dc listening lounge



--- Hear Now----

if you've ever attended one of the terrific audio/radio/ lecture/workshops presented at the Goethe Institute by our sister group Hear Now, you know that it can be a pretty awesome opportunity to listen and talk directly with inspiring producers, creators and sound-explorers. The series takes place about once a month.

DC Listening Lounge began in the fall of 2004 by like-minded audio enthusiasts as an informal place to listen, experiment and learn more about the art and craft of sound. We continue to meet once a month in DC living rooms to share and listen to one another's latest audio finds- and to continue an ongoing conversation about sound and creative storytelling.

We always welcome curious visitors, eager listeners, and sound enthusiasts of all stripes and types. To join our mailing list or learn more about our monthly meetings, email us.

Big thanks to Lauren and Sarah for hosting the October lounge. It was a great night of audio inquiry into the strangely pervasive "animal" sounds of destruction...and we had a good time listening to other sounds too.

The night began with a go-round about strange sounds we've been hearing in the last week. Lauren noted that the birds in her neighborhood seem to be swarming at dusk and having fervent meetings about the coming winter. Orhan mentioned that he's been disturbed at 4-5am with the sounds of what he might describe as similar to screaming goats...but more meek and sort of with a hint of retching as it fades in the distance. [editors note: apartments for rent in the neighborhood have not seen prices dropping...yet]. Arathie recently back in the US after traveling overseas was noticing some special sounds in the middle of the night too, and the day, the sounds of pro-biotics hard at work, in her own stomach. maybe too hard. maybe too many pro-biotics. Stella has heard some 6am drilling sounds and was perhaps feeling equal parts bummed to be woken up as bummed that someone else was forced to work so early on a sonically ugly project. Jocelyn recently recovering from a heavy cold remembered a visit to the grand canyon where snoring was mistakenly re imagined as a motorcycle engine revving. This sound may or may not have been coming from her own nose/throat at that time. Jen has been noticing micro-sounds and is sort of hoping to snap out of it. The hum of the fridge has never been so dominating before. Amy was tuned into the tiny chirps and wing flutters of neighborhood bats. Sarah noted the elephants (aka upstairs neighbors) dancing after dark as she tried to sleep and Bobak (late to arrive) described, almost exactly the same way, the sound that Orhan had mentioned, 20 minutes later. Detectives have determined it may be a different sound given the distance the two men live from one another (unless foxes can run really fast).

The actual audio portion of the night featured sounds of lemurs singing, discussions of binaural microphones, imagining those mics attached to giant whales, the group all practiced making sounds without air, just vibrating vocal chords in an effort to sing whale songs to one another. Jen brought out a perhaps under appreciated version of Gangster's Paradise aka the root. Amy set us into a lively game of 20-100 questions to guess the mystery sound she recorded this week (while avoiding burns in doing so). Lauren introduced us to a fellow audio nerd (non-dcll'er) who is taking audio recordings of books about audio and transmitting them via tiny receivers to be broadcast through old radios. Orhan introduced many of us to the (in)famous "cake rant" of WFMU and we exploring renditions from screamo bands, high school students and native Japanese-speakers. It was an audio night to remember. Hope you'll join us next month to add to the fun.

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