one minute vacations: year one one minute vacations: year two one minute vacations: year four one minute vacations: year five one minute vacations: current

one-minute vacations: year three

What follows are the third year's worth of one-minute vacations.

If you like what you hear, I encourage you to purchase a copy of the compilation CD that collects these recordings: all profit from the sale of the CD (about 85% of the cost) goes to charity.

Sales of these compilations netted $250 for charity in 2005; this was donated to Amnesty International.

Deepest gratitude to the year's contributors, who shared their recordings with us, and who agreed to donate the profits of their work to charity.


'"I can see it now," Laws said, grinning. "Slender young
men sitting on the floors of their North Beach
apartments, rapturously tuning knobs and
switches as the incredibly authentic roar of
freight engines, snow storms, trucks unloading
scrap iron, and other recorded oddities
thunder out."'
(Philip K. Dick)

january 10, 20051 MB 'I recorded the Eiffel Tower sound in the mid-afternoon on 27 June 2000 while standing in the queue mid-way up the tower that leads to the lifts that take you up to the observation deck at the top. I was surrounded by people of many nationalities, and though I didn't understand most of the conversations going on around me, I was fascinated by the sound [the conversations made]. This is the complete recording that I made; it was recorded using a Pine D'music MP3 Player, one of the first players to have a built-in microphone. The quality of the microphone, although not wonderful, is the best of any player I've ever used (I used to test and review them) — but the software that comes with the player destroys much of the audio as it encodes it on the PC. To get around this, I hooked the player up to my PC directly from the headphone out to the PC line-in, and recorded my audio on the PC in higher quality using decent sound-editing software. Sadly, I don't use the player much anymore, as it's buggy and is prone to crashing for no reason at any given moment, wiping out some, or all, of the MP3 and audio files you have on it! ' For today's trip to Europe, we thank contributor Mandy J. Watson.
january 3, 20051 MB A new-born year, so how about a birthday party, courtesy of contributor Zak Rosen, who writes: 'I attended the second birthday party of my good friends' infant sister Maya Rose; Maya's parents, grandparents, relatives and friends were in attendance. I recorded the gift-giving ceremony in the family's basement with my MM-BSM-7 (Panasonic 61 Series) Miniature Stereo Binaural Mics and a Sony MZ-R55 MD recorder. Here, the birthday girl is opening and reacting to two sweaters given to her by her grandmother. Listen closely for Maya's beautifully innocent voice... This is one of my first recordings.'
december 27, 20041.4 MB 'In a soon-to-be-demolished warehouse in downtown Denver, about twenty people got together to play some music and destroy the building. One individual brought UV blacklights and put them up in a seven-story stairwell, then everyone moved into the stairwell and waited... What did we wait for, you ask? 15,000 little glow-in-the-dark super balls! Listen to them bouncing off of walls, lights, and peoples' heads. To record this I used a Tascam DA-P1 DAT deck at the top of the stairs with two PZM microphones hanging at the fifth floor (left) and the third floor (right). The entire session lasted about five minutes.' For this bit of holiday lunacy from contributor Todd Novosad. [I tender this too in farewell to my housemate Jhno in honor of his infamous Melon Concert, in which he played a few hundred ping-pong balls out of a grand piano... -Aaron]
december 20, 20041.4 MB Far from the mania of American Christmas consumerism, some unmediated pleasure as recorded by Adriano Zanni in the Maldives, tropical islands in the Indian Ocean: 'Some Maldivian guys play volleyball on a very little atoll named Makunudu island. Recorded on the 6th of January, 2004 with a Sony MD and a stereo microphone, the Sony ECM-717.'
december 13, 20041.4 MB 'I woke up early and was enjoying the dawn chorus, so I decided to record it — my day job is as a television sound recordist, and I just happened to have the equipment ready for the next days work sitting by the couch. Hope you enjoy the sounds of suburban Ellerslie in Auckland, New Zealand! Recorded outside on my driveway at 5.40 a.m. on 12 November 2004, equipment used: Neumann RSM 191i mic , SQN4S Series 4 mixer, Sony TCD-D8 DAT recorder, edited down with Peak.' As the days here in the northern hemisphere grow ever darker, a reminder that you must believe in spring, courtesy contributor Grant Finlay.
december 6, 20041.4 MB 'Sometimes one minute is all you get. I recorded this pleasant soundscape in the Coast Range of northwest Oregon at Lost Lake — a small forest oasis surrounded by noisy logging trucks.' Today's vacation comes to us from nature recordist John Hartog.
november 29, 20041.1 MB After thanks, remembrance: 'This sound was taken last week on 11/11/04 at 1800 GMT from the Millenium Bridge in London, as two World War Two Dakotas make a fly past through spotlit skies to drop three million poppies over the River Thames as part of the Rememberance Day events, "one for every British and Commonwealth service person killed in action since the beginning of World War I" ( Gear stuff: a discreet handheld Sony T-Bar mic, home made "zeppelin" [to shield against wind] and a minidisc recorder.' So writes today's contributor, James aka Catskin Royale.
november 22, 20041.4 MB 'Please read after listening... This recording was made in Siena, Tuscany, Italy, on Sunday morning, August 1st 2004. At the Duomo (the Cathedral), we are waiting for the mass. Pews are cracking, the faithful are mumbling, and the guitar player is tuning his instrument. I remember I was astonished that the church music was played on a guitar. I recorded this soundscape using a Sony minidisc and a little MS microphone.' Sounds of thanks being offered for Thanksgiving week, courtesy of today's contributor, Etienne Noiseau, who is part of l'atelier de création sonore radiophonique.
november 15, 20041.4 MB Intimations of winter: today's contributor Jay Thomas writes: 'This was recorded on an unusually windy night in a narrow passageway connecting the back of my apartment building to the street. Blasts of wind caused a wooden door to creak while rattling a paper sign. One particularly strong gust carries the faint sound of a wind chime and a barking dog. Toward the end of the recording a neighbor starts his truck, breaking the solitude... Recorded around 10 p.m., May 4, 2004, in the Mission District of San Francisco on a Sony MZ-R50 minidisc recorder with a set of Core Sound's Low-Cost Binaural microphones.'
november 8, 2004470 KB Of today's vacation, contributor Michiel de Boer from the Netherlands writes, 'I've been doing recordings now for maybe 4 months (since I got my MD recorder); I wanted to be mobile in recording sounds for the music I create. At the same time I found it very interesting to record soundscapes, especially "silence", because normally you aren't really conscious of it... Recently I got this cheap MP3 player (actually to use as a memory stick!) and found that it had a memo-recorder function. Setting the compression off and the sample rate at 44kHz, an amazing quality recording is created by this thingy... only with some skipping because the setting are just a bit too high [for the device] to process. So: where are you? Inside the little hole where the microphone is hidden; the MP3 player is in my hands, and it's so small that nobody probably even notices I have something in my hand — so recording occurs with no weird looks ;-) I am walking from the car park towards a stairwell that leads to a big media store in Aachen (Germany). By chance, there was a family saying good bye.' As Michiel says: '[this] shows that it doesn't have to cost you money anymore to record in a decent quality! The actual price of this Xiron MP3 player was about 35 Euros.'
november 1, 2004950 KB Some Sturm und Drang for the US election tomorrow! Of today's vacation, contributor Steb M. Fitzroy writes: 'Here is a humble submission for your one-minute vacations; it's a rare [sic!] thunderstorm here in Seattle from this summer (in July as I recall). You can hear the rain, the dribbling runoff in my gutters, distant thunder, a plane, some wind (causing a little wind static), and a neighbor's chimes across the street... I used a Sony MZ-R50 with a set of Sound Professionals in-ear binaural microphones.'
october 25, 20041.3 MB In keeping with the river theme (see October 18 below), of today's vacation meticulous contributor Derek BF Gunnlaugson writes, 'The Brandon Riverbank corridor, pedestrian bridge, and nearby Riverbank Discovery Centre [a Ducks Unlimited wildlife refuge and the local tourism centre] is a gem of a find in the middle of this small Canadian city. Halfway between the downtown area's CNR railyard and the north hill housing development, it's a chunk of nature smack in the middle of the city. It's just isolated enough to sit in and enjoy the wind through the tall grass and the trees, the song of birds, the peeping of frogs from the river, and the occasional splash of a beaver on the water... Captured 2004-08-08, approx. 15:15 near the pedestrian bridge at Brandon, Manitoba; recorded on a Sony MZ-NH700 Hi-MD recorder in LPCM mode [built-in mic preamp set to high sensitivity] using Sound Professionals SP-TFB-2 binaural microphone[s] with windscreens attached. Some wind noise was edited out [cut/crossfaded] and a -12dB 12dB/oct 145Hz low cut applied; the MD's transport seeking during writes is audible at some points.' Just so!
october 18, 20041.5 MB 'This sound [recording I've named] cascatella is about a little cascata (waterfall) and its water in the pool that we found on our two days trekking this spring on the Italian Alps near the Lago Maggiore. The pool was cool, made with the water from the melting snow a few hundred meters above, and full of stones and holes that made the sound change according to the position of the ear: that's what I tried to record. My gear was a cheap Sharp minidisk and a Sony ECM-MS907 microphone.' So writes today's contributor, Matteo Trisoglio. [A belated posting, I've chosen it as it resonates so well with where I was when it should have been posted: in the now green, now white, water of the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon... -Aaron]
october 11, 2004827 KB 'Sixty seconds for your site: I recorded it today [September, 2004] at nine o'clock in the morning. It's such a fast turn of the tides, from orange to grey. Location: Wesel, Germany near the Dutch border. Made with a Samson C01 Studio Condenser Mic, held out of the window of my working room around nine.' Today's vacation comes to us from Mirko Uhlig of
october 4, 20041.3 MB 'This audio, my first submission to this project, was made at a Novice Fencing Competition at the Virginia Academy of Fencing on March 6, 2004. With over seventy fencers taking part and usually eight or more matches taking place simultaneously, sound captured the scene as accurately as any photograph could have. Recorded with a Sony ECM-MS907 microphone and Sharp MD-MT15 Minidisc recorder.' Today's vacation comes to us from Keith W. Jenkins.
september 27, 20041.8 MB 'My wife and I had a ten day tour of Bhutan in 1996 at spring festival time, which coincided with the welcoming of new monks. This was recorded in a small village dominated by its monastery, where masked dancers enacted the defeat of Evil by the Good (what else?). The ceremony started at dawn with the unrolling of a huge building-sized thanka [Buddhist painting of religious iconography -Ed.] reputed to guarantee entrance into Nirvana to all who viewed it. Monks lined up, sitting, with the head monk chanting over loudspeakers; these sounds are from first dance of the morning. We found the Bhutanese a wonderful, warm, and welcoming people, who related well to my few magic tricks — and to the gummed cartoon labels I'd brought, which soon decorated the foreheads of children who clustered around us. Recorded with a Sony professional cassette recorder, I'm not sure of the model number; it was a little larger than a deck of cards and cost about $250 at the time — and went out of production and couldn't be repaired when it quit!' For today's vacation and its evocative description we thank contributor Alan Leveton.
september 20, 2004700 KB 'Like most people in Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, I had a gas mask that I carried with me everywhere: there was a threat that the Scud missiles that Iraq was firing at Israel could be loaded with chemical or biological warheads. One night my gas mask and I went to a movie theater in Tel Aviv; this is a recording of an air raid that happened while I was sitting in the theatre. You can just barely hear the air raid sirens outside. Placed on the front of the stage was a small radio broadcasting instructions and updates; tou can also hear packing tape being unrolled to tape down sheets of plastic over the doors. Recorded with an ElectroVoice 635A microphone and a Marantz PMD222 professional cassette recorder.' A reminder of one thing that war means, from Daryl Richel of radio station CJSR, who interviewed me last week about this project.
september 13, 20041.4 MB 'Crickets: walking in the countryside during the Spanish summer of the Canary Islands, you can´t avoid their sound, it's always around you. Listen for a long time: I´m sure you have to listen for a very long time to recognize individuals among them. Hard to compare with any other animal sound... I know I would like to define this sound as just "summer." And at this place, I felt I had millions of them around my feet.' For today's vacation, which sees us softly out of summer, we thank artist Wolfgang Menzel, who you can read about by searching (sök) for 'Menzel' here.
september 6, 20041.4 MB 'This excerpt is a recording I made in Brussels: it's a bunch of BMX guys riding their bikes around my microphone and practicing on some wooden obstacles. Further away there is some noise from traffic coming into Brussels. A small setup: a Sanken CSS5 stereo mic, into a Core Sound Mic2496 preamp, into an iRiver iHP-120 [hard-disk MP3 player/recorder].' So writes today's contributor, Arnaud of TMRX.
august 30, 20041.4 MBMost of the way down the eastern coast of India, Mahamallapuram is the kind of town that would be described as sleepy and quiet, were it not for the industrious artistry of its resident — and the constant, rings with the constant skittering polyrythms of their work. Stonecarvers have worked local stone for millennia, and it shows: my wife and I couldn't decide which of three small statues of Shiva's benevolent mount Nandi the bull we liked best, so all three now watch over our bedroom... [Aaron]
august 23, 20041.4 MB 'Here is one minute on Brighton Beach, UK, in May, 2004...the sea, the pebbles and the wind. Recorded on a minidisc and two mono lapel microphones set up in binaural method [so best heard with headphones -Ed.] A small amount of compression on the mixdown, and that's it.' For today's vacation we thank the listener known only as AL.
august 16, 20041.4 MB Contributor Christopher Wilde writes of today's vacation, 'Wandering Sufi musicians, recorded in Cairo, Egypt, with a Sony MD recorder and stero microphone, in the Souk of Khan 'Al'Kahalili.'
august 9, 20041.1 MB 'Early in May, 2004: this recording was made up on the hill in Oyabu, in Hyogo prefecture, Japan. I came here to celebrate my grandfather's 80th birthday (beiju in Japanese). This place is an open area and you can hear sounds in the distance, as well as nearby. It was a windy day, so you may be interrupted sometimes... but I hope you enjoy it. Recorded to Sony TCD-D7 DAT, directly connecting an SP-TFB-2 binaural microphone.' Today's vacation comes to us courtesy of Eisuke Yanagisawa.
august 2, 20041.4 MB Regarding today's vacation, recorded at Samye monastery in central Tibet at seven in the morning a few months ago, Simon Lofting (who is still, to my envy, in the area traveling) leaves us without comment: with only what he heard.
july 26, 20041.4 MB 'It's late in the afternoon and my father, brother, and I are wandering Munich's expansive Englisher Garten. This recording was made as we approached the famous Chinese Pagoda beer garden to slake our thirst. Hear the German band play from atop the pagoda, the clink of glasses and the merriment of Munich's citizens escaping the afternoon heat with a refreshing stein or two or three! Recorded in the last week of July, 2003, in Munich Germany using a Sony ECM-MS907 microphone and MZ-R90 Minidisc recorder.' For today's refreshing vacation we thank John Vollmer.
july 19, 2004830 KB 'The recording is from a street called Riera Baxia in central Barcelona. My wife and I staued in a little flat overlooking the very narrow Riera Baxia. Below our balcony was a local cafe with men drinking coffee and talking/shouting. Every morning you could hear a man walking around in the narrow streets selling gas canisters whilst shouting the Spanish word for "canister." You clearly hear him moving around the narrow streets. The recording was made from the balcony in the morning at July 10, 2002. I used my Sony MZ-R70 and a pair of binaural microphones. It is my first and only MD Walkman and I bring it along on my vacations much inspired by your web site, that I found some years ago...' I hope today's contribution, which comes to us from Knud Albert, in turn inspires some of you reading this to participate as well!
july 12, 20041 MB Responding to my request for a contribution, French sound artist (and personal inspiration) Eric La Casa wrote, 'I finally chose a recording I did from my window. This is my street on a windy night in January 2002. I really enjoy the sound of the empty street in the night: the [way one can hear the] space...' For Paul Anson Brown, whose birthday it is.
july 5, 20041.4 MB 'A late May 2004 night in Nashville, TN, after a short rain. The frogs are conversing across the hollow where I live; the din of Interstate 40 is in the distance; the wind rustles the leaves high in the trees. I used the new Marantz PMD670 Solid State Digital Recorder with an Audio Technica 825 microphone to record this scene out at the edge of my property in a hillside in West Nashville.' Today's vacation comes to us courtesy of fognode.
june 28, 20041.4 MB 'Noon, April 1, 2004. The Ferry Building clock chimes out the hour as the faithful assemble near the San Francisco waterfront, for the 26th annual St. Stupid's Day Parade. Fabulous costumes, high spirits, cool noise for all. Recorded with a Sony MZR-50 with Radio Shack's stereo condenser mikes head-mounted on a disconnected pair of headphones.' Today's contributor was John Tenney, who has forty-nine more minutes of this!
june 21, 20041.4 MB 'This recording was made underground in London, inside a train traveling on the Victoria line. The recording was made using a pair of magnetic coil transducers, which pick up electromagnetic radiation instead of sound waves. The sound that has been captured is the electrical tones of the motor as it slows down approaching a station. With the right ears, the most mundane urban location can be transformed into an exotic space for exploration.' Today's most unusual vacation comes from disembodied arts, via Keith de Mendonca, who certainly has the Right Ears.
june 14, 2004700 KB 'One cannot help but wonder about Mowie, the erstwhile friendly lab mix that belongs or belonged to the owners of the horse arcade overlooking Joshua Road, where I live, and became rabid a few months ago. During his last known meandering visit to my house, seeking a repeat offer of surplus frozen chicken, Mowie was frothing at the mouth and acting peculiar, more agitated than usual. He has not been seen or heard from since. However, his mom continues to enunciate his name each morning before dawn — except (usually) when I have prepared the minidisc recorder and microphone before going to bed. Is she okay? Then, I scored: this recording was made on a November, 2003, in the morning between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. — on an arboreal slope overlooking my back yard, in Juniper Hills, California.' So writes today's fortunately un-bitten contributor, David Woodard. From licked chips, to foaming lips.
june 7 , 20041.4 MB 'I enjoy taking walks around my apartment and neighborhood frequently, and decided to take my Sony MZ-N707 and Microphone Madness MM-STM-3 microphone along with me for something different. About the time I was taking my walk, the school bus was dropping off its load of children for the whole apartment complex. This recording puts you right in the middle of this semi- madness as I was walking by the school bus, right as the children got off the bus. The conversation is mostly indiscernible, except for one kid who says what sounds like "nah, he licked chips": but who knows what he was really talking about!' For today's vacation we thank contributor Ben Shewmaker, who I believe recorded it in Conway, Arkansas.
may 31, 20041.4 MB Bookends: another rainy backyard for Memorial Day. About today's vacation, contributor Gunnar Gentzsch writes, 'I recorded it within the bathroom of my old flat's second floor. That means, my Soundman OKM II microphones were hanging outside the window recording the sound of the backyard. There was a very strong rain happening and the water was dripping down because of damaged eaves and gutter. Mine is a very typical Berlin (formerly East Berlin) backyard: grey walls; small; about 5 floors high. No plants or green at all. Damaged old bikes. I recorded this with a Sony MZ-R50, my first and only MD recorder for seven years.'
may 24, 2004800 KB 'The recording was made in the back garden of my house in Manchester, UK, on the first of June, 2003, at around 9:30 p.m., when it was still light. This is one of those rare, fortuitous moments which will probably never happen again, at least to me. I had just switched on the MD and gone out of the back door to record the birdsong, when just at that very moment it started to rain. So I stood underneath our oak tree and kept recording. You can hear, amongst other things, blackbird, swifts, starlings, blue tits, and of course the rain on the leaves, gradually getting heavier. The equipment used: a Sony MD Walkman MZ-R700 and a Sony ECM-MS907 stereo mic.' You must believe in spring indeed. A bit of it today from contributor Jim Murphy aka DJ Flywheel.
may 17, 20041 MB 'My extended group of friends, who are scattered all over Australia and various parts of the world, all come together at new years for a week of relaxing and a bit of a party. This year, we hired out a scout camp on a lake just out of Orange, a few hours inland from Sydney. We built a lovely chill space in a grove of trees near the main hall. This excerpt is from a recording of one of my friends playing us records on his 1920's vintage gramophone, in the evening of new years day this year. Pictures here and here.' So writes the contributor of today's wonderful vacation, Ben Dixon, who recorded it with a Sony MZ-R909 MD recorder, using a Sony ECM-MS907 stereo microphone.
may 10, 20041.4 MB 'This track captures the interaction of a subway worker and a drunk in front of the turnstiles at Park Street Station, a major nexus point for the Boston subway system. Sounds of the Green line trolleys and tokens being sold surround the sounds of this confrontation. Recorded on a Sony MZ-R700 mini-disc recorder with homemade binaural microphones.' So writes today's contributor, Boston-area experimental DJ, sound artist, phonographer, and theremin player Frederic Yarm.
may 3, 20041.2 MB 'It's 12 p.m. on Saturday at the entrance to Valladolid, Mexico's majestic baroque San Servacio Cathedral. The ice cream vendor taps a large metal spike against his tricycle ice cream cart as he makes a sales pitch to young school girls to buy ice cream after church. Overshadowing his plea is the ringing of the cathedral bells, clanging much as they have at this location on the zocalo (main square) for much of the past five centuries...' Today's vacation was recorded March 20, 1999, by Timothy Hoffman, 'through Sound Professional SP-BMC-12 microphones mounted in eyeglass Croakies to his bulletproof Sony MZ-R55 minidisc.'
april 26, 20041.4 MB Of today's vacation, Sarah Elzas writes, 'I recorded this on April 16, 2002 in the village of Avanos in central Turkey. We were sitting one evening on the balcony of the Vanessa Pension, taking in the sounds of the terra-cotta wind chimes hanging from the roof above us and the faint sound of Dervish music being played wafting from a neighbor's house. In this minute our host, Muko, started to play a clay gourd with an opening. He would hit the opening with his hand to produce the hollow thunking sound. He gets interrupted at the end by his friend calling him from downstairs. Recorded with a Sony MZ-R700 minidisc recorder and an Electro Voice RE50 omnidirectional microphone.'
april 19, 20041.4 MB 'New Orleans, Louisiana, 7:59 a.m. Sitting on the balcony outside my room in the Place D'Armes hotel reading the morning paper, drinking coffee with chicory. The bells of St. Louis Cathedral announce the 8:00 a.m. hour. Recorded on a small Aiwa minidisc recorder with a Sony ECM-MS907 microphone.' Today's vacation comes from P.W. Fenton of New Port Richey, Florida.
april 12, 20041.4 MB 'I made this recording at Portabello market in London while on vacation with my wife in February 2004. You can hear the sounds of shoppers, a fruit vendor and three women having what seemed to be a heated discussion outside a shoe store. Recorded using a really old Sony MD portable and some cheap binaurals clipped to my jacket.' For today's vacation we thank Justin Hardison AKA My Fun.
april 5, 20041.4 MB 'Polyrhythmic tires from under a bridge, Dead River Canal Tavares, Florida. On a family boat trip in my hometown, we eased under the bridge that holds the area’s only four-lane road. Listen to this with headphones or in a nice stereo loudspeaker setup! Recorded with Oktava M012s (with cardioid capsules), a spaced pair at roughly 110 degrees, via Sound Devices Mix Pre into a Sony PCM-M1 DAT Walkman.' So writes today's contributor, Andrew Lackey.
march 29, 20041.4 MB Of today's vacation, contributor Mark Ragsdale writes, 'The world famous PC rooms of Korea have the reputation of the fastest connections and the most avid gamers in the world. You will hear in this one minute vacation the sound of two young Korean gentlemen discussing the availability of computers, as Korean pop music plays and gamers play away... This was recorded using a pair of Sonic Studios DSM-6/EH mics into a Creative Nomad Jukebox 3 using the 192 kbs setting.' [These are the same mics I use -Aaron]
march 22, 20041.4 MB 'It's 11:00 a.m. and I'm on my way to meet a friend who lives in Breda, Netherlands. It's a fifteen minute walk from the railway-station to the place he lives. The recording (a fragment) starts at the moment I enter a shopping street near the city center. You can hear the carillon playing in the background and garbage collectors moving a bin back to its place, a street-musician, and a small truck. Recorded on December 2, 2003, with a Sharp MD recorder and Sound Professionals SP-CMC-4 mics.' So writes today's contributor, Auke de Boer, from Arnhem, in the Netherlands.
march 15, 20041.4 MB We mark the ides with a recording from Joseph Young, a UK-based sound artist currently studying for a research MA at the University of Brighton. Of this recording he writes, 'My background is in soundtrack composition but my recent practice has started to evolve towards a more interactive way of working with text and music. My MA project is based around a piece called "The Family Album"; this is an excerpt from the raw recordings that form the basis of that work. This was recorded in October 2003 in a family house in Suffolk at a gathering of my wife's brothers and sisters and their respective families. The babble of voices takes a little time to attune to before you can you can start to pick out individual voices. My final piece will combine this type of source recordings with manipulated loops and melodic fragments, to create a new narrative borne out of heard phrases and associated emotional moods. The recording was simply made with a portable Sony minidisc recorder and a tie clip microphone, casually left in various corners of the house to catch otherwise unheard conversations and sonic environments. I hope you enjoy it.'
march 8, 20042.5 MB 'This recording was made one summer evening of 1994 in the the southern French city of Avignon where I was working during the day as a theatre technician in The Fringe Theatre festival. In one of the small tortuous street of the medieval town I sat down, tired of carrying around a Nagra IV-S, and started rolling the tape to record a bit of pseudo-silence (you can hear a faint water fountain inside one the villa hidden behind the street walls). This little girl came along on her plastic tricycle preceded by her exhausted dad. I later used this recording for a torture scene in a theatre play! You can also hear the [Nagra tape recorder's] reel circular motion, but it sort of matched the circular motion in the sound picture. Recorded to Nagra IV-S with Schoeps MSTC 64 (ORTF) using Sony headphones and BASF 468.' Today's vacation inches along over a minute, but I didn't have the heart to trim it. Without permission, I'm dedicating a bit of its magic to my wife Bronwyn, who celebrated a plethora of threes on March 3rd: her 33rd. I hope the contributor, Xavier Briche, doesn't mind.
march 1, 20041.4 MB 'The Reading Room of the New York Public Library on Saturday, July 19, 2003, in the afternoon before I played at the NYC edition of the Placard Festival. My wife and I stopped in the Library to take a break from site-seeing and to plan the rest of our afternoon. You can hear my wife paging through a guidebook and her notebook as she jots down ideas for places to go, while moving chairs echo like thunder throughout the room. My favorite part, though, is the phone ringing and whispering in the last ten seconds. I recorded it on minidisc using a Sharp MD-MT15 portable recorder with a Sony ECM-MS907 stereo mic.' Today's contributor, John Kannenberg, runs the amazing Stasisfield online label.
february 23, 20041.4 MB 'The recording is at Koshoji-temple, Nagoya, Japan at midnight as we enter January 1, 2004. You can hear sounds of sutras (sung Buddhist prayers by bonze acolytes), people praying and enjoying the new year, and 'Joya-no-kane.' Traditionally Joya-no-kane, a big bell in temple, is struck 108 times continuously by the bonze only at midnight on New Year's Eve, but in 2004, everyone who could strike it did and the bell was rung [many times] from December 31st to January 1st (maybe over 108 times!): :too many people waited in line to ring the bell. Recorded to MD with a Sharp MD-MT831 recorder and an unknown small and cheap microphone; because my MD was in bad condition, there are some not-from-the-field-noises...' Today's vacation comes from a talented label-mate of mine, sound artist Sawako Kato.
february 16, 20041.2 MB 'Recorded outside of Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris on a Sunday morning before I went in a recorded the mass. The sound of the shuffling feet of the tourists is throughout this recording as well as the recordings of the mass.' So writes today's contributor, Erick Gallun. Not long after I began this project, Erick interviewed me for Omnicetera.
february 9, 20041 MB 'There are uniformed men in Mexico City who work in pairs, one cranking the oversized music box on a stick and the other with his hand in your face demanding cash. A common reaction is first confusion and then intimidation. They carry guns and are very convincing. I decided to record one before offering any cash. I was carrying my Sharp minidisc model MD-MS722 and a stereo Sony ECM-MS907 microphone.' Today's vacation, which I chose to celebrate my own departure for Mexico on Saturday the 7th, was submitted by Liz Bustamante, who is currently recording music under the name Noise and Light.
february 2, 20041.4 MB 'Busy Sunday in 2001 on Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY, walking to subway station. Turnstiles, though electronic, still took tokens. Soap boxes still human-powered. Recording makes me miss dense traffic. Excerpted from three days of NYC field recording, which included a spacious audio walk through the World Trade Center concourse (a segment of the recording of which, alas, is marred by static).' Recorded on a Sony PCM-M1 DAT Walkman with an Audio Technica AT822 stereo microphone, by audio collage improviser Ken's Last Ever Radio Extravaganza. Ken used a favorite recording of mine from Cambodia in a recent collage.
january 26, 20041.4 MB 'It is summer 2003. You are listening to the sound of an air vent on top of a covered reservoir near where I live in Reading, UK. The six iron air vents have been there since the Victorian reservoir was covered over. In autumn 2003 the vents were removed, leaving this recording to remember them by.' Today's vacation comes from sound artist Jonathan Coleclough, who once shared his thoughts with me about such recordings for a radio program.
january 19, 20041.4 MB 'Recorded early December, 2003 in Johnson County, Texas (west of Austin) at an exotic wildlife refuge. Out of dozens and dozens of species from around the world, what makes the most noise? Plain ol' American goats and cows. During this minute, the goat and cow seem to be speaking to each other: probably telling each other to pipe down. A minute before this section of tape, an ostrich snaked his head through a wire fence to peck the noisy baby goat on his head. This did not make the goatee any less vocal.' So writes today's contributor, Josh Ronsen of Brekekekexkoaxkoax and Monk Mink Pink Punk.

There are more: archives of the first, second, fourth, and fifth year; recent vacations are here.
You can also purchase compilations on CD; all profits go to charity!

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