Sound Artists In Their Own Words

Regarding the recent reference of my work in Sound Artists : In Their Own Words published by Oxford University Press and written by Joseph  Bertolozzi:

It is one thing to be misquoted in normal media, but when your work is grossly misrepresented without consultation or inquiry in an academic publication of record such as The Oxford University Press it is very disheartening and makes me wonder why such negligence was not vetted before hand.

So for the record:

1. ALL of my borderland/borderwall work has been about THE MUSIC FIRST. Yes the instruments are important in the narrative but THE MUSIC NEVER CAME SECOND. EVER.

2. While it is true in situ structure instruments are wildly unpredictable due to many factors -- weather, time, decay --- over the past ten years I have developed a series of techniques for playing them --- specifically the US/Mexico borderlands with desired tones/sounds/etc. and to this end SITE SPECIFIC compositions have been written and published for them. In fact two are on file with the Library of Congress. However, it should also be noted the act of listening is composition. Composing work is not by nature ONLY pen to paper or arranging sounds in the studio VIA SOME PROGRAM. Composition occures in the moment of creation. If one simply views the structure as a sound source, they are not playing the structure unless the single sound created is the full work.

3. My past ten years of borderland work is not monolithic and beyond the stated categories of ambient/ improvisatory/ processed with effect although it certainly has encompassed those aspects. My work incorporates effects, amplification, acoustic soundings, field recordings and so on. To this end it is hubris for any artist to consider their work somehow pure or unprocessed or more true when the act of selecting and placing microphones, adding eq/gain/compression and so on all negate this argument. The only pure unadulterated sounds are those which are heard when a composition is played in the field and even then what the listener hears is likely suspect and the result of many factors beyond the sound itself.

4. My sound work IS the performance and the recording is but a postcard from the event, not the other way around.

I could go on but to all my friends in the academic world, if you are going to discuss my work please feel free to be in contact with me about what I do.

I am a grassroots, work-funded, DIY, sonic activist, guerilla field recordist.

There is likely much more to my work than can be obtained via Google and I am happy to discuss what I do, how I do it and why I do it at any time.

I am serious about what I do and I do it for real.

Misrepresentations make me irritable.

Example Of Scored Borderwall/Borderland Music.

Sound Artists In Their Own Words


Example of Borderwall/Borderland Music Played Without Effects.

Example of Non-Ambient Borderwall/Borderland Music.