[microsound-announce] [framework radio] #599: 2017.05.21

. m u r m e r . murmer at murmerings.com
Mon May 22 05:58:14 EDT 2017


framework radio
phonography ::: field recording ::: the art of sound-hunting
open your ears and listen!

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#599: 2017.05.21
listen to this edition here: 

this edition of framework:afield has been produced in zürich, 
switzerland with recordings made in beijing, china by jason kahn. for 
more information see http://www.jasonkahn.net.

notes from the producer:


Jason Kahn // Capital Steel

Long walk from the subway station to Capital Steel. Progressing steadily 
down vast boulevard, past dilapidated worker slums decaying in the dust 
and smog. The street ends at a construction site, and coming out the 
other side traces of Capital Steel loom into view: the wall enclosing 
the grounds, the huge steel pipes traveling elevated through the 
outlying neighborhoods. I take a side street, walking past metal 
workers, auto repair, mom and pop groceries. An atmosphere of quiet 
resignation. The sun beats way overhead, somewhere above the cloak of smog.

I walk along the wall and  find a space between two tin slats, 
slithering into what’s left of Capital Steel. Right away I see a 
security guard making his rounds and I duck behind a corner so that he 
doesn’t find me. I’m trespassing, after all. I wait a while, have 
another peak to see if the coast is clear and then make a run for it 
towards the closest gargantuan oven, rising up in the distance like the 
wreckage from some space landing gone terribly awry.

Plunging into the shadows of a maze of concrete pillars set in a sea of 
dust, I set up my microphones and start to record. Here too I have to 
hide from workers coming and going right by me. In the distance jack 
hammers and the sounds of demolition rage. Capital Steel is being slowly 
dismantled to make way for another mall, another mega housing complex. 
Maybe another type of factory this time? Who knows? The square area of 
Capital Steel rivals that of my home Zürich: a city as steel mill.

I pack up my gear and run across a stretch of open ground to the nearest 
oven. I’m in the belly of the belly of the beast now. A labyrinth of 
massive pipes entwine themselves around me. Bits of metal creak and sway 
in the wind. Rusty staircases ascend to locked doors or catwalks 
connecting huge rusting tanks. Empty railroad cars stand o  to the side 
frozen in time. Their wheels have long since vanished in the thick dust.

Here beneath the ovens it is quiet in an eerie yet also somehow soothing 
kind of way. I climb some stairs and a pack of dogs begins to bark and 
snarl viciously nearby. I’m hoping that there’s a wall or at the very 
least a fence between us. If they don’t tear me to shreds then they’ll 
probably at the very least attract attention to my whereabouts. I don’t 
imagine being arrested in China is such a pleasant experience.

I make some more recordings when the dogs quiet down and then head o  to 
a cluster of gigantic brick buildings in the distance. These were once 
warehouses, the size of football  fields and five stories high. Sunlight 
  filters in through the cracked and smeared windows. In some places 
here the dust goes up to my knees, which is dangerous as the  floor is 
riddled with crevices and holes. Piles of random trash, broken office 
furniture and unidentified able metal objects lay strewn everywhere. 
Many birds live here and their singing provides some respite from the 
traffic and construction work outside. I record what passes for 
intervals of silence: when no bird sings, no trucks passing by and the 
jackhammers have taken their lunch break.

I step out into the sunlight and head towards more of the ovens planted 
further o  in the distance. I could explore here for weeks and probably 
never see it all. This industrial decay and wreckage seems to stretch on 
forever, supplanting the world as I’ve known it. Could this be one of 
many possible futures? The utterly despicable failure of humankind, 
wasting away on a trash heap of rusting machinery, an endless caustic 
landscape of dust and corrosion.

I’m right out in the open now. In broad daylight. I’m not afraid of 
being caught anymore. I want to make a recording of this panorama, a 
vista of time frozen, ground to a halt in mid-sentence. The sun has 
conquered the smog now and shines down brilliantly across the wounded 
landscape. A guard appears across the huge field of dust and walks 
towards me. He says something to me in Chinese but I don’t understand 
him. I cup my hands to my ears, somehow trying to say that I’m 
listening. He looks at me quizzically and makes a motion for me to go, 
pointing o  in the distance to a gate leading outside.

The guard escorts me across the grounds. Before leaving I turn around 
and take one last look at the end of civilization as we know it. The 
guard walks away into the dust, vanishing in the glare of the bright 
afternoon sun. The feint sound of dogs barking travels across the wind. 
I find a bus stop and wait for my ride back to the subway station to 
catch a train home.


again, we are always looking for new material, whether raw field 
recordings, field recording based composition, or introduction 
submissions. we are also now accepting proposals for full editions of 
our guest curated framework:afield series. send proposals or material, 
released or not, on any format, to the address at the bottom of this 
mail. if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch!


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framework intro submissions:

    1)    take yourself and an audio recorder to a location of your choice
    2)    record for AT LEAST 1 minute before you -
    3)    read aloud the following text (in english or translated):

welcome to framework. framework is a show consecrated to 
field-recording, and its use in composition.  field-recording, 
phonography, the art of sound hunting; open your ears and listen!

    4)    continue recording for AT LEAST 2 minutes after the text
    5)    post the recording to us on any format, or send us an 

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