Not since John Cage didn’t play his piano
has sound been so highly regarded as an art form all its own (or so worthy of scientific attention
). As the creation and manipulation of sound gradually gains footing as an accepted craft, artists, musicians and writers alike are exploring new ways to connect with audiences at ear level.
NPR at MOCA
: Artist-run radio collective Neighborhood Public Radio
recently teamed up with the Museum of Contemporary Art, LA
for a three-part series
of “interactive sound projects.” Part One saw NPR hijacking the airwaves around the museum to create radio sound
out of visitor interviews, performances, and even real-time conversations. In Part Two, sounds emerging from museumgoers’ cars were layered and looped to compose a symphony
. The final installment
will feature guitar-made drone sounds, meant to create a shifting “fuzz-tone” that will vary depending on a visitor’s location. The series has struck a chord with audiences despite its experimental nature, using crowdsourcing as a point of entry to the unconventional concept of hearing art.
: Touting its tagline “Literature Out Loud,” this nonprofit lit-mag publishes short stories, essays and novel excerpts exclusively in audio form. In lieu of more drastic applications of tech to narrative
, The Drum
features traditional storytelling, albeit via online streaming and mp3 downloads. In providing well-voiced, well-paced stories, it actually gives a nod to the slow reading movement
. A subscription (plus archive access) costs $25 a year, but newly published pieces are available for free. As a helpful touch, stories are tagged by length, so multitaskers can choose according to their schedule: a “small” story is about the length of a dog-walk, while a “large” story better suits a morning commute.