In the year 2000, I purchased a Sharp Minidisc-Recorder with a Sony stereo microphone in order to make decent-quality field recordings of material for samples and sound design. (For more information on how and why I like to employ custom-built sounds and instruments, see the tools page...)

And while I did use it for this purpose (and still do), I made an interesting discovery:

Audio-only recordings of sonic environments make for amazing vehicles through time and space. In my opinion, they far exceed photos and video in their ability to transport you back to a certain place and a specific moment. For example, many of us have experienced the emotional intensity associated with recognizing a particular smell when returning after a long time to a building we knew well in our youth. Listening back to these recordings is quite like that.

So I have become an avid recordist of interesting sonic environments: a mine in the old California Gold country, bells in Munich, a cab ride and a flea market in Rome, a walk through St. Peter, gondola rides and night ambiences in Venice (a city that sounds like no other, btw.)

Excerpts of these soundscapes also entered into musical works: noise from the Disney Hall construction site in SOUND CONSTRUCTION, ocean surf from Nicholas Canyon Beach and a small brook from Yosemite in JÛRMALA I, and Rome traffic noise mixed with an Italian taxi radio dispatcher in CATACOMBAE. More recently, some of the recordings from Venice, Italy made it onto the new album, CINEMATIC.

Below are a few examples: Six from Rome, two of which are now part of the piece CATACOMBAE, as well as the Disney Hall construction site recording used in SOUND CONSTRUCTION.

(It's probably a good idea to hit "stop" on the controls to the left before playing the tracks below, Some web browsers may get a tad confused otherwise.)