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The TankSave the Tank

In the gray dirt hills of northwestern Colorado lies a world-class acoustic space known as the Tank, where musicians have been recording and listening since the 1970s.  It’s now in danger of being sold for scrap.  Myself and a team of sound artists and musicians are raising funds via Kickstarter to save it from this fate.  Please help pass on the word, and contribute if you can.
I’ve had the pleasure of playing and recording there myself, I can attest:  it is a very special place.  The resonance that I’ve absorbed in that space is something I carry with me; it informs my understanding of sound, of soundmaking, of listening, of music.
Please visit http://kck.st/Y29K9l to learn more, and to hear music recorded there. The campaign ends March 31, 2013.

BASE member Andrea Williams has several upcoming events:

  • March 19th: Duo w/Dan Joseph @ Experimental Intermedia, 224 Centre Street at Grand, Third Floor, NYC
  • March 21st: Solo performance and Artist Q&A @ Musical Ecologies Series, Old Stone House, 336 Third Street, bet. 4th/5th Avenues, Brooklyn, NYC
  • Launch Date TBA: Through the Golden Gate: MP3 Audio tour launch event and Artist Q&A for the Golden Gate District, @ P.L.A.C.E., Oakland, CA

Nature Sounds Society – upcoming acoustic ecology related events:

NSS Annual Tech Talk – learn basics of field recording and try out gear.
Saturday, May 18, 2013 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM at Dan Dugan Sound Design.
NSS 29th Annual Field Recording Workshop – Yuba Pass, California – June 21-23, 2013
Multiple field and hands-on nature recording workshop sessions, overnight in tent cabins.
Featured speakers will be Lang Elliott and Marie Read.  Always an excellent time.

Got ideas?

If you’ve got ideas for an upcoming BASEbot, please let us know.

 – Jeremiah Moore

Several BASE folks are travelling to Albuquerque New Mexico later this month for ISEA2012 Machine Wilderness, the Eighteenth International Symposium on Electronic Art.

In the event you’ll be there, we’d love to see you! Here’s where to find us:


Andrea Williams will be giving an artist talk on Soundwalks and Urban Sound Ecology.

Friday, Sept 21, 9:25am at Hotel Albuquerque, Fireplace Room.

Andrea’s site: listeninglistening.com

Gas Well, Northwest New MexicoJeremiah Moore will be presenting a new work “Listen Toward the Ground” a participatory self-guided excursion into a virtual soundscape of exposed oil production processes, superimposed on the downtown streets. Hovering between interpretive audio tour, soundscape composition and phychogeographic exploration.

You’ll be able to do the tour anytime by downloading the audio to your own player. But why not be social? Come by our table at the Downtown Block Party by 516arts, amidst art cars, food trucks, and various performances.

Downtown Block Party
Sunday Sept 23, 4pm – 8pm
Central Ave between 4th and 6th streets.

Intel Education Day / Downtown Block Party on ISEA2012 website

Downtown Block Party on the organizers website 516arts.org

When ready, audio for your own device will be downloadable here on the BASE website.

Another Acoustic Ecology presence, our colleague Andrea Polli, formerly of New York Society for Acoustic Ecology, is the artistic director of ISEA2012.

A film about her work is screening Friday 9/21 between 9:00am and 5:00pm as part of “LOOPED SCREENING: ISEA2012 Documentary Films: Observation and Interventions” at Albuquerque Museum’s Gem Theater.

Andrea Polli will also be part of the ISEA2012 Education Forum on Sunday, Sept 23, 3:15pm – 5:30pm at Hotel Andaluz, Majoraca Room


Hello compatriots, fellow listeners and inhabitants of earth –

This Sunday afternoon, Bay Area Sound Ecology is holding a soundwalk at Land’s End, hosted by Jeremiah Moore.

Come join if you can for a social listening experience – walking into the wildlands off the corner of the city. Shipwrecks, rocky cliffs and forest glens. This is a mildly strenuous short hike involving singletrack trail, stairs and beach. You may wish to bring a snack and some water.

It may be windy, and the wind may be cold. Much of the trail is sheltered, but some is quite exposed. Dressing in layers is recommended.

Sunday April 22, 2012
Meet at 3:30 pm, departing promptly at 3:45pm.
expected duration about 2 hours.

Meet at the Lands End Eagle’s Point trailhead. This is at the EASTERN end of Lincoln Park, right on El Camino Del Mar, just into the park from Seacliff and China Beach. (NOT at the end near Sutro Baths / Seal Rocks.)

Facebook Event:


By Public Transportation:
Take the 38 Geary to 32nd Ave. Walk north to California, and then cut west to Lincoln Park. There’s a nice trail here behind trees from the golf course, behind the school. It drops you right at the trailhead shortly. Also served by the 18 / 46th ave.

There appears to be ample parking along El Camino Del Mar. Should parking be difficult on the day, we’ll hold the start time for a few minutes to accomodate.

The trail includes stairs and some steep and rocky sections.

Kids welcome provided they understand it will be a (mostly) non-talking walk.

hope to see you there!


lands end labyrinth


This coming Monday evening, BASE will be holding a free soundwalk hosted by Andrea Williams and Jeremiah Moore, in the urban forests of Mount Sutro in San Francisco.

[facebook event page here ]

Monday, July 18th 2011
meet at 6:30pm
walk departing promptly at 6:40pm
ending at approximately 8:30pm

(July 18th is World Listening Day, and the birthday of composer R. Murray Schafer)

Meeting point is the intersection of Parnassus and Medical Center Way.  We will meet at 6:30 and depart promptly at 6:40.

Andrea will be holding a RED BALLOON.

This is a mildly strenuous 2-ish mile hike involving singletrack trail and a few stairs. You may wish to bring a snack and some water.  The walk will not be wheelchair accessible.


Getting There
Here is a google maps link.

The starting point is on the eastern edge of the University of California San Francisco medical school campus, on Parnassus Ave.  We’ll meet on the corner of Parnassus and Medical Center Way.  Medical Center Way is the small street which curves away behind the main UCSF campus.

By Car:
The walk will exit Sutro Forest at 17th Street and Stanyan.  If you drive, you may want to look for parking in that area.
There is UCSF parking in the Millberry Union Public Garage at 500 Parnassus Avenue.  For the 2+ hours of the soundwalk, parking there will cost you $10.50.

By public transit:
Take the N streetcar to Hilway Ave, right at the Medical School (transfer from BART at any market street station) and walk one block up to Parnassus and Hilway.  Walk a few hundred feet east. Alternately take Muni bus route 6-Parnassus which drops you off right at the corner of Parnassus and Hilway.  Again, walk a few hundred feet east.

Update:  The soundwalk was a great success.  We will be posting a reportage.

Forest Photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericinsf/

On Saturday Nov 13, 2010, BASE hosts the next in our series of BASEbot listening salons, featuring recordist, sound designer, and musician

Rudy Trubitt

who will present work focusing on sonic surprises and unexpected events.

BASEbot 006 will be held

SATURDAY, November 13th, 2010
2:30 pm doors, starting promptly at 3
~an hour of formal presentations followed by Q&A and mingling. Bring sounds to share!


Dan Dugan Sound Design
290 Napoleon Street Studio E
San Francisco, CA 94124


Please come LISTEN and Expect The Unexpected!

Sometimes what you planned to record isn’t nearly as interesting as what’s happening behind you. Sound Designer Rudy Trubitt brings an assortment of sonic suprises to Basebot November 13, 2010.

Rounding out the evening’s entertainment will be the multi-channel presentation of “Exciting and Unexpected Cleaning Events,” (see below) a work premiered at the 2005 San Francisco Tape music festival and not heard since.

Attendees are encouraged to bring recordings of their own surprised recordings preferably in wav, aiff or higher quality mp3 formats on CD-R, DVD-R, or USB drive or your own iPod or other player (no more than a couple minutes in length, please).


is an original field recording made in a confined space with 10 individual microphones. Minimal editing and signal processing were applied to create the finished work. Recorded by Die Elektrischen and Rudy Trubitt with immeasurable help from Bruce Koball,

In December 2004, NASA engineers monitoring the Mars Rover “Opportunity” noticed a suprising increase in the power output from the planetary explorer’s solar panels. The only explanation was something (or someone) had swept accumulated dust from the Rover. “These exciting and unexplained cleaning events have kept Opportunity in really great shape,” the London-based New Scientist magazine quoted NASA rover team leader Jim Erickson as saying.

About Rudy Trubitt

Rudy began playing and recording music in 1975. He is involved with music recording, editing and mastering, sound effects work and multimedia audio production. He is also a professional musician and long-time member of the very popular rock band for kids, The Sippy Cups. He has written five books and hundreds of magazine articles on sound and music production and has taught classes at BAVC and SF State University College of Extended Learning.

Rudy’s website

The Sippy Cups website

More on BASE and BASEbot

Bay Area Sound Ecology is an interdisciplinary forum centered around listening and the soundscape.  We create projects and events to promote sound-environment awareness, making and encouraging opportunities for ear-opening sonic encounters.

BASEbot is a meeting place for ear-minded people, an experiment in bringing people together around listening and the soundscape. At each event we invite someone to present their work with sound in front of an audience in an intimate setting. We discuss, we talk shop, we meet one another. Our plans always include some “open floor” time during which attendees can share short excerpts of work.

Learn more on our website at https://www.basoundecology.org/

More on Acoustic Ecology, the ASAE, and WFAE

BASE is the Northern California chapter of the ASAE, The American Society for Acoustic Ecology, the US chapter of the World Forum on Acoustic Ecology.

The World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE), founded in 1993, is an international association of affiliated organizations and individuals, who share a common concern for and interest in the world’s soundscapes. Our members represent a multi-disciplinary spectrum of individuals engaged in the study of the social, cultural and ecological aspects of the sonic environment.




Please write BASE co-chair Jeremiah Moore at jmoore@northstation.net

The world listening project’s inaugural World Listening Day takes place Sunday, July 18th, 2010.

You are invited to participate.

The purposes of World Listening Day are:

  • to celebrate the practice of listening as it relates to the world around us, environmental awareness, and acoustic ecology;
  • to raise awareness about issues related to the World Soundscape Project, World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, World Listening Project, and individual and group efforts to creatively explore phonography;
  • and to design and implement educational initiatives which explore these concepts and practices.

World Listening Day is being organized by the World Listening Project, in partnership with the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology. July 18 was chosen as the date for World Listening Day because it is the birthday of the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, who is one of the founders of the Acoustic Ecology movement. The World Soundscape Project, which Schafer directed, is an important organization which has inspired a lot of activity in this field, and his book The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World helped to define many of the terms and background behind the acoustic ecology movement.


BASE is not holding any formal event this year, but I encourage you to spend some time listening, or organize a soundwalk with friends to celebrate this inaugural day!

Hildegard Westerkamp has written a wonderful treatise on soundwalking – I encourage you to read it and try it out!

-jeremiah moore

Phantom Power

a FREE concert in Yerba Buena Gardens

3rd and Mission Streets, San Francisco

Sunday evening June 6th, 7pm promptly


update: hear Aaron and Jeremiah discuss Phantom Power and BASE on KUSF (mp3 link) thanks to host Jacob Heule!

Curated by Bay Area Sound Ecology featuring works and talks by Bernie Krause, Andrea Williams, Jeremiah Moore

Bay Area Sound Ecology (BASE) is proud to announce Phantom Power, a free site-specific concert superimposing potential and vanished soundscapes over the existing urban soundscape at Yerba Beuna Gardens, in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Amidst the myriad contemporary sonic identifiers present in the garden today, the audience is invited to experience a phantom image of other soundscapes which were lost to history, which never came to be, or which may yet come to pass. BASE co-chairs Aaron Ximm and Jeremiah Moore curate a selection of artists to create a concert envisioned as a transient intervention, reminding listeners that the familiar soundscape of the places we inhabit, like sound itself, is ephemeral and contingent. Composers will present short works that introduce a subtle layer of sound to the existing environment, evoking how the site sounded years ago, or how it might someday sound. Yerba Beuna Gardens has many layers of history to explore, and for its unique situation amid the cultural institutions and life of the city.

A moment of focused listening will be set aside, to consciously reflect on the soundscape as it currently exist. Artists will then introduce their work and discuss their vision. A Q&A session will convene after the event to discuss the project’s contrasting visions.

Some of the compositions will be heard ‘in motion,’ two of the composers are choreographing movement in the space. A third piece will be ‘conducted’ with different voices being raised and lowered to a specific effect. Featuring the work of: Andrea Williams – presenting the premiere of Garden TOOR Bernie Krause – participate in mixing the Soundscapes of California Jeremiah Moore – presenting the premiere of Cycles

Please visit https://www.basoundecology.org on or after June 7 to download the concert tracks.

Festival Organizers – Project Soundwave: http://www.projectsoundwave.com/2010/june13/

Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=124667687560609

Note: This is a low-environmental impact event using a crowd-sourced sound cloud. Attendees are asked to bring ipods, CD players, small portable speakers, boomboxes (we will have a limited supply as well). The compositions would be distributed to audience-participants beforehand via the internet (link to downloadable mp3s available in June), and at the event on CDs.

The Artists

Aaron Ximm is a San-Francisco-based field recordist and sound artist. He is best known for his composition, installation, and performance work under the name Quiet American. From 2001 to 2005, Aaron curated and hosted the Field Effects concert series, which, like his own work, sought to showcase the quiet, fragile, and lovely side of sound art, particularly working with found sound and field recordings. In 2009, Aaron was an artist in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito. He has performed at numerous musical festivals and symposiums, including the San Francisco Tape Music Festival and the Embertide for Binaural Audio Art Symposium in the United Kingdom.

Jeremiah Moore is an artist and sound designer based in San Francisco. He has produced works exploring human perceptions of time, examining the interface of humans, nature and technology, engaging the beauty in the everyday, and transforming commercial culture into meaningless bliss. He is currently mixing and designing sound for documentary films, interactive works, radio and exhibits at his independent post-production sound studio. His work can be heard at Prehistoric Journey at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and at the Detention Barracks at the Angel Island Immigration Station Museum. He lives in the Mission District with his partner and two children who, like him, never sleep.

Andrea Williams is a sound artist and composer currently living in San Francisco. She utilizes site-specific elements and perceptual cues to reveal the unseen connections between people and their environment. Her compositions make use of field recordings, instruments, computer technologies and the sound of the performance space itself. She has led soundwalks in New York and San Francisco, and has shown and performed both solo and with the Glass Bees and SleepWalks at galleries and alternative spaces, most recently the Diapason Gallery, NPR, Fountain Miami Art Fair, and the Mamori sound artist residency in the Amazon rainforest. Andrea is a founding member of the New York Society for Acoustic Ecology, currently a member of BASE in San Francisco, and is attending Mills College for her MFA in Electronic Music. http://www.nyacousticecology.org/

In the late 1960s, Bernie Krause began his ground-breaking life work in bioacoustics and the recording of environments throughout the world, much of which has been accomplished with techniques and technologies for recording, analyzing, and presenting habitat-and species-specific sounds that Krause has developed on his own. His album, In a Wild Sanctuary (WB, 1970), earned a place in history as being the first recording to use environmental sounds as both a central component of orchestration and as a statement about the environment. Under the company name Wild Sanctuary, Inc., Krause continues to share his compelling field experiences through his musical albums and dramatic sound installations in public spaces such as museums, zoos, and aquaria. Krause holds a Ph. D. with an Internship in bio-acoustics from Union Institute, Cincinnati. http://www.wildsanctuary.com/

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Future, past, imaginary soundscapes of Yerba Buena Gardens curated by Bay Area Sound Ecology

June 13, 7pm, outdoors at Yerba Buena Gardens

Mission Street between 3rd and 4th, San Francisco
Produced as part of Project Soundwave: Green Sound 2010
Festival Event Page

The following Tracks are material for a live participatory performance at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.  Please download the following tracks  and bring them loaded onto your portable player / amplification system.

Download All Tracks at Once (recommended)

Download all tracks in a single .zip file:

Phantom Power Tracks (.zip 124 MB)


The tracks constitute a site specific soundwork, intended to be heard simultaneously each from from a separate mobile speaker system, within the environs of Yerba Buena Gardens.

Participants: Please download all four tracks; at the performance you will be asked to play one of the four color-coded tracks.

14 minutes 35 seconds.

Garden TOOR – Red

Garden TOOR – Blue

garden TOOR – Green

garden TOOR – Yellow


The tracks consitute a three-part soundwork, intended to be played simultaneously on separate speaker systems during a predefined walk in Yerba Buena Gardens.

Participants: Please download the following three tracks; at the performance you will be asked to play either A, B or C.

14 minutes 56 seconds.

Cycles A

Cycles B

Cycles C


Please download the following four approx. 1 min 30 second tracks:

Ocean Dreams

Ocean Wonders



On Sunday Feb 21, 2010, BASE hosted BASEbot 005

featuring recordist, composer and instrument builder

Cheryl Leonard

who presented work from her recent trip to Antartica on a grant from the National Science Foundation.

BASEbot 005

SUNDAY, February 21st, 2010
2:30 pm doors, starting promptly at 3
~an hour of formal presentations followed by Q&A and mingling.


Dan Dugan Sound Design
290 Napoleon Street Studio E
San Francisco, CA 94124


Please come LISTEN as

Recordist, composer and instrument builder Cheryl Leonard will present field recordings from Antarctica, excerpts of works composed from those recordings, and a short musical instrument demo followed by a Q&A.

If there is sufficient interest and time, afterward there will be an open-salon listening and discussion period – providing an opportunty to play your short (under five minute) sound excerpts and to discuss ideas or works in progress. We will provide a CD player and minijack hookup for iPods and the like.

Cheryl will have copies of her new Antarctic field recordings cd available for purchase for the special discount price of $10. She’s also open to trading copies for other BASEbot people’s cds of their field recordings, sound art, and/or experimental music

The event will be recorded and made available via our forthcoming podcast.

About Cheryl Leonard

Cheryl Leonard is a composer who visited Palmer Station in January 2009 on an Antarctic Artists and Writers grant from the National Science Foundation. During her month on the ice she explored the local islands and glaciers, searching out and recording natural soundscapes. The Antarctic Peninsula in the austral summer is full of wildlife, icebergs, melting glaciers, and fascinating sounds.

Glass shards and pinecones, glaciers, boxspring mattresses, a flock of accordions, circular saw blades, viola, the erhu, hyenas and whales and elk, Cheryl E. Leonard’s music finds its raw materials just about anywhere. From these diverse sources come works that embrace the spectrum of musical possibilities: improvised to composed, acoustic to electronic, diaphanous to bombastic, notes to noise. Many of Leonard’s works explore subtle textures and intricacies in sounds not generally considered musical. These investigations often include the creation of instruments, primarily from found natural materials. Her interests include: developing site-specific compositions and instruments, guerrilla performance, and collaborating across artistic disciplines.

Cheryl Leonard’s website:

Her fascinating antarctic blog:

Jim LeBrecht at BASEbot 3

On May 14th sound designer James LeBrecht presented a selection of favorite sounds he has recorded over the years with a focus on his recent installation for the Oakland Museum exhibit TRADING TRADITIONS: CALIFORNIA’S NEW CULTURES (January 19-April 6, 2008) as well as other recordings both urban and natural.

Award-winning sound designer James LeBrecht has supervised or edited sound for feature films and documentary project that include The Blood of Yingzhou District, Daughter from Danang, Battlefield Earth and The Skulls.

In the exhibition world, James has designed sound for the E3 conventions in Los Angeles, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. Game credits include work for clients such as EA, MAXIS, TECMO and Midway Studios-Austin.

James has designed and produced sound effects and music for over 100 professional theatrical productions and co-authored the book “Sound and Music for the Theatre: The Art and Technique of Design” with Deena Kaye.

For Basebot, James started with some selections from TRADING TRADITIONS “which vividly depicts how immigrants to the Bay Area don’t just want to fit in, but to remain distinct within the community at large and among other newcomers.” He did the sound design for the exhibit and recorded much of the material that was used. We all listened as he skipped around through the various different clips that he had. One was a round being sung in a church. There was a clip of a multicultural dinner with at least 3 different languages being spoken at various times which was fun to hear. Also interesting was hearing all the different sounds from the dinner table and kitchen as well as a piano being played in the background. He then played a different take on Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with ethnic instruments from mostly eastern cultures as the orchestra, which was a highlight for me. James also had some great foghorn recordings that he sampled for us.

Some other recordings were of some street scenes late at night in the tenderloin. There was some discussion of technique and equipment. James had purchased a Zoom recorder which led to some talk of the benefits and disadvantages of the Zoom and how it works. We listened to some urban soundscapes he’d recorded in quadrophonic, and discussed the differences between recording in quad and stereo. Someone asked about mixing down from quad to stereo and James talked a bit about his work in film and dealing with this aspect of recording. Dan Dugan remarked on the disappearance of various urban sounds that you don’t hear nowadays such as the Filmore District of the 1960s – more people on the streets in certain neighborhoods before more cars were routed through those streets.

Toward the end of the evening James played some old recordings he did in his mother’s backyard in Maryland. These were summer recordings with evening insect and frog sounds. There was also a thunderstorm clip too that was fantastic. James talked a bit on using PZM mics for certain location recordings, which led to some talk on frequency issues with certain mics. This then led to another discussion of what were people’s favorite sounds. For some, childhood sounds were favorites while others had more specific personal choices. All in all it was a fun evening with interesting sounds and conversation.

– Blair Collins


James’s Studio:  Berkeley Sound Artists

James’s book with Deena Kaye on Theatrical Sound Design (Amazon Link): Sound and Music for the Theatre: The Art and Technique of Design

Exhibit site from the Oakland Museum of California: Trading Traditions

[editors note:  an audio recording will be available once it’s edited]

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