On january 1st, 2008 I began a project where I would take one
polaroid picture every day of 2008. It was a fun, challenging,
and sometimes frustrating endeavor, but I now have 365 polaroids
portraying the ups and downs and travels of a year in my life.
And 2009 is upon us...
The most rewarding aspect of this project has been the fact that
every day I have been forced to look. Oftentimes, though, I'd
pass over what turned out to be a great photographic opportunity
in the hope a better one would be around the corner, resulting
in a mediocre photo for the day. However, the project was not
about the “best” photography but rather simply of
a diary of seeing for a year.
As 2008 drew to a close I set my sights to 2009. A picture-a-day
was very challenging, do Igive myself a break, freedom from carrying
the Polaroid with me every day, freedom from having to constantly
be on the lookout? Or, was the forcing of this creative project
on me every day a priceless exercise? Never one to rest, I have
decided that in 2009, starting on January 1st, of course, I will
carry a small digital audio recorder with me every day of the
year and record one sound per day.
As a musician I rarely work with “field recordings”
although I am familiar with them enough as a sound source and
have used them in my compositions from time to time. However,
I am always listening and find beauty and serenity in many of
the everyday sounds that surround me. This exercise will not only
force me to listen more carefully every day, but expand my own
sound palette. Like my polaroids, it will not be about capturing
a "perfect" sound, but be a simple audio diary of each
day. Undoubtedly, there will be many wonderful sounds that I capture,
but that is not the primary focus of the project.
I will not set a time limit on each day’s recordings, but
rather make each recording as long as it needs to be to capture
whatever it is i’ll be recording. Along with the recorder
I will carry a small notebook and make a note of date and time
as well as location and “subject.” These recordings
will be featured on my blog (12kblog.wordpress.com)
and, of course, this web page.
If 2008 was a year of seeing every day, 2009 will be a year of
listening. The death of Polaroid's instant film market has made
the Polaroid-a-day difficult to continue... My project was timely.
Needless to say, as a photographer, I will never stop looking,
nor will I rarely be caught without a camera, but to form a year’s
worth of living and travelling with an audio diary will be a new
way for me to experience each day.
charlie patton's "rattlesnake blues." couldn't pass
up recording this scratchily coming out of the car stereo. so
textural and tactile.
Pound Ridge, NY, 8:35pm
elementary school auditorium after fundraising bingo night.
Pound Ridge, NY, 10:56pm
the runout groove of a really bad record from the 70's. the runout
groove is the nicest sounding thing on the record.
went out late at night to record in the car. left memory card
@ home, not in recorder. couldn't record... it was after midnight
by the time i got home.
Pound Ridge, NY, 11:11pm
acoustic guitar through MemoryMan pedal and an Eventide H3000.
quick and dirty loop. i'm tired and could fall asleep to this.
Pound Ridge, NY, 11:09pm
turning out to be one of my favorite sounds of winter... the heaters
warming up in the studio...
Katonah, NY, 10:29pm
AM radio noise while driving down Rt. 35 after a hockey game.
some of it was very beautiful, abstract.
Purchase, NY, around 2pm
a flock of geese (?) flying away in the distance. did my best
to capture it as i left the neuberger museum.
Pound Ridge, NY, around 9pm
30 seconds of a ticking clock.
Pound Ridge, NY, around 8pm
my son singing happy birthday in the bathtub tonight.. (it's his
birthday). i love his voice.
New York, NY, around 3pm
walking around South Street Seaport. hurrying to car.. windy and
Pound Ridge, NY, around 12:30pm
almost sounds like spring.
Suffield, CT, early afternoon
plucking the strings inside my parent's grand piano.
Pound Ridge, NY ?
i actually have no idea what i recorded here... but after filtering
out some low rumble i'm left with what amounts to the high freq
noise floor and fluttering on the recorder... kind of nice!
Pound Ridge, NY 8:44pm
another loop from the nord modular G2 and my new pseudo-looper
Pound Ridge, NY 11:42pm
it's almost midnight... and i have no sound. a quick sampling
of the room. the room is quite quiet.. most of the sound here
is greatly amplified roomtone.
Brewster, NY, 10:40pm
walking into the hockey rink for a (typical) late night game.
we won, 9-2.
Pound Ridge, NY around 11am
unseasonably warm weather today. set the recorder on a big pond
attempting to capture the melting ice.
Pound Ridge, NY 9:52pm
ukelele and microphone noises through looper pedal
Pound Ridge, NY, 120:12pm
experimenting with infinite delays on the Nord Modular G2 synthesizer.
making a patch i can use alongside my guitar loops perhaps. recorder
sitting on desk, noisily picking up sound coming out of the monitors.
Pound Ridge, NY afternoon
we finally break out of the 20's (F).. into the 40s. beautiful,
remotely spring-like... and the first rain of the year. heavy,
windy. this recording makes it sound rather violent. a testament
to, what i now believe to be, really bad microphones on this aging
recorder. this is rain falling heavily on the skylights. Soleri
chime blowing in the background.
Pound Ridge, NY, 9:36pm
more sounds of systems. the buzzing of the transformers of the
halogen lights in the master closet.
New Canaan, CT around 8pm
exiting our favorite restaurant in New Canaan. walking through..
past the fountain.. and zipping up my coat before heading out
into the frigid night.
Pound Ridge, NY 2pm
listening to systems around the house. this is my laser printer
after completing a print job.
New York City, around 8pm
one of my least favorite sounds in the world: the trains coming
in and out of Union Square subway station. the sound is hellish
and piercing. if you have to wait a while for the right train
you get bombarded with these sounds. this recording does not do
justice to the physical sensation of being there.
Pound Ridge, NY 8:59pm
i need to decide for myself if i will allow self-made sounds (ie,
from instruments, in my case) into my sound-a-day project. today's
post is my 2nd self-made sound.. so, i guess they are showing
up. but i am still recording these sounds with my field recorder,
so they retain a sense of removal, noise and otherwise roomy tone.
this sound is the ukelele i bought in hawai'i going through an
Eventide H3000 on a stuck loop.
Pound Ridge, NY 4:44pm
more melting snow and ice. it's what passes for fun around here
on a quiet sunday. actually, it's 45 degrees outside.. .downright
balmy considering we havne't seen much above 20 for the entire