2017 In Review

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Happy holidays to everyone reading this! Thanks for being a part of an amazing year of sonic adventures. Without the connection I get by sharing these sounds, moments and memories with you all, this would be meaningless. In the midst of the busy holiday season I hope you’re all finding moments of connection and peace.
If you’re looking for a tonic to the holiday sensoral overload, I recommend two Mikronesia ambient albums I released this year. :dibba-sota is a quiet sonic meditation on Deep Listening and natural spaces and Dissolve is an hour long continuous piece of music that was described by music legend King Britt as “sonic sage”, great for clearing and cleansing a space. In the spirit of the season all the albums on my Bandcamp (including the Landscapes series) are “name your price”. So you can download for free or pay any price that’s good for you 🙂

dibba-sota

Also this year I released three albums in a series called Landscapes. These albums were created at artists residencies around the world this year. The intention of these albums is to allow the listener to experience a sense of place through listening and explore the sonic character of a geographic location. The environmental recordings are augmented with subtle effects and “sonic photography” techniques to represent our own coloring of sound through listening consciousness.

Landscapes 3: Iceland

In 2018 I’ll be continuing my nomadic life with residencies at Com Peung in Chiang Mai, Thailand and PECAH in Uttarakhand, India. I’m very excited to travel to Asia for the first time and focus on the soundscape recording, creation and Echozoo at these residencies.
In addition to traveling and releasing music this year I was glad to begin a new collaborative project Mixes from the Field, with fellow Deep Listener Sharon Stewart. This project seeks to connect people of all ages to explore modes of Deep Listening and the work of Pauline Oliveros through field recording, sonic meditation and music. Our initial project was supported by American Composers Forum for workshops in Philadelphia at Village of Arts and Humanities. My connection with VAH will continue in 2018 in an exciting community project around a basketball court in North Philadelphia that’s being renovated by the Philadelphia 76ers. More on this early next year….

VAH Students exploring the sonic spaces above Philadelphia

Mixes from the Field also led workshops and soundwalks in Berlin, Germany and Arnhem, Netherlands. We’re hoping to continue the work in 2018!
A quick note for anyone in Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve. I’ll be leading a dharma talk, discussion and silent meditation at Springboard Studio in Mt. Airy from 10pm through midnight. The theme for the night will be intention and the infinite potentials found in the ground of being. Hope to see you there! It will be my last night in Philly as I fly to Thailand on Jan 1!
Again, thanks for being a part of an amazing 2017 and I look forward to keeping in touch with you all in 2018.
with Mettā,
Michael

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

Landscapes

Greetings from Iceland! I’m currently writing you from the epic coastal mountains in Olafsfjordur where I am artist in residence at Listhus. Mostly I’m recording environmental sounds, doing research and sound designing extinct creatures for Echozoo. I also have access to a beautiful music studio at the nearby college at night, so I’ve also been recording some piano and other instrumental textures, mixing and editing sounds in the studio there and generally getting inspiration from the ancient landscapes here.

Olafsfjord
Music Studio

  Speaking of landscapes I’m happy to share with you a new album I’m releasing today. This one was inspired by a completely different environment, the rainforests of Brazil. In June I was artist in residence at Casa Na Ilha. During this residency I was again working on sounds for Echozoo. I had so much material and was so inspired by the sights, sounds and “emotional landscapes” (to quote my favorite Icelander) that I ended up working on a new album. This is the first in what I hope will be a series called Landscapes. This series seeks to meld field recordings from a specific environment with subtle ambient textures and beats in a process I called Sonic Photography.

Landscapes 1: Ilhabela   The last project I wanted to share with you was from of my on-going composer residency at Village of the Arts and Humanities in Philadelphia through American Composers Forum. While I was back in Philadelphia in July I taught a class that was a continuation of the Mixes from the Field project teaching high school students about listening and making music from the sounds of their enviroment. This project was for the students to create a Village Sound Map. It involved recording sounds from around the campus of the Village on portable field recorders, editing the sounds in post-production and creating a sound map to show what this neighborhood in North Philadelphia sounds like. Also some students used these sounds to make their own Village Sound Map remixes. Check it out!

Happy summer, be well and keep listening to everything all the time.

Deeply Listening This Week

This has been an amazing week re-connecting with the work and community of my late teacher Pauline Oliveros. This week marks the beginning of my collaboration with Sharon Stewart in our new project Mixes from the Field combining Deep Listening, field recording, sound art and sonic ecology practices.

We began the week attending a memorial concert for Pauline in her hometown for the last 35 years, Kingston, NY. It was a beautiful day of readings, dedications, music and listening. Here’s a photo of a group sonic meditation from the event at Kingston City Hall.

Mixes from the Field began yesterday with our first class teaching high school students about listening and creating music from the sound world around them at our American Composers Forum sponsored residency at Village of the Art and Humanities in North Philadelphia. Here is a photo from the first day teaching the students about various microphones and sound processing techniques using an iPad.

Finally, just a reminder there’s still space for our day-long Deep Listening, Field Recording and Sonic Art Workshop for adults in West Philadelphia called Hidden Pulses. It’s Saturday March 25, 10am-5pm, with a two-hour break for lunch, sound-walks and a field recording outing! You can register here online, or just come to Art Church of West Philadelphia at 10am. Sliding scale payment for artists and students 🙂

Feel free to email me with questions about the workshop.

Keep on listening!
Michael