buddy System series at Johnny Brenda’s. Myself, finger drummer phenom OddKidOut and Matthew Law (AKA DJ Phsh) joined King and Priest for a smoking improvisational set of electronic music. I’ve heard the recordings back and they’re quite good. Look for some excerpts coming soon once the Buddy System site launches.


<fidget> Residency / dark matter / Fall Experimental Music Festival

Dark Matter Collaborator at the Ice Box

I’m also excited to announce that I am artist in residence at one of the most vital performance laborites in Philadelphia, thefidget space, for their 2015/16 season. As the resident composer/musician I’m sharing my time with choreographer/artist Zornitsa Stoyanova. We’ve been working together off and on for almost nine years! Throughout 2015 we’ve been doing some experiments with sound, dance, reflective mylar and modular lighting. On Friday November 6 we’ll be debuting a new piece that showcases some of that work. dark matter will contain four channel surround sound music, video, dance, mylar, smart phone media and live music. I’ll be joined by another old friend, violinist Carlos Santiago, for this performance.

Friday, November 6, 8pm
at thefidget space (1714 N Mascher St)
Space Pulse Pattern Presence, with:
dark matter, by Michael McDermott and Zornitsa Stoyanova (2015/16 <fidget> artists in residence)
SP3, by <fidget>/Peter Price & Megan Bridge (work-in-progress)
and guest curator Flandrew Fleisenberg welcomes:  
ID M Theft Able, Himself (Portland, Maine) 
Bromp Treb, Performance (Western Massachusetts)
Tickets: $10- $20 sliding scale

dark matter


New Website

Finally I’d like to welcome you to my new website SoundofListening.com. For years I’ve done sound art, film and dance scores, ambient music albums, performances, etc. all under the umbrella of Mikronesia. The Mikronesia moniker will still live on, but that will refer specifically to ambient music recordings, shows and productions. With Sound of Listening I want to highlight my work with Deep Listening, Field Recording, Sonic Awareness and Interaction. Check it out!