BEDLAM (ˈbɛdləm)
-n 1. a noisy confused place or situation.
Modified NatureSound & Junction Dam Installation


[This post was originally written for the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture Blog while I was the artist in residence there.]

As mentioned in my earlier post, the village is built around a lake created as the result of damming two rivers. The hydro-scheme that runs through the Bogong High Plans is a massive example of humans modifying nature for their own use. The damming of these rivers coming out of Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley create Lake Guy. I haven’t been able to forget that this recreational village populated by temporary residents is actually the result of infrastructure development.

When working with the nature sound recordings I’ve been making each morning, I am constantly amazed by the variation in bird song and critter noises that I am collected. They are rich in tone and highly variable in structure. There are a few that have really gotten my attention because of how unnatural they appear. They are reminiscent of some type of digital compression artifact or synthesizer glitch. Maybe this is the copy of a copy effect. For example, early synthesizers were attempting to replicate classic pianos and now modern synthesizers are attempting to emulate those earlier versions. Maybe it’s just a frame of reference for a particular type of frequency and structure that I don’t encounter on a daily basis other than in the digital environment. Then when I do encounter it in the wild, it points back to these digital experiences from memory. There’s also the chance that all of the bird calls are fake and being broadcast from small amplified speakers hidden in trees like some Disney resort mountain village and what I am hearing is one of these speakers breaking down from years of neglect. Interesting premise for a critical design piece or JG Ballard novel, but probably not the case. I have seen quite a few birds and as far as I am aware, our robotics technology isn’t that good yet.

The dam is a massive concrete structure. It defines the northeast corner of Lake Guy and has a narrow walkway that tunnels through. The walking track around the lake goes down into the valley on the non-water side of the wall and through the dam’s 14 separate chambers The chambers at the beginning and end are open to the outside. The chambers in the middle are enclosed and completely cutoff from the forest except for very small openings at the bottom about 2 feet high and 1 foot across. The echo and reverb within these enclosed chambers is amazing. The first evening I was here, my host took me on a hike around the lake. Walking through the dam was a phenomenal listening experience. Every small sound resonated in the chamber. Several of them had sounds of water trickling in. A couple were very silent. After thinking about this experience for a couple days and passing through the dam on various nature sound hikes and exercise runs, I knew this was somewhere I wanted to project sound compositions into and record the results.

While obsessing over the community notice boards, I decided that I was going to create an intervention that took advantage of my temporary Australian phone number ( feel free to ring me @ 043 234 7156 ) and play with the idea of man’s attempts at controlling nature. I designed and posted SHOPPERS cards in the local grocery asking people to call and leave impressions of local birdsongs on the voicemail. Since this is a temporary number, I have no issues giving it out to anyone and everyone. Seriously, feel free to call. Even it’s just to say you hate me. It’s cool. A couple days after posting on the community boards, I got 2 responses and they sounded amazing. This also solidified how I was going to present the sounds I was working with.

Inside the dam, the compositions being projected are all created using only the nature sound recordings made in and around Bogong Village. The sounds are manipulated to created new tones, textures and frequencies. This manipulation is the same as the attempts made to control and divert the water in this area. The electrical company plays a large role in how water moves and what it is used for. Streams and rivers are diverted through large pipes that cut under the mountains and pour back into areas where it can be converted into electricity. During that travel, it has not only been relocated but removed from it’s natural ecosystem and redistributed in an unnatural way. The modified nature sound recordings are no different. Presenting them inside the dam creates a relationship between the manipulation of the water ways, land and soundscape. The lake is as artificial as the sounds. The dam becomes an echo chamber literally for the sounds to reverberate and figuratively as the creator of electricity that results in noise which drives people to get away to a place like Bogong Village, which is created by the dam that created the electricity. Feedback loop complete. Inside the dam, the sounds are presented through a speaker that has been painted with black and white diagonal lines. This direct formal reference to railroad guards and caution signs serves to aesthetically connect the space to the larger infrastructure of energy production it is a part. It appears both cautionary and official. Hing on the chain link fence barrier and flanking the speaker on both sides are collages created to visually present the notion that the dam is responsible for various forms of development that we often have fluctuating relationships with. We love mobile devices because they provide the world’s knowledge in a pocket-sized object. We hate mobile devices because they are always going off in the theatre or we are being run into as some walks and texts. We love wireless technology because we can get messages anytime, anywhere. We hate wireless technology because people expect us to respond to their message at anytime, from anywhere. We love metro trains for their ease of use. We hate metro trains for their noise and traffic delays. The collages each have a small speaker attached and are performing modified nature sound recordings that align with the emphasis of the collage. One being more about communication, the other addressing urbanization. They both have images of the dominant birds from the recordings perched throughout. All of the visual elements are place on the narrow tunnel through the dam and lit by the single industrial light over head.

Each of the three pieces – the designed speaker cabinet and the two collages – plays a looping modified nature sound. The overall composition is created by the three separate sounds playing simultaneously. The sounds are all different lengths. As the larger piece is heard, the individual elements are looping at different times creating a unique listening experience throughout the installations entire duration. Similar to nature sound recording, from one session to the next you might hear similar elements but the overall composition is going to be different each time.

As the piece plays, the sounds fill the chamber and reverberate around the listener. It can be heard before entering the dam. As the listener approaches, there is a distinct change passing from one chamber to the next while getting closer and closer to the source. The sound of the installation mixes with the natural sounds from around the dam. On the day of installation, this included the sounds of kookaburras, crimson roselas, the rush of the day-lighing tube that routes water around the dam back to the “river” and the gentle sounds of rainfall. Inside the enclosed chambers there were various amounts of water noise. In the chamber of the installation a small amount of trickling mixed with the composed audio. Moving down the tunnel away from the piece the sound then noticeably decreases as each chamber is passed through. One chamber was filled with the sound of rushing water. The combination of this with the composed soundscape in the neighboring chamber created a performance of two different forms of manipulated nature. The modified recordings in the piece and the blocked water from the dam. Passing through the different chambers of the tunnel created a very distinct audio representation of the infrastructure of the dam. The sound changed with each passing chamber and was mixed, at varying levels, with the other sounds occurring in that space. Each chamber takes on it’s own audible identity. It’s a small neighborhood. Each being similarly different. As the listener exits the dam, the sounds of the installation fade and the soundscape of the natural surroundings return.

Manipulating the familiar and presenting it back in this unique acoustic environment inspires thought and consideration regarding the ways we engage with nature. We put a lot of noise out into the world. We do a great deal of manipulating. It’s what’s gotten us to where we are now and that’s both positive and negative. The decisions that we make have consequences. The history of this place – Bogong Village, the Junction Dam and the hydro-scheme – represent this same sense of tension between wanted, unwanted and unexpected. As we work to find more renewable ways to generate the electricity that our modern lives depend on it’s worth reflecting on what’s been done before. Some good has come from it. Some negative things have happened too. I firmly believe that part of this process has to be about appreciating nature and working to understand how we can be better participants. It’s also worth spending time exploring the unique aspects of what has already been done. Maybe, it’s just about making time to listen.

Listening Walk – Mt Beauty, Victoria, Australia

Listening Walk – Mt Beauty, Victoria, Australia from Alex Braidwood on Vimeo.

While in residence at the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, led a Listening Walk in the Mt Beauty area. The Listening Walk began with a very short introduction to the core ideas of acoustic ecology and active listening. Participants were then led on a walk that allowed for the investigation, appreciation and critical analysis of the surrounding soundscape. During the walk, participants were invited to experience the modified headphones, part of my larger Listening Instruments project. The walk concluded with a discussion in which participants shared and reflected on their experience.

Australian Bird Calls @ 0432 347 156

Bird Calls (more info about where this started here on my blog and here on the BCSC blog) is an intervention to play with ideas of community and nature. While the artist in residence at the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, I became interested in the community notice boards located at the grocery store in the village down the mountain. I poset a request for local birdsongs to generate some content for the work that I am making and these are two of the responses I received. Part of this comes from the realization that my number in Australia is temporary and giving it out is consequence free. Having a temporary number with voicemail to play with is kind of amazing.

Community Notice Board Intervention

Community Notice Board Intervention

I’ve gotten a bit obsessed with these community notice boards. The SHOPPER cards that folks from the community can fill out are really interesting. Especially once they use pictures and highlighters. These boards aren’t new to me. I’ve seen them in grocery stores in the United States and I remember them in the grocery in the town where I grew up. There’s even something similar at the local market I go to but it is less official and less systematic. I originally spotted them on our way up to Bogong Village as we hung fliers for the Listening Walk that I will be leading as a way to engage the community. I began wondering if this board system could be another way of reaching out to the community. So I quickly filled out a card and posted it. I grabbed a couple extra because I wanted to be better prepared next time I came down the mountain.

Community Notice Board Intervention

I designed my own card to resemble theirs but included my own messaging. It’s a request for birdsong impressions. In Bogong Village the birdsong is wonderful. It’s rich with character, dense and persistent throughout the day. The village however is a temporary community left over from the when the hydro-electric scheme was being built and in the early days of it running. There’s a dam that has created a lake and around the lake are a series of cabins that can be rented throughout the year. The dam and the recreational water way are evidence of attempts at controlling nature and the idea of imitating birdsong seemed like an interesting way to investigate the sounds of that intersection. The lake asks questions of “nature” and “real” while this intervention poses a similar request.

Bookmaking Noise at the Country Horse Races

Dederang, Vic Australia

New Year’s Eve – Noise Celebration in Mt Beauty, Victoria, Australia

New Year’s Eve – Mt Beauty, Victoria, Australia from Alex Braidwood on Vimeo.

Water is Electricity is Noise


[This post was originally written for the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture Blog while I was the artist in residence there.]

This morning I got up to return to the dam that I walked around after first getting into town. It’s an amazing structure that carries with it a great deal of mixed emotions. Right before leaving the United States for the artist residency here at BCSC, I co-taught a graduate seminar in the Masters of Design in Sustainable Environments (MDesSE) program at Iowa State University where water was a key subject of research and inquiry. We had several discussions about water management and use in a variety of environments and scales. The dam in front of me represented a point of tension within these previous discussions. However, I wanted to go there early in the morning to record the wildlife surrounding it and get a sense for it was like to engage with the dam by listening on the back side of the structure. I found a nice spot up the hill to set up my microphones, cleared a little spot to sit, started everything up and just began to listen. The bird song was incredible. There is so much life and activity in the area. I have yet to go through and estimate the number of different species calls I captured but it was many. As I sat perfectly still, listening to the environment, I began to think more about the dam in front of me. The positive and negative effects of the dam began to swirl as a cycle of thought emerged.

The dam was created as part of a much larger hydro-electric scheme. At four different places down the mountain these systems where introduced to convert moving water into electricity. That electricity is used in the communities all down into the city. That electricity, in many cases, is converted into some form of unwanted sound. It’s the charging of a neighbors phone that goes off at all hours of the night. It’s the power behind that tram that rumbles through the city. It’s the guitar amp down the street. It’s the dance music next-door at 9am Monday morning. It’s the leaf blower before church. It’s the blender in the apartment above while you’re trying to fall asleep. It’s the large HVAC units on the way to the subway. It’s the hum of the street lights overhead. The result of this dam is the electricity that creates a soundscape that we work to ignore and that we feel the need to escape from.

The village around the damn is a resort destination. It’s the type of place that people go to get away from everything. Family holidays and fishing expeditions. Maintaining a status of tourist destination is part of the mission of the village after having fought to remain on the map. Originally, the village was intended for the workers connected to the dam and the power company. Everything had been developed with very temporary intentions. Infrastructure was all done quite quickly with no real sense of longevity. It only needed to last a short amount of time and serve a few people. Once the village had served it’s purpose it was to be leveled and allowed to be reclaimed by nature. This sounds pretty interesting as premise. Temporary neighborhoods with a plan for elimination. Maybe suburban planned communities could take not. After having been a few different iterations of functional town and then resort village for the power company employees, people fought to save it. They were successful and now it is a very small yet busy destination, especially in the winter during ski season. There’s a large ski resort just a few kilometers up the road.

The dam has now served dual roles in the complexity of our relationship with nature. It has provided a valuable resource but at some expense to the surrounding habitat. It has resulted in electricity that we convert into things that we want. The dam has created a lake and a surrounding village used to escape these very same things. The cycle of cause, effect, problem and solution folds back onto itself in a complex way in this area. The soundscape also reflects this. The space is rich with birdsong and the interactions of these sounds with the infrastructure are very compelling. The electrical hum of the transformers sit behind the dawn chorus as a gentle sustaining tone through which the wildlife punctures. The echo chambers in the dam and the parabolic feature of the valley result in a unique listening experience that connects place, memory and the consequences of man’s manipulation of nature.

Water is electricity is noise.

Temporary Community in the Alpine Shire
The community notice board outside of the Mt Beauty Post Office where we placed a poster promoting the upcoming Listening Walk

The community notice board outside of the Mt Beauty Post Office where we placed a poster promoting the upcoming Listening Walk

[This post was originally written for the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture Blog while I was the artist in residence there.]

On the way up to Bogong Village from Melbourne, the drive was quite an experience. I’ve never driven on the left side of the road and I’ve never driven a car with the driver on the right, much less a manual with the driver on the right. Doing the majority of the drive, about 3.5 hours of freeway, two-lane, village and even some mountain road was quite the experience. Interestingly, instead of relaxing and enjoying the scenery I was instead completely focused on the road markings and signage. The signs vary a great deal in both design and language from what I am familiar with in the United States but since I have a background in graphic design, I really appreciated the experience. It feels as though I’ve developed an intimate relationship with the infrastructural signage of the region. Intimate in that traffic accidents can be harmful or deadly.

Along the way, we stopped at a variety of locations as we got closer to Bogong Village to put up fliers for the listening walk that I will be doing later in my residency. The places we stopped were all community hubs of some sort. Locations visited by many different people and for a variety of reasons. We posted at grocery stores, news outlets, the post office notice board, the village info centers and even an all purpose outdoors/hardware/cookware/odds-n-ends shop. The community notice boards at the post offices and info centers were rich tapestries of local activity. There is no shortage of upcoming mountain biking events. Looking for volunteer opportunities to help prevent the spread of an invasive species? There’s a group looking for help. Interested in learning new beading techniques? There’s two classes available in which the first will make a basic snowflake hanger and the second will move on to bracelets. In the market for a high-end, lightly used road bike? Call Mark at 043 234 7156 with any questions. Also, please keep an eye on these boards for the most up to date fire and fire safety related information.

The Community Notice Board at the IGA in the village of Bright

The Community Notice Board at the IGA in the village of Bright

The grocery stores used a system of cards that could be filled out and slid into tracks in the wall. It’s a complete system ready for posting. There was even a high-lighter to add emphasis to the handwritten messages on the cards. There’s Craigslist but there’s also the community notice board at the local IGA. They serve a similar function. They have about the same design aesthetic. Neither seems any more reliable. It’s a message in a bottle left in a place where people know to look. Connections can form and needs can be met. There’s a sofa for sale. Call me @ 043 234 7156. Lost, black lab. Answers to the name Ringo. Please call 043 234 7156 if found. Small reward.

hear the rest >

Bureau of Infrastructure Tourism Listening Tour

Bureau of Infrastructure Tourism – Listening Site Scouting

Grin City Soundscape Performance 2

An excerpt from the second piece that I performed in Grinnell, IA at Relish. This work is part of the results from my artist residency at the Grin City Collective.

Performance Excerpt – Live @ Relish in Grinnell, IA

This is an excerpt from a longer performance that I gave at Relish in Grinnell, IA on May 29th, 2013. This performance was created as part of my artist residency at the Grin City Collective.

All sounds are created from field recordings that I’ve made in various locations, including several from the Grin City Collective farm.

Several pairs of modified headphones were provided for the audience to have a different listening experience of the performed compositions.

This excerpt features Kenji Yoshino, Gideon Chase, Ezra Masch & Noah Breur on archery w/ special guest Carolyn Grace Scherf on lard for soap making.



Sounding at Relish – Grinnell, IA

Yesterday I worked in the csa garden crew in the morning, raced around prepping the farm for a major storm which included helping to put a new wall on the turkey coop, and gave a sound performance at one the best restaurants in town. This may have been my best single day of the farm residency.

During my time as an artist in residence at the Grin City Collective, I was invited to perform at Relish in town. It’s a small restaurant inside of what used to be a large house with several rooms and an outdoor patio in front. On Wednesday nights they have musicians come in and perform. Mostly singer/songwriters from what I could find online. So I wasn’t sure what the response would be to what I was doing or what the turn out would even be for a night billed as a sound art presentation and performance. The audience was amazing and the turnout was really good. The two adjacent rooms of the house/restaurant were pretty well full and a couple folks were milling around in the bar area too.

As part of the evening, I brought along four pairs of headphones that I have with me on the farm and at the beginning, I simply left them on different tables in the hopes that people would pick them up without too much prodding. I never know if people will be willing to put them on. It’s something that comes from the workshops. Some people are hesitant but usually it’s just that they don’t want to be the first ones to maybe look silly or awkward. No issues with that here. Many people were interested in them and excited to put them on to experience a portion of the performance. I really appreciate the confidence and security that this represents. It’s also about a willingness to take risks and have new adventures which probably aligns with the fact that they went to a “sound art show” at a restaurant in town. With the headphones on, people began investigating the pieces that I was presenting but they also started to explore the space and each other in different ways. I love it when this happens. Moving beer classes to listen to the resonance on the wood, jingling pocket change near the pipes, and even playing wine glasses as harps all broke out later in the set once they knew it was ok to move around and make noise. I forgot to do my “please turn your cell phones on” bit at the beginning. I like it best when I can just start and then answer questions and provide more context later. I feel this sets up the best relationship between the listener and the sound. It’s more important that the audience listen and develop their own relationship with what I am making as apposed to me first telling them what they should be listening for. It also makes for better conversations afterward because they are going into the piece with their ears more open if I haven’t framed it before starting.

I played a set of 3 pieces that are part of a new series of works that I’ve been making. The material used is a combination of things that I’ve been playing with before coming to Grin City and things that I have been collecting and working with since being on the farm. As people started filling into the rooms to find seats (at 9 promptly… this is the Midwest after all) I just started making noise with the headphones being already laid out on some of the tables. I was pretty immersed in getting everything going but I’m pretty Joe Lacina was the first one to put them on. Then I quickly saw from my periphery that they were circulating around the room. I also noticed that everyone was working really hard to sit still and be quite so I knew that I needed to talk a little between sets. I wanted to break the tension and remove this reverence for the performer. It’s not about the guy sitting there turning knobs and moving sliders (my friend Anna joke-seriously told me it looks really boring and she is totally right). It’s about the development and projection of the sound and how it is sculpted within the space. In between sets the audience had really good questions and I had a chance to say my piece about noise, listening, design and audio ecology. They also asked if I wanted them to be quite so I tried to let them know that I just wanted them to be comfortable, whatever that means. I don’t have any expectation that the performance is treated as some sort of sacred thing that everyone must sit still and face forward. Although I was very pleased that the event was set up so that it could be a seated performance, it seemed like the audience really dug getting up and moving around to explore the features of the room.

Listening to the passing train at Relish in Grinnell, IA

Listening to the passing train at Relish in Grinnell, IA

During the break, people were wearing the headphones around Relish and made their way outside. I finished just in time for a train to go by the nearby tracks. Immediately the headphones were scooped up as everyone headed outside to hear. The train line is about 1 block from the patio and from their the train sounded amazing. Listening to it with the headphones on in real space, not a recording, reaffirmed my fascination with trains. I’ve discovered that “foamer” is a term for someone who sits and waits for trains to come by so that they can, usually, photograph them. Turns out, I’m a listening foamer. Maybe I need a better term for that. Even though my friend Anna had heard all these tracks before, I still was able to use a few different chickens throughout the evening.

I’m really glad to have had this opportunity to perform as a way of turning my time here as an artist in residence into something that people could experience. The performance at Relish was a combination of things that I’ve used in the past and new things that come straight from Grin City. It was a piece of phonographic fiction created from a series of experiences that many cities, a few road trips and a couple weeks as an artist in residence on a farm in Iowa. It was a fun way for me to synthesize the things that I’ve been working on here at Grin City. All that mixed in with a great audience, new friends, one of the best restaurants in town and my wife secretly showing up for the entire show without me even knowing it until the break made for a pretty amazing night. For this I am really grateful.

Listening to the Farm – Drips, Pens & Tills

This morning a very large storm cell rolled through with claps of thunder so loud and violent that it woke most of us as it rattled the walls and windows of the 100+ year old house in which we were staying. A sharp reminder of something that I talk about great a deal when discussing the importance of listening. Our hearing does not turn off, even while we sleep. Evolutionarily, this was probably very important for millions and millions of years. Rest is important but so is remaining safe from predators and other dangerous elements. This storm also afforded me two other opportunities this morning to witness how important keen hearing is in this type of environment (the farm) in which maintenance and awareness of the facilities and resources is of key importance. Joe Lucina, founder and co-director of the Grin City Collective is also responsible for much of the upkeep of the house, property and buildings. This morning, he and I were sitting at the dinning room table eating and all of a sudden he jumped up and went out the to porch. What been a slight dripping sound from the ongoing deluge of rain suddenly made a different sound. It was subtle but it could have been something major. Turns out it was not a portion of the roof collapsing but instead something else that outside and on the roof, maybe a clogged cutter finally hitting the overflow point.

Roof as floor

Roof as floor

Later in the morning, I was finishing my coffee and a chapter from a book I’m reading when all of sudden Joe came running down the stairs. It’s the weekend and him and I are the only ones in the Brick House and awake. From his upstairs studio, he had heard a noise outside in the strong wind that sounded out of the ordinary and when he looked out, noticed that the turkey pen he and Carolyn Grace Sherf had built was overturned by the wind and the small turkeys were walking around the yard. He raced out to make sure none of the birds were hurt or trapped and then he and I worked to flip it back over, heard the birds back in, and re-secure it using some heavy weight and few properly tied bowline knots. None of the birds escaped and once we cut some vents in the tarp roof to give some wind somewhere to go, the birds seemed perfectly safe and content.

Being connected to the soundscape of the farm is an important aspect of the work that is done here. I had a great conversation last night with Jordan Scheibel who runs a CSA garden from the Grin City farm called Middle Way Farm. During the open studio, he had tried on a set of my modified headphones made from hearing protection earmuffs. He told me a story about how when runs the till, it is incredibly loud and in order to reduce the risk of hearing damage from exposure, he wears earmuffs while using it. The other day, he was trying someone else to use it and let them use the earmuffs for their own comfort which provided him the chance to hear the machine running with open ears. “Holy shit that’s loud!” he said. He also realized just how much information was in that listening experience. He could better hear how the till was working and when it hit obstacles like glass or metal. He has no interest in operating this thing entirely without the use of hearing protection but the headphones that I created got him curious about other ways in which he might be able to mitigate the noise so that it is both less dangerous to his hearing yet maintains his connection to the sounds of the machine functioning.

Listening connects us to our environment. and provides information about what is happening around us. It warns of danger and provides us with pleasure. It lets us know if something is as it should be and can inform us if anything has gone wrong. Listening on the farm is a great experience for me as an agricultural tourist but last night and this morning reminded me that the necessary listening is as much functional as it is enlightening.

Listening to the Wind on the Farm

There’s a lot of wind here in Iowa. The Iowa drivers license even has a wind turbine featured prominently in the background image. Wind has the power to produce energy which means it has the power to create. As the very recent extreme weather events in Oklahoma show, it also has the power to destroy. Moving air causing moving objects creates a horrible path of destruction that one can’t even begin to imagine unless you’ve been through it.

Wind can be very strong. This morning, the wind flipped over the pen that was recently made on the farm to hold some young turkeys. Joe Lacina, co-director of Grin City Collective, and I were able to get it turned upright but it wasn’t easy. The wind continued to fight us the entire time. We eventually got it right-side-up and reinforced how it is anchored to the ground and created vents in the roof tarp so that the wind had somewhere to go in the hopes that the structure would become less sail-like. This demonstrated that wind can emphasize weakness of both design and structure.

Contact mic on workshop

Contact mic on workshop

On the edge of the farm, there’s a metal shed that houses a small workshop with some loose corrugated roof panels that flap and bend when the winds are strong enough. The nails holding the panels in place are loose and the sheets of rusted metal lift and crash making a series of loud scraping, clapping, high-pitched grinding sounds in concert with the strength of the wind. I posted some sounds of this captured with contact mics in this earlier post.

Wind is not the friend of microphones. Mics record sounds by picking up vibrations, or changes in air pressure. If the air is moving, then it simply becomes a large amount of pressure hitting the microphone’s condenser. Wind on its own doesn’t make any sound. Bernie Krause describes this quite well in his book. We don’t hear the wind. Instead, we hear the results of the wind on something else. This might be grass, leaves, metal sheet roofing, natural resonance champers that make howling sounds or the wind’s affects on the condenser in a mic. The farm has been extremely windy during the day which at first was interfering with recording the birds and poultry stock that are here. It was, however, creating a few great sounds on its own. To record these sounds, I created two monaural contact mics that I could attach to different metal surfaces with magnets mounted inside the project housing. This made it possible to record the results of the wind, the vibrations of the metal sheet roofing, without recording the effects of the wind on a condenser mic.

The wind has become a defining feature of the landscape here during the residency. While getting settled into my studio space, I found that there were 2 old wind chimes crudely constructed from a series of steal pipes of varying lengths, some thin chain to suspend the elements and some basic acrylic shapes to act as both wind-responder and percussion implement. There’s something very elegant and logical about the construction of an instrument that performs the wind. It’s a responsive system that begins with an element of control through the defined material of the pipes, the lengths of which determine the pitch performed. However the structure of the performance is determined by the wind. Calm or active, the results reflect conditions occurring in the environment. It is not removed, or closed off. It is not working to separate itself from a larger natural structure. It is not too refined or all that imposing. It of course can be quite chaotic if the wind is intense or highly variable but on the whole, I find this interjection of a dynamic instrument waiting to be performed by nature quite harmonious with the space that I am encountering here during this residency.

All content ©2014 Alex Braidwood unless otherwise stated.

  • In Class Demo
  • Sound Art : October 08, 2016 at 08:54AM
  • Sound Art : September 20, 2016 at 06:34AM
  • Sound Art : September 17, 2016 at 01:49PM
  • Sound Art : September 17, 2016 at 11:20AM
  • Sound Art : September 17, 2016 at 10:13AM
  • Sound Art : September 05, 2016 at 04:08PM
  • Sound Art : September 05, 2016 at 07:24AM
  • Sound Art : August 22, 2016 at 08:23AM
  • Sound Art : August 20, 2016 at 03:28PM
  • Sound Art : August 20, 2016 at 12:05PM
  • Sound Art : August 20, 2016 at 06:56AM
  • Sound Art : August 20, 2016 at 06:10AM
  • Sound Art : August 20, 2016 at 05:25AM
  • Sound Art : August 18, 2016 at 10:20AM
  • Sound Art : August 18, 2016 at 05:38AM
  • Sound Art : August 17, 2016 at 12:40PM
  • Sound Art : August 16, 2016 at 01:15PM
  • Sound Art : August 15, 2016 at 01:34PM
  • Sound Art : August 15, 2016 at 10:56AM
  • Sound Art : July 12, 2016 at 02:22PM
  • Sound Art : July 12, 2016 at 02:01AM
  • Sound Art : July 08, 2016 at 02:16PM
  • Sound Art : July 08, 2016 at 08:49AM
  • Sound Art : July 08, 2016 at 07:48AM
  • Sound Art : July 07, 2016 at 07:23AM
  • Sound Art : July 03, 2016 at 02:55PM
  • Sound Art : July 03, 2016 at 12:11PM
  • Sound Art : June 30, 2016 at 10:46AM
  • Sound Art : June 25, 2016 at 10:50AM
  • Sound Art : June 24, 2016 at 10:55AM
  • Sound Art : June 23, 2016 at 09:19AM
  • Sound Art : June 23, 2016 at 07:41AM
  • Sound Art : June 21, 2016 at 12:07PM
  • Sound Art : June 18, 2016 at 07:51AM
  • Sound Art : June 17, 2016 at 12:15PM
  • Sound Art : June 17, 2016 at 08:54AM
  • Sound Art : June 16, 2016 at 08:42AM
  • Sound Art : June 15, 2016 at 07:35AM
  • Sound Art : June 15, 2016 at 06:29AM
  • Sound Art : June 14, 2016 at 06:54AM
  • Sound Art : June 13, 2016 at 10:48AM
  • Sound Art : June 11, 2016 at 02:14PM
  • Sound Art : June 11, 2016 at 05:30AM
  • Sound Art : June 10, 2016 at 02:19PM
  • Sound Art : June 10, 2016 at 10:52AM
  • Sound Art : June 10, 2016 at 06:18AM
  • Sound Art : June 09, 2016 at 02:23PM
  • Sound Art : June 09, 2016 at 05:05AM
  • Sound Art : June 08, 2016 at 09:37AM
  • Sound Art : June 08, 2016 at 07:08AM
  • Sound Art : June 06, 2016 at 03:57PM
  • Sound Art : June 06, 2016 at 09:26AM
  • Sound Art : June 03, 2016 at 02:59PM
  • Sound Art : June 02, 2016 at 08:13AM
  • Sound Art : June 01, 2016 at 04:41PM
  • Sound Art : June 01, 2016 at 04:12AM
  • Sound Art : May 31, 2016 at 04:50AM
  • Sound Art : May 30, 2016 at 03:47PM
  • Sound Art : May 28, 2016 at 01:27PM
  • Sound Art : May 23, 2016 at 03:55PM
  • Sound Art : May 18, 2016 at 04:56AM
  • Sound Art : May 17, 2016 at 09:56AM
  • Sound Art : May 16, 2016 at 02:57PM
  • Sound Art : May 15, 2016 at 05:57PM
  • Sound Art : May 15, 2016 at 05:56AM
  • Sound Art : May 13, 2016 at 10:09AM
  • Sound Art : May 12, 2016 at 11:59AM
  • Sound Art : May 05, 2016 at 05:21AM
  • Sound Art : May 04, 2016 at 04:59PM
  • Sound Art : May 03, 2016 at 07:36PM
  • Sound Art : May 03, 2016 at 02:27PM
  • Sound Art : May 03, 2016 at 09:48AM
  • Sound Art : May 02, 2016 at 01:48PM
  • Sound Art : May 02, 2016 at 04:19AM
  • Heritage Listening at BlackContemporary
  • Behind the scenes (well, above the scenes actually) of Heritage Listening @ #BlackContemporary.
  • Objectifying Sound
  • Working w/ Infrastructure 
  • Solar Power. Sound recording. 
  • Secret Spring Break, Formal Danger
  • Sound Art & Graphic Design Adventures in S. Korea
  • Buoy Listen – Chuncheon S. Korea
  • Cassette Player/Recorder Panasonic M8455
  • Stereo Wind Turbines – Spirit Lake, Iowa
  • Bee Hives @ The Prairie Flower
  • Cities & Memory – Oblique Strategies
  • Des Moines NoiseScape @ The Social Club
  • Modified NatureSound & Junction Dam Installation
  • It rains on all the microphones the same
  • Listening Walk – Mt Beauty, Victoria, Australia
  • The return hike
  • Australian Bird Calls @ 0432 347 156
  • Bogong – Final Early Morning Nature Sound Hike
  • Bogong – Installation Prep
  • The experience is the hike and the listening
  • Community Notice Board Intervention
  • Bookmaking Noise at the Country Horse Races
  • New Year’s Day – Australia’s Alpine Nat’l Park – Bogong Village
  • New Year’s Eve – Noise Celebration in Mt Beauty, Victoria, Australia
  • Water is Electricity is Noise
  • Temporary Community in the Alpine Shire
  • Post-interview – 3CR Community Radio, Melbourne
  • Customs and Boarder Patrol
  • Listening at the shore – Venice Beach
  • Comforting water noise in the O’Hare Urban Garden
  • From Memory: A Performative Exploration of Sonifying Solar Wind Data
  • Lake Superior – Grand Island Lakeshore – Stone Quary Cabin
  • Bureau of Infrastructure Tourism Listening Tour
  • Bureau of Infrastructure Tourism – Public Transport and Communication 001
  • Bureau of Infrastructure Tourism – Transport and Removal 001
  • Bureau of Infrastructure Tourism – Listening Site Scouting
  • Nature sounds – NoiseScape: Yellowstone – Artist Paint Pots
  • End Transmission @ Tiger Strikes Asteroid
  • Alert Fatigue – process
  • Temporary listening at the making of a Tibetan sand mandala
  • Compositional destruction & different awareness of objects
  • NoiseScape [prototype]
  • Discovering my own totem sounds – fire
  • Grin City Soundscape Performance 2
  • Performance Excerpt – Live @ Relish in Grinnell, IA
  • Sometimes it just feels good to make some fu©king noise
  • Sounding at Relish – Grinnell, IA
  • Listening on the Farm – thunder in the farmhouse
  • Listening to the Farm – Drips, Pens & Tills
  • Listening to the Wind on the Farm
  • Listening on the Farm – high winds & loose roof panels
  • Nature Sound Workshop 2013 – Seattle, WA
  • Diagnostic Listening
  • Audium: A theater of sound-sculpted space
  • Noise to keep us safe
  • Listening Instruments Invention Workshop
  • Listening Instruments Invention Workshop – photos
  • Listening Instruments Workshop Booklet
  • Listening at the Hardware Store
  • Anti-cancellation
  • 503 01 – mr & mrs formalplay collaboration
  • Listening Instruments workshop – warning
  • Warning – Safety Headphone Danger Zone
  • Sonic fictions from powered mobility
  • LEAPstrument Zero1
  • Hunting vs Foraging
  • Active Listening in the Urban Soundscape
  • Listening in the Megacity
  • Kansas City SoundWalk Research & Performance Documentation
  • Listening to the Unwanted, Broadcast from the Desirable
  • Infrastructural Radiations 02013-002-0073
  • The Listening City – Reports from the Noise Camera
  • Dead rat making – Listening at the fabric store
  • Rapport de la Volière Mécanique
  • Dem Noises – Infrastructural Intersections
  • Listening at the Intersection of Infrastructure
  • Écoutant Instruments pour l’écoute
  • Rapport de la route électrique – 02013-01.0001
  • Noise Box
  • Rapport de la Volière Mécanique: 02012-04.0002
  • Carte Voliére Mécanique
  • Rapport de la Volière Mécanique: 02012-04.0001
  • Carte Voliére Mécanique
  • Carte Voliére Mécanique
  • Rapport de la Volière Mécanique: 02012-04.0001
  • Mysterious Hums – Collective Listening
  • Carte Voliére Mécanique
  • Rapport de la Volière Mécanique: 02012-03.0002 – Visée #02
  • Carte Voliére Mécanique
  • Listening to Mysterious Hums
  • Carte Voliére Mécanique
  • Rapport de la Volière Mécanique: 02012-02.0022 – Visée #07
  • Carte Voliére Mécanique
  • Rapport de la Volière Mécanique: 02012-02.0022 – Visée #04
  • Carte Voliére Mécanique
  • Rapport de la Volière Mécanique: 02012-02.0022 Sighting #01
  • Panel – Visualizing the Invisible: The Art of Sound
  • Carte Voliére Mécanique
  • Hum Listener
  • Rapport de la Volière Mécanique: 02012-02.0015 Sighting #09
  • Carte Volière Mécanique
  • Listening to LA on KTLA (the weirdo on the corner)
  • Visualizing Audio – Commotion – Noise Collage Test 018
  • Visualizing Audio – Commotion – Noise Collage Test 011
  • Report from the Aviary: 02012-02.0015 – Sighting #03
  • Mysterious Hum: DETINU 6425
  • Mysterious Hum: Subterranean Descent
  • Persistent Hum: Grammy Patrol
  • Mysterious Hum: 6th Bridge – On & Over
  • Noisolation Headphones on So Cal Public Radio 89.3 KPCC
  • City Sonic – by KPCC
  • Noise Collection Organizational Measure
  • Wander-listen
  • Listening Up: Neighborhood Tumult Meter
  • Happy New Ear
  • New York: Critical Information
  • That time I wore those things and ʍɐs ʇɐɥʇ ɟɟnʇs
  • Asynchronous Collective Residue
  • Thinking about the Walkman® – Shared Listening Experiences
  • Thinking about Magnetic Tape – Musical Instruments
  • Simulacra-tecture
  • I’m not a Musician
  • Thinking about Mysterious Hums – The Importance of a Source
  • These aren’t your Grandparents’ Orange Groves
  • Noise? Some Ramblings about Discovery & Inspiration
  • Listening in Las Vegas

  • categories
  • blank
  • noise
  • listening
  • architecture
  • media
  • art
  • dem noises
  • performance
  • chronicle
  • totem
  • megacity
  • sonification
  • naturesound
  • intervention
  • Process

  • tags