American Composers Forum Philadelphia Chapter supported Mixes from the Field in presenting this multidisciplinary workshop: Hidden Pulses, Tuning into the Sonic Body of Philadelphia. This workshop focused on Deep Listening praxis as taught and practiced by Pauline Oliveros and involved:

  • Extended introduction sessions of guided body-centered listening by Sharon Stewart
  • Guided “mindfulness of hearing” meditation by Michael McDermott
  • Equipment overview of
    • Zoom field recorders
    • parabolic microphones
    • binaural microphones
    • JrF hydrophones
    • JrF contact mics
  • Sonic ecology discussion
  • Listening to identify sonic patterns and rhythmical structures both on a micro (temporal or spatial) and macro levels. What does “rhythm” mean in the context of field recording? Can I discover rhythms within rhythms in my sonic environment? Do we think in terms of big and small, zooming-in and zooming-out, close or distant?
  • Exploring sonic boundaries or transitional spaces. What does that say about city design, architectural boundaries, and socio-political spheres of influence?
  • Developing a recording choreography of movement that breaks up or morphs usual ways of moving or listening to the city. Changing speed, “ear” level or stereo arrays. Becoming-atypically-human in our recording techniques.
  • Listening for alternate time structures in the city. Generating an alternate time structure through recording practice.
  • Exploring post-processing techniques to treat, alter and change the way we recall sound events.

The second part of the day involved a field trip to the Schuylkill River Trail. The trail gave the workshop participants a myriad of sound sources to listen to and record. They used handheld recorders, parabolic dishes, hydrophones, DPA and binaural microphones to listen to people, bikes, trains, water, sewers, talking, singing and a dog park.

Photos from the Day