Framework Radio #560

Posted on | July 11, 2016

I’m very pleased to have produced this week’s edition of Framework radio’s framework:afield. Framework is a globally syndicated radio program dedicated to the art of field recording and its use in composition. You can stream this week’s edition from London’s Resonance FM or download from the Framework website.

Below are my program notes for the edition.

Harbor Study

 Harbor Study examines three different planes of sound throughout the Baltimore Inner Harbor area and the micro sounds unique to each location. The recordings titledEarth” and “Water” employ the use of granular sampling. This form of sound synthesis captures small samples or “grains” of a live audio signal and splits them into tiny one- to fifty-millisecond pieces and plays them back in real time. This process acts as a sort of microscope for the ears that focuses the listener’s attention to the minutiae comprising each unique sound space.

I. 39.275329, -76.568653 – Air – 16:20

A time-lapse soundscape composed of four thirty-minute snapshots recorded from atop Canton Tower, a twenty-story building that sits on Northwest Baltimore Harbor. Apart from editing the two-hour session to approximately twenty minutes, these recordings remain unaltered from their original state.

II. 39.262135, -76.578655 / 39.281247, -76.584062Earth – 21:01

This work begins to explore the particles of sound that make up each acoustic environment. By employing real-time granular sampling, field recordings from the Northwest and Southeast Harbor shorelines are mixed parallel to the identical, original recordings. 

III. 39.278590, -76.596472 – Water – 18:33

A pure granular study of the sound world beneath the Baltimore harbor. Stereo hydrophone recordings from thirty feet below the surface of the water were granulized in real time. I was quite surprised to discover how much industrial noise from the ports, factories, and nautical vessels pollute this space. The environment below the water’s surface was in fact much louder and active than the quiet pier where I stood to make the recording. 

Many thanks to Jersy Ann Richards & Kevin Flinn for access to the top of Canton Tower to record 39.275329, -76.568653 – Air and the Living Classrooms Foundation for granting me access to their private pier for the hydrophone recordings in 39.278590, -76.596472 – Water.


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Jason Sloan is an electronic media and sound artist, musician, composer and professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland.

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