Martin Williams asked me late in 2007 to compose a new work for the series he was curating, All Day Everyday, for ResonanceFM in London.

My contribution, Linden, aired on August 13, 2008.

Along with Embertide, this work represents something of a departure for me, treating a very personal, very intimate aspect of my life, rather than something public, or at least notionally exotic.

In this case, the subject emerged from an honest introspection on what it is that I actually do listen to, most days, every day. The answer, particularly in the run-up to (and now following) the birth of my daughter, is not particularly glamorous. It is the environment of my high-tech office job.

Like almost all sound artists I know, I maintain a day job to pay my rent.

I work as an embedded systems programmer. Like many such jobs, mine is modestly rewarding. More than in most, I have in mine a negotiated flexibility that allows me on occasion to do the work that I document on this site. At work I am treated with respect; I wrestle with challenging problems; I learn things; I even have a corner office with a view of sorts.

But no matter its graces, necessity makes it what it is.



the other rooms
gauntánamo express

desert sun
the other side
on top of the world
what the thunder said
san francisco sauvignon

would you, would you?
invisible cities
deep creatures
vincent fecteau
monkey pod


These notes accompanied Linden at broadcast:

My work as Quiet American is a vehicle through which I integrate experiences beyond my comfort zone.

For All Day Everyday, I turn about and reconsider a soundscape and a discomfort of a different kind: that of the place I work, almost every day, at my Day Job.

Here in this piece I bottle Work: a creaky old building in South San Francisco, not yet entirely comfortable and not yet entirely familiar (my small company bought it only last year).

From my window a still-wild hillside rises over a bus repair depot; I am both blessed and tormented to watch hawks ranging and fog flooding in, on the all-but-unceasing wind from the sea. This is where I must duly labor—before sometime again, for a few days, I can follow them.

Dedicated to Francisco López.

Most of the recordings on this site are binaural or near-binaural, but Linden is almost unique in not being so. I made its source recordings with a pair of Sennheiser MKH-800 microphones, arrayed in a mid-side configuration in a DPA Windpac, and my Sound Devices 722 recorder.

Rarely has such fine equipment been used to document so tedious and soul-crushing a soundscape.

Derive from this what you will.

linden 30 MB

The piece's name is borrowed from the street our building is on, in South San Francisco.