[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
phonography ::: field recording ::: the art of sound-hunting
open your ears and listen!
for general info, playlists, broadcasts, podcasts, or to stream at any
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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