I recently returned from an exhilarating few days in Portugal, where I ate grilled squid, walked up and down urban cliffscapes, explored the local beer culture, recorded some amazing environments, and presented no less than three times at the Invisible Places | Sounding Cities symposium in Viseu.
This conference ran for three days, but had activities embedded in the larger festival Jardins Efémeros (Ephemeral Gardens) which enlivened the entire city with song, dance, installations, food... everything really. I don't think I have ever seen a more joyous congruence of cultural activities. It seemed at times that the entire population of the city was on the streets enjoying themselves.
The Listening Room featured eleven hours (!) of electroacoustic music and soundscape recordings. I was pleased that my piece "Caged Birds (Augmentation)" was selected, and so created a brand new four-channel diffusion for the occasion. While I cannot easily share that version with you, the original stereo version is available at the top of this post.
I was one of about ten artists asked to give a talk on my work. You can read "Caged Birds" as field recoding through academia.edu.
I have also uploaded my paper, Sounding place - towards a practice of field recoding for comment and critique. Those who heard the talk might appreciate the extensive references and footnotes.
Elsewhere in the symposium I was happy to attend a session by three different Brazilian research teams, shedding light on the work done in their country. The three keynotes -- by Salomé Voegelin, Francisco López, and Jean-Paul Thibaud -- were each invigorating and challenging. Of the artists, Scott Sherk, Robin Koek, and Hali Santamas caught my attention with their fresh and incisive approaches.
Add to this an extensive amount of wine tasting, rocking guitarists in the streets, beautiful settings, intriguing and unexpected noises, a wide selection of Portuguese traditional dishes at every hour of the day, etc. etc. The result was a blast.
Yes, I will be back!