the summer of 2003, the Minnesota Public
Radio show the Savyy Traveler
asked producers around the country to create portraits in sound of the cities
they live in. My portrait of San Francisco, which I titled San
Francisco Sauvignon, aired on July 4, 2003.
I wrote to the show's producer, the idea behind this portrait was not so much
to take on the impossible task of capturing the essence of the city but
to sketch as fully as possible the San Francisco that I know, that my wife and
I inhabit, during this part of our lives.
of the sounds I use will be familiar to casual visitors (streetcar bells, the
fat happy sealions of Fisherman's Wharf, perhaps an icecream cart patrolling the
Mission); but others are elements of a more secretive San Francisco: the one that
I love and the one that keeps me rooted here.
the other rooms
the other side
on top of the world
what the thunder said
san francisco sauvignon
would you, would you?
quite intentionally, this piece became very musical as I worked on it I
guess that's because my life now is full of music, and my recent recordings reflect
to everyone who appears within, wittingly and un-. This is what I offer back:
what I've been hearing in our city.
| || |
san francisco sauvignon||3.6
This piece contains, in
addition to the elements enumerated above: bottles of Napa wine being opened;
a forty-ounce bottle bouncing in the street; the ranting of a regular neighborhood
lunatic outside our window; each of my four roommates making music (namely, my
wife singing the Carmina Burna at the Mission Dolores, the No Name Trio playing
here at our warehouse, jhno
on the keys, Jeff practicing his guitar and rightly inquiring why I'm recording
him...); shorebreak and gulls from near Aquatic Park; a pair of guitar players
jamming in North Beach; the inimatable Extra
Action Marching Band at a peace march earlier this year; a 15' tesla coil
going off outside SF MoMA, a bit of electronic frippery in a Burning Man tent,
a drug dealer on Haight Street; a mariachi band in a bar, the tabla/sitar duo
that played at my wedding; a bit of lunacy at the mission Carnival; a taxi whistle
near Union Square; a hawker in Chinatown; poet Hugh Steinberg reading at the Attic
on 24th street; a dapper busker's patter outside Bimbo's 365 Club; windchimes
like those across the street from our regular cafe in the Western Addition, a
hippy drum circle in Golden Gate Park, a modem connecting at the height of the
Internet boom, a merry-go-round...