The Big City

”The more susbtantial an individual’s aesthetic experience is, the sounder his taste, the sharper his moral focus, the freer—though not necessarily the happier—he is.."

All the music venues being closed sets field recordings into acute relief. You go out to see a concert or a show, you tune into one from home via your computer screen, but field recordings bring the outside and the elsewhere to you, in your home, straight into your brain via mobile devices when you’re out in the streets. The performance ritual place becomes you, your own sensibilities, your own experience.

ISSUE Project Room has set up an Isolated Field Recordings Series—not performances but places their artists have captured and send to you. These are recordings ISSUE has commissioned from various artist, and the organization will broadcast them via their own website, Vimeo, and Facebook Live. The opening session is Thursday, April 23, 8pm EST, with a broadcast of 9 a.m. (Eternal), created by Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste from his mornings living in Crown Heights.

After the live broadcast, this piece and those that follow will be available in the archives. Here’s the upcoming schedule (EST):

  • QUALIATIK: 8pm Wednesday, April 29th
  • Shelley Hirsch: 8pm Thursday, April 30th
  • Bergsonist: 8pm Wednesday, May 6th
  • Andrew Lampert: 8pm Thursday, May 7th
  • Derek Baron: 8pm Wednesday, May 13th
  • Jules Gimbrone: 8pm Thursday, May 14th
  • Kim Brandt: 8pm Wednesday, May 20th 

And do check out ISSUE’s archives anyway for some amazing performances.

The scratch for the stir-crazy itch is to be elsewhere, and there’s nothing that takes you farther from where you are than sounds from someplace different than your own. Digital recording and distribution has led to a massive world of field recordings, straight, doctored, documentary, composed, or otherwise. For the curious, start by checking out the works of Kate Carr and Vanessa Rossetto, or this recent releases from the great Unfathomless label—Farol, produced by Thibault Jehanne, is the sound of approaching the 25 Abril bridge in Lisbon, Portugal. One of my very favorite recordings released so far this year.

“I ate your book.”

Bernhard Lang

“I dig the jacket!”

Kurt Elling
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