I’ve been fascinated by the gradual encroachment of field recordings into the palette of experimental musicking over the past few years.
So, I asked musician, artist and researcher Gabriele de Seta to give us his take on how field recordings have come to occupy such an integral position, and to put together a mix of pertinent examples from Europe, Asia and the USA.
Of particular interest is the move from a determinedly naturalistic, ethnographic approach to something more complex. Artists often deliberately undermine the supposed veracity and authority of the field recordings they use – a process often referred to as anti-naturalism – in pursuit of more nuanced and compelling work.
There are some great insights and astonishing sounds in here. I hope you enjoy listening to it.
Gabriele de Seta interview runs throughout. All tracks are edits of longer pieces.
Juanjo Palacios: Ensenada (Linear Obsessional, 2014)
Naturalismo: Untitled Microcassette #1
Daniel Menche – Ant Hill, from Raw Recording Series (2012)
Huai Hai Lu Soundwalk (Bivouac Recordings 2010)
Gabriele de Seta: 60.00 Ligne de Fuite, (Bivouac Recordings, 2016)
Wang Changcun: Flicker 14
Li Zhiyng: Hawker + Vendor Music, from Sound Art China: Revolutions Per Minute (Post-Concrete, 2013)
Wendy Hsu: Pinball Machines in Lungtan
Geir Jenssen: Stromboli Dub. From Stromboli (Touch, Tone 48, 2013)
Cathy Lane: Sea Shanty, from The Hebrides Suite (Gruenrekorder, 2013)
Alan Courtis + BJ Nielsen: As Subtle and Brutal as Nature, from Nijmegen Pulse (Brombon, 2013)
Edwin Lo: Rabbit Travelogue: Central Region (Rabbit Travelogue, 2010)
Fangyi Liu: I Am Here, from I Am Here (2016)
Kevin Drumm: Untitled, from The Whole House (2016)
Tarab: Bottle, from surfacedrift (naturestrip, 2004)
Joe Colley: Lonely Microphone (Senufo Editions, 2012)
Simon Whetham: Against Nature , from Against Nature (Cronica, 2016)
CM Von Hausswolff: Undetected Signal. (Probably from James Irwin in 2006), from The Wonderful World Of Male Intuition (Oral, 2006)
Mark Bain: One hour as – Vibrations during the aircraft impacts on and collapses of the WTC (edit)
Fu Yu: net.soundscape, Sound Art China: Revolutions Per Minute (Post-Concrete, 2013)
Gabriele de Seta – Radio 朋友圈 (edit)
Seth Cooke: CERO II, from Four No-Input Field Recordings (Every Contact Leaves A Trace, 2013)