Soundscapes Real and Imagined from the San Francisco Bay Area – A two-hour mix of soundscape recordings and compositions native to the San Francisco Bay Area.
A 2-hour sound collage for radio hosted by Jeremiah Moore and Aaron Ximm
Orignally broadcast February 22, 2009 on free103point9.org, an episode of Giant Ear, the radio voice of the New York Society for Acoustic Ecology.
Last August, Jonny Farrow, Ned Mooney and Andrea Polli of our New York-based sister organization New York Society for Acoustic Ecology (NYSAE)  were visiting San Francisco. We had a meet up and mind-meld, out of which came an idea: Could BASE produce a two-hour show for Giant Ear))), NYSAE’s monthly radio program on free103point9.org ?
The theme of our show was very clear from the start: we would focus on the sounds of the place where we live, the greater San Francisco Bay Area. We live in an area full of clear soundmarks and vast contrasts juxtaposed. The Bay shores of Alcatraz Island, the swells of the Pacific on Ocean Beach, the wharves and marinas; the grit and tourist-charm of Chinatown, the ice cream carts and taquerias of the Mission, the sound exhibits of the Exploratorium, the windmill fields of Livermore and Pleasanton. Group social sounds of public ceremony, celebration, protest and everyday life. And closer times like a Mah-Jong game, a family dinner, and the last notes of a funeral dirge. The sounds of getting around, footsteps, subways, cable cars and of course – like everywhere – trucks, cars and planes.
To realize this idea, we called on members of our community to send us their sounds. And we scoured our own libraries for favorite material.
About 45 minutes of our show (from 0:03:34 to 0:53:23) was performed by Jeremiah Moore and Aaron Ximm live on-the-air on Pirate Cat Radio . Thanks to DJ Yuri G for having us on – check out his show Psionic Dehiscence.
In keeping with the “Imagined” part of our concept, in several places we played composed works in their entirety. At 1:18:38 “Sweeper” by Jeremiah Moore, at 1:35:24 “Maritime Suite: Port” and at 1:46:37 “Maritime Suite: Starboard” both by Aaron Ximm.
And so, it’s with great pleasure that I present our program.
Thanks for listening.
San Francisco, Feb 2009
Produced by Jeremiah Moore
Hosted by Aaron Ximm and Jeremiah Moore
Engineered by Jeremiah Moore at Listen Studio, San Francisco
Contributors (alphabetical by first name):
Aaron Ximm [quietamerican.org] – Various field recordings including Bernal hill owls; composed works “Maritime Suite: Port” and “Maritime Suite: Starboard“
Chris Watson [chriswatson.net] – Three perspectives on windmills near Livermore, CA
Claire Schoen [claireschoenmedia.com] – Two episodes of her radio series Earthtones, on Elephant Seals of Point Año Nuevo and on the Wave Organ
Dan Dugan [dandugan.com] – “May 22, 5:29 AM, West Road of Alcatraz Island. Roost of herons and egrets. Also Western gull, white-crowned sparrow, others.”
David Silberberg [d4doc.com] -Berkeley Traffic, UC Berkeley Campus ambience, Cordonices Creek Berkeley CA.
James Goode – “Belt_Railroad_Tarp” is a field recording made on June 22nd, 2008 near the entrance to Heron’s Head Park. A black and yellow San Francisco Belt Railway diesel locomotive, covered in plastic tarpaulin ripped to shreds in some places, sat idle amongst chest-high weeds and pillaged tracks. I placed a stereo microphone in a
Jeremiah Moore [jeremiahmoore.com] – Various field recordings; composed work “Sweeper” exploring harmonic structure of mechanical street sweeper
Jim LeBrecht [berkeleysoundartists.com] – Foghorn, Thanksgiving Dinner
Jim McKee [earwaxproductions.com] – Recordings of Doyle Drive, Aquatic Park, Green Street Mortuary Band, and Tuvan sound check at Grace Cathedral
Joseph Lawrence – Saratoga Rain “Recorded a couple days before Christmas in Saratoga right after a lot of rain had fallen…the sound of water falling about 10 feet through a typical sheet metal drain pipe and hitting the angle at the bottom, flowing out onto the ground. Plus a little bit of light rain in the background.”
Robert Beahrs – Chinatown to the Embarcadero soundwalk “I recorded this soundwalk on May 5th, 2008 with binaural microphones, ducking into shops here and there while generally walking down California Street. Listen for the juxtaposition of musical worlds, languages, street sounds, as well as the California line cable car that passes by me. It is chronological, and, besides a few splices, unprocessed.”
post updated: photo added